With babies, sleep is a cherished concept at the top of the parenting priority list. Babies require it so their brains and bodies can grow. For toddlers, sleep restores their smiles and eliminates their crankiness. School age arrives, and while kids' naps get reduced, usually there's an early bedtime so they are healthful and revitalized come the next morning. It seems we've set the stage for the importance of sleep with children, but the older we get, the idea of enjoying quality sleep often drops down on the priority list.
Just because adults have learned to function without ideal slumber doesn't mean we should continue dreaming down that path. Quality sleep that restores, revitalizes and re-energizes is not just for children – and hotels are in an enviable position to deliver this vital necessity for both leisure and business travelers.
Hoteliers who shift their mindset to one that recognizes that value of fostering a healthy sleep culture, and equip themselves with the products to bring this culture to life, gain a competitive edge in the market by enhancing the guest experience and drive deepened loyalty in the process. Consider this – a typical guest spends 40 percent of their stay in bed. So, whether you are a large chain, a mid-scale brand, an independent or budget property, creating an environment where hotel guests can "rest easily" in a place where they spend nearly half their time with you is paramount – and here are the top five reasons why.
#1 – 'Functional' Hotel Spaces Optimize Guest Functionality
Functional wellness – the focus on the betterment of one's body, mind and soul – remains top-of-mind for today's hotel customers, particularly the growing population of "wired and tired" business and leisure travelers who crave a good night's sleep. They regard sleep as the largest source of health, vitality, performance and success.
Proper rest creates sharper thinkers and more relaxed and reinvigorated individuals who are ready to embrace their day of business or leisure. Whatever the type of property, curate the hotel room space to advance that much-desired slumber. To encourage restful sleep, we've moved from lullabies and mobiles to more grown-up ideas – special mattresses, pillow menus, high-thread-count linens, good air quality/temperature controls, and reduced HVAC noise to name a few.
Imagine the outstanding loyalty – and profits – that hotels can cultivate when guests appreciate the great sleep they achieved at a particular property.
#2 – Bed Cleanliness is the Modern-Day Lullaby for Adults
Yes, firm mattresses, luxuriating sheets and fluffy pillows are essential to creating an atmosphere of sleep excellence, but equally, if not more, important is an emphasis on cloth waterproof mattress and pillow protection.
Hygienic issues such as bed bugs or other pest infestation, allergens (like skin cells and dust mites), mold, bacteria and fungus are very real concerns to hotel guests. A recent article in The New York Times about hotels, bed bugs and social media referenced an unnamed physician who discovered a beg bug on his arm during a recent business trip. "It turned me into a complete paranoid hotel dweller…I wake up in the night thinking every little itch is a bedbug."
"Put to bed" customers' worries about contaminants and other hygienic issues because these all influence a guest's ability to unwind and rest easily after a busy day of work or play. Products in the marketplace, such as Protect A Bed's pesticide-free, cloth waterproof mattress and box spring encasements, are a viable hospitality solution. Beds are kept clean of liquid damage and pest infestation thanks to breathable fabrics that let air penetrate but keep moisture (and beg bugs, lice and more) out.
#3 – The Right Products Drive Slumber…and Business
When it comes to bed cleanliness, human error will always be a factor, so combat the damage (such as accidents, incontinence, spills, etc.) with suitable products. For example, using products that aren't waterproof is a huge misstep – and according to Protect A Bed, 90% or more of hoteliers use mattress pads that aren't waterproof.
Once a mattress is stained, its warranty is voided. Protecting the investment hotels have made in bedding is imperative. Keeping mattresses and pillows free of liquid damage and pests allows hoteliers to safeguard their valuable assets, and guests get what they want – a peaceful night of sleep.
"Guests spend about one-third of their vacation sleeping," noted sleep psychologist and Samina Founder Dr. Med. (h.c.) Gunther W. Amann-Jennson. "Good sleep or a good hotel bed is one of the principle reasons for making a booking in the hotel business."
#4 – Make Online Reviews Work for You
The power of the pen (and in today's world, social media) is undeniable, and the financial impact is evident, based on positive praise or negative comments. A University of Kentucky survey of nearly 2,100 travelers in the United States found that a single recent review that mentions bed bugs lowers hotel room values by $38 for business travelers and $23 for leisure travelers. These aren't the numbers hoteliers seek out for success and profitability.
TripAdvisor and other online review sites are unapologetically powerful. It's no surprise that cleanliness is consistently one of the most important factors potential hotel customers research when considering where to stay. Don't give hotel customers a reason to report lack of hygiene issues, which negatively affect a hotel's reputation. Appreciate the concerns that guests have about hygiene and outfit hotels accordingly.
#5 – Safeguard Bedding Assets to Enhance Budgets
Making intelligent financial decisions is crucial so that hoteliers can optimally operate their properties. Mattresses and pillows represent a significant monetary investment so ensuring their long "life" with proper maintenance positively impacts the bottom line. Plus, hoteliers deserve to have their resources safeguarded against detrimental influences; otherwise, the result is expensive, premature replacement of their bedding assets.
Curtis Mizuno, executive housekeeper of the Kaanapali Alii Resort in Maui, recognizes the significance of producing the best possible sleep and wellness environment for its guests. "We felt an obligation to make a vital and proactive impact about seven years ago and protect both our owner's mattress investment and ensure valuable sleep quality for our guests by covering all beds with waterproof encasements. Our owners and guests enjoy the comfort of knowing their one place of solitude during their vacation is wholesome and secure."
Selecting the right products does more than extend the life of the mattress. It minimizes housekeeping labor (the time spent cleaning mattresses), reduces the costs of water and cleaning supplies, and decreases lost room revenue due to the down-time when mattresses are cleaned. Maintaining a hygienic sleep environment shouldn't strain operational budgets. The money saved can be applied to other aspects of elevating the guest experience on-property.
The creation of a quality sleep environment that successfully lulls valued hotel customers into a dream-filled slumber makes smart business sense for hoteliers. Maintain mattress and pillowcase hygiene to appeal to guests' wants and nurture their loyalty and positive word of mouth. Keep assets protected from bed bugs and human accidents. Minimize labor, chemical and water cleaning costs and ultimately boost operating efficiency and budgets. Leisure and business travelers who rest easily at your hotel will likely be counting the days – and sheep – until they can return for another night of peaceful sleep. Zzzzzzz……
Protect-A-Bed is the worldwide leading supplier of bedding protection products to the hospitality industry and is dedicated to educating hoteliers on the importance of providing a healthy sleep environment for their guests. Keep your mattresses and pillows clean, keep your guests well and extend the life of a vulnerable asset.
PAB developed Miracle Membrane®, a proprietary membrane, which is waterproof, quiet and air vapor porous. In addition to our double stitched seams, 3 sided micro tooth zipper, Bug Lock and Secure Seal features, our commercial grade construction will last for years. Our products protect against liquids and bodily fluids that will ruin or contaminate the mattress.
Protect-A-Bed products are listed as Class 1 Medical Devices with the Food and Drug Administration, and have received the Good Housekeeping Seal, as well as the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America certification. www.protectabed.com.