The bed wars may have subsided, but it
appears that hotels are continuing to take bedside manner to
another level, tapping everything from simulated sunlight to
homeopathic remedies to help guests drift off into dream land.
One chain has
practically made getting a good nights sleep an Olympic
Hotels, which is an official sponsor of the upcoming
Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, is modifying 160 athlete dorm
rooms at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The
project is called the Hilton Competitive Advantage
include outfitting rooms with the upgraded bedding used in Hilton
hotels across the U.S.
Sleep is so
important and so basic that it could make the difference between
winning the gold or the silver at the Olympic Games, said Mark
Rosekind, a former scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration and president of Alertness Solutions. Rosekind
helped develop the Hilton Competitive Advantage Program.
A restful sleep,
according to Rosekind, can help increase an athletes alertness and
reaction time, which in turn bolsters performance.
In remodeling the
athletes dorm rooms, Hilton replaced the existing, standard twin
beds with a complete bedding package designed exclusively for
Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels and Homewood Suites by
includes a plush-top mattress that helps reduce tossing and
enhancements include sensory changes involving temperature and
installed what it calls the worlds easiest to set alarm clock in
each room to assure that athletes dont oversleep.
The clocks, used in
Hilton hotels, automatically adjusts for daylight savings time and
includes a connector for MP3 and CD players.
Speed skater Apolo
Anton Ohno, who won a gold and a silver
medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics, was among the athletes whose
dorm room was remodeled.
It sounds simple,
but getting the proper rest really does increase my confidence and
abilities on and off the track, Ohno said.
Hilton intends to
replicate the upgraded dorm rooms for the U.S. Olympic Team at the
2006 Winter Olympics.
Let the sun
Benjamin Hotel in New York, which years ago was
one of the first hotels to introduce a pillow menu, is rolling out
a new concept -- sun.
Guests at the hotel
may now request a Port-a-Sun lightbox for their
room. The lightweight, full-spectrum lightbox is designed to help
refresh jet-lagged guests.
According to the
National Sleep Foundation, jet lag occurs when the bodys biological
clock is out of sync with local time. Jet lag lasts longer on trips
Thats where the
light boxes come in.
The hotel said that
by regulating light exposure, guests can essentially reset their
Otherwise, it could
take about one day for every hour of time zone change to recover,
said the hotel.
The light box is
the latest sleep enhancement at the Benjamin. Along with offering
its guests a selection of 11 types of pillows, the Benjamin
features customized Serta Benjamin Beds with 400-plus thread count
It also launched an
Executive Nap program a while back. Guests may
even seek guidance from the hotels resident Sleep
On top of that, the
Benjamin offers a Sleep Guarantee -- a free nights
stay if guests dont sleep as well at the hotel as they do at
Is this the end of
the long-standing hotel tradition of placing a chocolate on the
guests bedroom pillow during turndown service? It could be if
Westin Hotels latest brainstorm catches on like its now
much-imitated Heavenly Bed.
New York at Times Square unveiled a concept room called
the Renewal Suite.
As part of the
nightly turn down service, the hotel has replaced mints with
Moondrops Homeopathic Sleep Therapy Lozenges,
which are made with all-natural ingredients that help ease
The suite features
a new minibar concept called the Purification
Station that the hotel said is designed to enhance body,
mind and soul.
Along with such
familiar minibar items as wine, beer and cookies, the Purification
Station has oxygen, energy patches and anti-stress
Guests dont even
have to stress over brushing their teeth thanks to Breath Palette
East Meets West, a toothpaste kit that offers a sensory experience
with a natural line of flavors tailored to specific
Plazas in U.K.
Europe, franchisor of the Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts
brand throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has two new
hotels in the works for London.
County Hall Park Plaza is scheduled to open in
2008, and the 930-room Westminster Bridge Park
Plaza is planned for 2010.
Both hotels will be
located on the south side of the Thames River.
Stay Hotels has gone international, purchasing its first
hotel outside of the U.S.
Located in downtown
Ottawa, Canada, the 218-room hotel, formerly known as the
Aristocrat Suite Hotel, was recently acquired by HVM, Extended
Stays parent company. The hotel has been renamed the
Extended Stay Deluxe Ottawa.
Deluxe is an upgraded, midscale, offshoot brand.
full kitchens, free voicemail, wireless Internet access, laundry
facilities and DVD players in all rooms. Extended Stay Deluxe
hotels typically have pools, hot tubs or fitness centers, depending
on the location.
Hotels & Resorts updated its Web site, www.solmelia.com. Among the
colorful sites new features is a robust search engine that enables
users to scan for hotels by either the guaranteed lowest online
rate or by travel dates.
York expects toadd 5,000 hotel rooms over
the next two years, boosting the Big Apples overall room inventory
to 70,723 by the end of 2007.
president and CEO of NYC & Co., said that several hotels will
be located outside of Midtown Manhattan.
Many of the new
properties, in such diverse locations as Staten Island, TriBeCa,
the Lower East Side, Queens and Harlem, will anchor the start of
economic and business development in these exciting new
neighborhood destinations and will introduce global visitors to new
experiences in the Big Apple, said Nicholas.
Among the hotels
slated to open over the next several months are:
Hampton Inn Manhattan/Seaport, which will open in December in New
Yorks Financial District.
Residence Inn by Marriott, which will open in December on West 39th
Courtyard by Marriott, opening on New Yorks Upper East Side in
Holiday Inn Express, which is slated to debut in Brooklyn in early
Kor buys Campton
Group, a Los Angeles-based luxury hotel operator, has
acquired its first hotel in San Francisco, the Campton
Place Hotel. The four-star
Campton Place is a 110-room property located near Union
Milligan is Travel Weeklys hotel editor. E-mail him at [email protected].