There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep. During National Bed Month, The Know – an intelligent mystery guest service for luxury and boutique hotels – polled its experienced travellers to discover the key factors to help ensure guests wake feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

Here, we outline some of the most popular suggestions made by their invitation-only members’ club of ‘Knowers’: in-depth reporting and feedback, make sure we are all ahead of the game and exceeding expectations of the discerning guest.”

  1. Darkness, but with a nightlight: The Knowers’ biggest bugbear is trying to sleep in a lovely bedroom only to be kept awake by a pesky streetlight or to be woken at daybreak by a stream of sunshine. Blackout blinds or curtains are a minimum expectation. Similarly, other annoyances included brightly-lit bedside clocks, exit signs above the door or flashing fire alarm sensors – torture! The Knowers love motion-activated lights placed under the bed and in the bathroom to help navigate their way in an unfamiliar room – nobody likes a stubbed toe!
  2. Bedding: A pillow menu is fabulous but if you arrive late at night or forget to call ahead to request a specific pillow, you could be ready in your jim-jams but waiting for housekeeping – especially frustrating for guests with allergies that have no choice but to await the arrival of a hypoallergenic pillow. Knowers love hotels who enquire about pillow preferences before arrival – a small step for the hotel, but one that can really elevate the guest experience. Luxurious bedding is another minimum requirement for Knowers who extol the joys of slipping between clean, crisp Egyptian cotton sheets. It’s also important to ensure additional blankets are available for those guests who like to stay extra toasty while they snooze.
  3. Room Ambience: The National Sleep Council advises the optimal temperature for a good night’s sleep is 16-18c – the Knowers agree. Furnace-like radiators are a no-no as are complicated air-conditioning units that seem to have a mind of their own (or require a NASA engineer to operate them). Knowers also favour calm-inducing scents of lavender and geranium to help send them off to the land of nod.
  4. Doors that close gently and good soundproofing: There’s nothing more annoying than having your slumber disturbed by noisy neighbours! While good soundproofing between the rooms is of obvious importance, Knowers also emphasised the importance of soft-close door mechanisms to all bedrooms. Another interesting suggestion was maximum sound levels set on the television.
  5. Tea and coffee: Lots of guests love the ability to make their own tea or coffee in the room at any time rather than waiting for room service. Yet, Knowers get the warm and fuzzy feeling when a high-quality, freshly-made hot brew is delivered to their room when they wake.