Business travelers find it difficult after a long and stressful day to get a good night’s sleep. The adage of “counting sheep” does not always work. Think about the five senses and how they can bring your guests to a tranquil state.
Text: Laura Myers // FOTOS: iStock
To anybody lying awake in a hotel room after a long day of meetings this is no surprise: According to the 2018 report “Achieving Better Business Travel Results: Insights from U.S. Road Warriors” the number one factor that would help most business travelers achieve more success from work trips is - drumroll - getting better sleep (34 percent of 742 road warriors polled) ahead of better seats on long-distance flights (30 percent) and higher quality hotels (26 percent).
Ever tried sleeping on a worn, concave mattress, repeatedly rolling to the center and struggling to find the right position to get through the night? Nights like this will leave your guest exhausted, frustrated and angry. Investing in quality mattresses is the key to a guest’s peaceful slumber. Many hotels offer pillow menus for their guests and some provide a microwaveable Gelly Roll pillow for the stiff neck after a long flight. Cover them with ultrasoft linens to caress the body for a tranquil night. Most people sleep comfortably in cool environments so having an adjustable thermostat allows your guest to turn the temperature down.
Bright rooms encourage wakefulness but are disruptive to sleep. Installing blackout curtains helps with the onset of melatonin to fall asleep. Light researcher Oliver Stefani with the University of Basel, Switzerland notes that light is the key factor for good sleep: “Hoteliers can support sleep by providing an optimized light situation which reduces the blue components of light and reduces the intensity in the evening. Reading lights next to the bed ideally provide a very warm light for calming effect. Just like a sunset!” However, there are other ways to relax your guests. Some hotels have the HDTV playing a crackling fireplace, an aquarium or nature scenery for a cozy, calming effect when you enter the room.
Sensitive travelers often request a quiet room. The best options are on higher floors, far away from the street, elevators or stairwells, ice machines, and housekeeping closets. Ensuring that all rooms are free of dripping faucets, loud HVAC or rattling refrigerators will curb the noise annoyances. Additionally, sound proof windows and large, thick headboards assist in deflecting the disturbances. Frank Bauer, professional photographer, stays 100 nights a year in hotels: "I frequently need to get up before dawn for early-morning shoots, getting a good night's rest is really important. I appreciate soundproof doors and windows." The HDTV can offer audio options from white noise to mindfulness meditation or a lullaby library to help your guest power down for the night. Providing guests tips for free sleeping apps, e.g. White Noise Lite, Relax & Sleep Well, or Headspace, will help them obscure noises for a restful sleep.
Naturally the property needs to be clean but sometimes the disinfectant solutions can be overpowering to guests’ discerning noses. Bathrooms and linens tend to have the strongest smells and finding a pleasant, non-chlorine scented detergent will help travelers relax. Offering a scented turndown service, such as a lavender aromatherapy spray on the bed and pillows is calming and inviting. Keep in stock hypoallergenic pillows and linens for guests with allergies.
Often business travelers engage in evening events with cocktails and heavy foods. When they return to their room, they need something to unwind. Instead of alcoholic beverages, offer in the lobby or guestroom an evening snack basket. Calming teas such as chamomile, passionflower, peppermint, or valerian root are good for sleep and digestion. Also, consider sleep inducing foods such as almonds, bananas, kiwi, cheese, yogurt, and milk (preferably warm). Do not forget to include a pair of ear plugs and an eye mask to help them physically disengage for the evening.
Road warriors are naturally out of their home element when traveling. However, hotels can make a warm, genuine first impression when checking in a guest. Knowing that their stay in your property will be handled with respect and kindness, your guest will feel a subconscious comfort throughout their visit. A property’s preparedness and sensitivity to guests needs will be rewarded by future bookings and referrals.