Hotels have always been in the business of providing beds, but now some are going to luxurious lengths to make sure guests sleep tight. They're using purified air, hypoallergenic cleansers and eco-friendly materials to reduce environmental toxins that can cause allergies, breathing difficulties and especially sleep impairment.
For guests who suffer from allergies, "especially in countries like the U.K., where hay fever is more pronounced," these accommodation options are an excellent choice, says Kathryn Tilbury, the health, fitness and wellness adviser in-residence at the Grosvenor House Apartments, a Jumeirah property in London.
Tilbury's job, in part, is to ensure that every guest has a customized experience – and that often begins with sleep. Jumeirah installs health-related amenities for long-term guests, including a personal gym, and equips the apartments with hypoallergenic trappings.
As luxe hoteliers raise the bar, the rest of the industry is following. Linda Burndorfer, owner of Out'n About Travel, Inc., a Winnipeg-based travel agency, says sleep amenities are appealing across the board. Even a "feather or foam pillow option" makes Burndorfer happy when she travels.
What's the moral to the bedtime story? Relax, breathe easily, put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door and check out until morning.
Here are a handful of companies that want your dreams to be sweet.
It's the first cruise line to install hypoallergenic rooms using the Pure Marine Solutions system so that guests get the best quality sleep. With passengers living on board its ships up to 108 days at a time, cruisers need to rest up properly. Those who suffer from environmental allergies can rest assured that the Crystal Serenity's 70 Pure cabins have been thoroughly made over to incorporate standards that include disinfecting heating and cooling elements (think drop pans, fan blades and condensation lines) to meticulous training about hypoallergenic standards for the housekeeping staff when making up the rooms twice daily. The best perk of all: no extra cost to guests.
Silver Celebration World Cruise: Departs Miami, Jan. 14-May 4, 2015. Cabins from $43,445 (U.S.) a person, all inclusive. crystalcruises.com
Hotel Éclat in Beijing
If jetlag is a problem that keeps you tossing and turning at night after hours on a plane to Beijing, the 100-room luxury boutique Hotel Éclat, located in the central business district, will save you every one of your 40 winks. Built to meticulous standards (it's one of the few hotels in the world to receive a Platinum certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard setters) with sustainable eco-friendly materials to eliminate environmental toxins from public and guest rooms, the hotel's air purification process and climate control will lull you to sleep. Pollutants are given their marching orders before they get the chance to disturb your REM-cycles. Book an Éclat pool suite with enclosed terrace and swim under the stars before bedtime. Rooms from $294 a night. eclathotels.com/beijing
MGM Grand in Las Vegas
It might seem counter-intuitive to get a great night's sleep in the city that caters to sleepless nights, but the MGM Grand was determined to combat the electric energy of the Strip. The Stay Well class of 171 rooms and suites take up the entire 14th floor in the hotel's main tower. The list of Stay Well amenities is so long (17 to be exact) that it will put you to sleep if the hypoallergenic environment doesn't. The MGM Grand brought in hypoallergenic environment specialist Delos Living, which previously catered only to high-end residences. Step into a room stripped of pathogens to relax your breathing. Take a vitamin C shower infusion to wash off the day's worries and neutralize chlorine. Later, dim the lights to the special nighttime setting to improve the body's melatonin regulation. Rooms from $79 a night. Stay Well room supplement $30. mgmgrand.com
Gleneagles in Scotland
If exploring the 850 bucolic acres of Gleneagles Hotel doesn't put guests to sleep, the wellness experts on staff will with a list of other sleep-inducing suggestions. Its Sleep More program, led by a coterie of naturopaths, acupuncturists, personal trainers and spa therapists, cater to guests with allergies looking for extra shuteye. Gleneagles prides itself on accommodating guests. The 2014 Ryder Cup host venue must guarantee guests are at the top of their concentration. But you don't have to be an elite golfer to benefit from a good night's sleep at Gleneagles. Outside its rooms, return to the natural rhythms of sleep cycles through the meditative qualities of falconry, horseback riding and golf, for example. Leave the car behind and bike to commune with the last surviving tree from Birnam Wood, of Shakespeare's Macbeth fame. Hotel employees, from the chairman, to the beekeeper and executive housekeeper, encourage guests to "chill out and switch off," thus reaping the benefits of a calm mind. Air purifiers, hypoallergenic laundry detergent and pillow menu are available upon request.
Rooms from $400 a night, including breakfast. gleneagles.com
Robin Pope Safaris in Africa
Urbanites on safari might need some extra hand-holding when it comes to settling down after listening to the unfamiliar noises outside the rondavel wall. Robin Pope Safaris installed the Evening Breeze Suspended system at its eight luxury chalets at Mkulumadzi, Majete Wildlife Reserve, in Malawi and at the six rondavels (or westernized African huts) in Nsefu, South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Evening Breeze Suspended offers an optimal sleep environment by providing cool, dehumidified and double-filtrated air. Energy use is cut by 80 per cent, with minimal environmental impact, (critical to endangered ecosystems), as cool air floats down only inside mosquito netting. It isn't necessary to sleep in a sealed box and guests can keep windows, and even the door, open at night. Indigenous plants cover the chalet roofs in Malawi to further cool the interior and provide a seamless transition to sleep. Rooms from $345 a person, per night, including board and bar, game viewing, laundry, transfers. robinpopesafaris.net