The best hotels to get a good night's sleep

How to sleep better in hotels
How to sleep better in hotels

Remember that hotel where the guest next door woke you up by cleaning his teeth at 1am? Or the room lit up by the flashing digital clock, or the bed with the sagging mattress?

Far too many hotels fail to deliver the most fundamental experience: a decent night’s sleep. Fortunately more and more are starting to take sweet dreams seriously, offering more than eye masks, ear-plugs and blackout curtains. 

Westin Hotels were first, with a team spending a year developing the ultimate bed in the late ’90s. They must have got something right as 4,000 guests bought the ‘Heavenly Bed’ within five years of launch.

Once you’ve got the bed right, you need to know how to sleep in it. That’s why New York hotel The Benjamin has a dedicated ‘sleep concierge’ and staffers trained by sleep expert Rebecca Robbins, to give guests tips on how to get a full night of zzz’s. 

Robbins also created the hotel’s pillow menu, the first hotel to offer ten options including the Anti-Snore and Water-filled pillows, and the Five-foot Body Cushion, designed to suit whichever side you sleep on. 

Robbins isn’t the only sleep expert steering guests into a night of solid eight-hour slumber; a card with tips by Dr Chris Idzikowski is popped on your pillow at turndown at Crowne Plaza hotels as part of the ‘Sleep Advantage’ program. Reserve a Sleep Advantage room and it will be on the Quiet Zone floor, away from the lifts, ice machine, rooms occupied by shrieking children and even housekeeping noises between 9pm and 10am, Sunday and Thursday. 

City sounds can also disturb a night’s sleep, but not at New York’s Bryant Park hotel. Each room is equipped with a Obusforme Sound Therapy Machine, emitting soothing natural sounds to lull guests to sleep and drown out police sirens and shouty cab drivers. At Hotel Gabriel Paris and Plaza Athénée, the NightCove program uses light and music to help you sleep, power-nap or wake up.

Feeling peckish? As part of its ‘Nightly Refresh’ program, JW Marriott has developed a series of snoozy snacks for every night of your stay, including dark chocolate bars with lavender and a ‘Dream Bar’ developed by nutritionist Keri Glassman with relaxing serotonin-releasing oats, healthy almonds and antioxidant-packed blueberries. 

Turndown chocolates at New York’s 70 Park Avenue come packed with melatonin, and London’s Corinthia Hotel, London, offers a ‘Sleep Menu’ of easily-digested ‘wind-down’ dishes as part of its sleep services. Sleep-deprived guests in their soundproof rooms can also try a soothing ‘Sleep Ritual’ treatment in the ESPA Life spa or tips from UK physiologist Dr Guy Meadows. Still can’t nod off? Sign up for their ‘Sumptuous Sleep Retreat’ for a one-to-one sleep coaching consultation with Dr Meadows himself. 

If you’re in Berlin you can opt for the day-long sleep package at the Swissotel developed by somnologist Dr Michael Feld. It includes light-therapy, power naps, nutritional supplements, aromatherapy, high-altitude-air breathing and even a pillow that emits sleep-inducing sounds. 

By Emma E Forrest