A good night’s sleep. Those four simple words may be more important than anything else when it comes to a guest’s lodging experience. After all, even the most luxurious of rooms can disappoint if a guest spends a restless night in bed.
In recognition of that fact, Four Seasons recently introduced an adjustable bed featuring an innovative mattress system developed in partnership with bed manufacturer Simmons. Guests can adjust their beds to meet their individual preferences, choosing from three different levels of firmness. Dubbed signature classic, signature firm, and signature plush, the choices are designed to cover the broadest possible span of preferences.
“In order to create a perfect night’s sleep, we start with the bed as the centerpiece of the sleep experience,” says Dana Kalczak, vice president of design at Four Seasons. “We consider everything from headboard placement to technologies that are intuitive and simple.”
The initiative also includes other measures aimed at providing maximum comfort. The new mattresses have “gel touch foam center” technology to absorb extra heat, and guests can choose foam, feather, or orthopedic pillows that can be ordered before arrival. The hotel will also keep records of these preferences so they can be replicated in return visits.
To top things off, guests who would like to recreate their hotel experience at home will be able to purchase the beds, along with a full array of pillows and bed linens, through local Four Seasons locations as they are installed in each hotel and resort.
The move was based in part on findings of a survey the company commissioned by Ipsos of travelers from the U.S., U.K., China, and Russia. Some 92 percent of survey respondents expressed distinct preferences on the firmness of a bed. Of those, 50 percent said they liked medium, followed by 28 percent preferring firm and 14 percent soft.
“We found that every guest has different needs when it comes to sleep, reinforcing the need for personalization,” Kalczak says. “Our three different toppers will be able to meet the needs of our guests through this personalization.”
Sleep expert Dr. Carol Ash affirms the value of allowing for individual differences. “We all have different preferences as to what is comfortable,” she says. “For most, a firm mattress allows you to have the best support.”
She adds that perception of firmness is affected by a variety of factors including weight and other health issues. “The ability to select the experience for you means no one has to miss out on the best night,” she says.
Hotel officials have placed their confidence in this premise, and are pleased with results thus far. “We have just started rolling out the bed across our properties, but so far it has been well received by our guests,” Kalczak says.
She adds that a tiered rollout is planned, with many locations to add the new bed as a sleep option by the end of 2014, and all properties offering the bed in some capacity by 2016. Currently, Four Seasons properties in Santa Barbara and Jackson Hole have the new bed in every room.
Ash not only agrees with the move, but sees it as groundbreaking. “This will be the role model for the industry,” she says. “Four Seasons is doing for the hotel industry what Steve Jobs did for the phone.”