Whether it’s for business or leisure, when you check in to a hotel the one thing you want is to know you are going to be able to get a good night’s sleep. Some hotels deliver this better than others and on our travels we’ve had some memorable highs and some not to be repeated lows. So, here’s our guide for what to look for in a good hotel bedroom and a few tips about what you can do to make the most of space you check in to.
We don’t want to alarm you, but it goes without saying that if you don’t feel safe and secure somewhere it’s going to be pretty hard to relax fully. If you are staying somewhere for the first time, especially if you are on your own – get a recommendation from someone you know if you can or if not, read the reviews. Avoid the dodgy end of town. Make friends with the staff on reception so they know you by name. Ring them to ask not to be disturbed rather than putting a sign on your door.
A great bed
A rubbish bed is pretty much guaranteed to result in a rubbish night’s sleep. But what deep joy it is to arrive somewhere with a king sized beauty, just firm enough to support, just soft enough to be comfy and well dressed in quality bedding. Most importantly of all a decent pillow. Some hotels now have their own pillow menu for real connoisseurs. Failing that, if you do end up with a pillow that has seen better days then please ring and ask the chambermaid to change it. If all else fails, a plush towel rolled up with a t-shirt over it as a makeshift pillowcase can just about do the job for a night.
Peace and quiet
Ah, hear that? We hope not. Whether it’s noise from the bar downstairs, guests wandering back to their rooms late at night or the lift opening and shutting, the best rooms in the house are the ones that shut out all that hub-bub. Ask for a room on a high floor to avoid street noise and even better if it’s located at the end of the corridor so no-one wanders by. Pack ear plugs if you really are sensitive to background noises (or sleep with a snorer!).
Good dark and good light
Light levels are the big trigger to know whether it’s time to get sleepy or wake up. So when it comes to hotel rooms we need to be able to control it. We love good bedside lights that allow one person to read while the other remains in darkness; light switches that we don’t have to get out of bed to turn on or off; mood lighting in the bedroom and the bathroom (bright light for applying make up; low lights for evening baths). When it comes to dark – make sure the curtains are shut fully, or even better, have blackout blinds behind them. Turn off anything that is kicking out ambient light (tv on standby; phone on charge?) when you turn in for bed.
A ridicuously good bath
A soak in a deep warm bath, loaded with your favourite relaxing essential oils is the perfect way to unwind after a hectic day. So, of course our perfect hotel bedroom would feature an amazing bath that’s inviting us to get in and leaves us in no rush to get out. Extra points for soft white fluffy towels warming on the towel rail. If you throw in a bath pillow then we are in heaven. It’s always worth asking on booking to see if any rooms with baths are available rather than leaving it to the luck of the draw.
Research has shown that we sleep better when we are surrounded by things that make us happy. So whether it’s a picture of your loved ones; a scented candle that brings back happy memories or a song that always makes your heart soar. Pack a little something that will help you go to bed smiling.
It’s often the little things that makes a hotel stand out from the crowd. It might be the welcome card left in your room, a or a kind gesture from a member of the staff, or (extra points from us) a place that says its dog-friendly and then really is. These are the things that we love most and that keep us going back to our favourite places time after time. If there’s something we love about a place we’ll always try to make sure the team know we appreciated it. A little thank you goes a long, long way.
Sleep tight everyone. May your sheets be 400 thread count and your room service breakfast arrive on time. xx
PS> If you want to get our view on how the places deliver on helping us get a good night’s sleep, then have a look at our Sleepover Reviews section of our Bedtime Blog.