Despite all the bells and whistles applied to improve guest satisfaction scores, hotels still need to deliver at the most basic level to keep customers happy—and that starts with a good night’s sleep. The Benjamin, located in midtown Manhattan, takes sleep seriously. In tandem with its multimillion dollar renovation, the luxury boutique hotel, along with sleep expert Rebecca Robbins, recently launched Rest and Renew, a new program designed to ensure that guests get a soothing slumber.
“At the end of the day, hotels are in the business of sleep,” says Robbins, a Cornell researcher and author of the book Sleep for Success! “Hotels play a key role in providing the foundation for a good night’s sleep away from home. Key factors for doing that include providing guests with a high quality mattress and pillows and ousting all light from the rooms. However, hotels do these things with varying degrees of success, and these sleep factors are where attention to sleep in hotels often ends.”
The Benjamin’s program starts with Anya Orlanska, the hotel’s sleep concierge, and her Sleep Team, a trained group of staff members—ranging from housekeepers to hotel executives—who are armed with best practices and tips for achieving a good night’s sleep. With advance notice, guests can also book full- or half-day sleep consultations with Robbins to learn more about the science of sleep.
Travelers are often susceptible to poor sleep behaviors, says Robbins, and it’s easy for guests to fall into bad patterns while on the road. Using telephones, computers, or other devices before bed can reduce sleep quality. Eating late-night, big meals can also deter proper sleep patterns. And light-emitting devices such as LED dials or bright clocks next to the bed keep guests tossing and turning.
To combat these common sleep problems, The Benjamin has outfitted each guestroom with blackout curtains, installed analog clocks, and designed a special pillow menu so guests can choose the right headrest based on their sleeping patterns. Hotel guests can also order a “work-down” call, which will be delivered by the Sleep Team as a reminder to power down devices and relax before bed. Chef Geoffrey Zakarian of the National Bar and Dining Rooms also created a “Bedtime Bites” menu—a selection of snacks that will ensure that guests have just the right amount to nibble on before bed.
“Ultimately, our hope is for guests to check in and know that we have their sleep covered,” says Robbins. “At The Benjamin, guests can look forward to a great night’s sleep—maybe even the best they have ever had. That is pretty big value add if you ask me.”