By Kate Appleton
General manager Jennifer Rota knew the Distrikt Hotel’s 2010 opening near Times Square posed a challenge: “We’re in a one-block radius with every chain you can imagine, so how are we going to stand out?”
It’s the kind of dilemma that keeps you up at night. Ultimately, Rota zeroed in on the sleep experience, investing in airport-grade windows, upping the thread count to 500, and offering soft and firm pillows as well as turndown service in all 155 rooms.
Guests haven’t been shy about voicing their reactions. An analysis of user reviews across 250-plus websites—from TripAdvisor to Gogobot to Zoover—reveals that the Distrikt’s beds are the most comfortable in America. TrustYou, which specializes in online reputation management, evaluated the mentions of beds at U.S. hotels that got at least 400 reviews with at least 10 bed mentions between January 2013 and January 2014.
The Distrikt Hotel in New York got top marks from reviewers for its beds. (Courtesy: Distrikt Hotel New York City)
The top-ranking hotels are found primarily in big cities like Vegas and Chicago, with nine of the top 20 based in New York—despite or perhaps because of the city’s reputation for sleeplessness. (It also welcomed a record-breaking 54.3 million tourists in 2013.) “I think sleep is probably about 60 percent of the guest’s stay, in New York especially,” says Rota. “It may change in a tertiary market where you spend more time in your room.”
More surprising than location may be the kinds of hotels winning raves for their beds. Sure, multiple Starwood properties made the cut for the brand’s famous pillow-top Heavenly Bed, but some four- and five-star brands are notably absent.
Margaret Ady, TrustYou’s marketing director, believes it comes down to expectations: “If you look at a Howard Johnson, for example, the price is much lower than a Four Seasons and, if the bed turns out to be super comfortable, travelers are more likely to point that out and be excited about it.”
Here are the 10 hotels with the best marks for beds:
No. 1 Distrikt Hotel, New York City
All 155 rooms at the Distrikt are equipped with Simmons Beautyrest mattresses, leather headboards, and a generous heap of pillows. Windows use airport-grade glass — and if it’s good enough to drown out plane engines, you can rest assured it will mute the chaos of Times Square, a few blocks northeast. Standard Queen rooms face south, the side of the hotel most insulated from street noise.
Sample Reviews: “Room was also excellent with the biggest and best bed we have ever slept in at a hotel.” (Orbitz). “Our room was beautiful, the bed amazingly comfortable and a shower to die for!” (TripAdvisor)
TrustYou Bed Score: 93.95
Bed Mentions: 496 out of 2,766 reviews
Average Room Rate: $325.64, according to Kayak
Whitehall Hotel. (Photo: Jorge Gera)
No. 2 The Whitehall Hotel, Chicago
The Whitehall sources its 300-count-plus Egyptian cotton linens from a private label and uses goose-down pillows and feather beds. The mattress brand Hypnos (model Highbury from the Stadia collection) has three times the average number of coils. The result is better support for you while you snooze—and some heavy lifting for housekeeping.
Sample Reviews: “And the beds are super comfy; I don’t wake up the next morning wishing I had brought a pillow from home.” (TripAdvisor). “The beds are sink-into perfection with a good selection of pillows and bed covers.” (Orbitz).
TrustYou Bed Score: 92.69
Bed Mentions: 465 out of 2,204 reviews
Average Room Rate: $179.32, according to Kayak
(Courtesy: Best Western Plus Tuscan Inn)
No. 3 Best Western Plus Tuscan Inn at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco
Luxurious isn’t the first word that Best Western brings to mind, but Tuscan Inn clearly makes guests feel pampered at bedtime. The Simmons mattresses are triple sheeted with 300-count Egyptian cotton and topped with four foam and two firm pillows. Some guests inquire about purchasing the beds, according to Lita Tulloch, executive sales assistant. “I’ve stayed over many times, and our beds are super comfortable—you really feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud,” she adds.
Sample Reviews: “The room was clean with plenty of extra towels. The bed, pillows and bedding were nice and soft.” (Booking.com). “Our room was well equipped and our bed was so comfortable that we did not wish to get up in the mornings!” (Priceline.com).
TrustYou Bed Score: 91.32
Bed Mentions: 484 out of 2,308 reviews
Average Room Rate: $272.35, according to Kayak
(Courtesy: Element New York Times Square)
No. 4 Element New York Times Square West
This Starwood property prides itself on being “eco-chic,” yet for most guests, the biggest selling point is its Westin Heavenly Bed, a hotel bed that’s truly a household name—and in a sizable number of homes. It’s made in the U.S. by Simmons with a plush custom pillow-top about 13 inches in height. There’s a king-size version in each of the 411 white-and-aloe-green rooms, and you can set the lighting to three varying levels of brightness.
Sample Reviews: “The rooms were efficient, spacious and clean—quite possibly the best bed I have ever slept in too!” (TripAdvisor). “The room can be a little bit small but the bed is big, comfortable and clean.” (TravBuddy). “Beds are warm, cushy, and comfortable.” (Expedia).
TrustYou Bed Score: 90.91
Bed Mentions: 946 out of 5,675 reviews
Average Room Rate: $315.83, according to Kayak
(Courtesy: The Shelburne, An Affinia Hotel)
No. 5 Affinia Shelburne, New York City
At this Murray Hill hotel, east of Grand Central, making the bed involves coordinating a down-filled bed pad with a goose-filled duvet that’s slipped between the top and bottom sheets (250 thread count). The Sealy Posturepedic mattress is designed to eliminate the kind of pressure that causes tossing and turning. Top it all off with your preferred selections from the pillow menu.
Sample Reviews: “The bed was fab especially after a long day.” (TripAdvisor). “Bedding was nice. Sheeted white comforters, bolster pillows, and a pillow menu made the beds very comfortable.” (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 90.61
Bed Mentions: 458 out of 2,119 reviews
Average Room Rate: $302.60, according to Kayak
(Courtesy: Sofitel Luxury Hotels)
No. 6 Sofitel New York
The 398-room Sofitel in Midtown has its own branded experience: SoBed, introduced in 2005. “The custom-designed (Serta) mattress and box spring are acclaimed for their unique balance of sensitivity and support,” explains PR rep Jamie Donovan. In the past year, hundreds of guests were inspired to go online and post their own words of praise for that sleep experience, which is embellished by 300-thread-count Yves Delorme sheets, a feather bed, and a down duvet from Pacific Coast Feather Company.
Sample Reviews: “The most comfortable bed that I have ever been on—the fluffiest pillow that I have ever slept on!” (Yelp). “Very comfortable bed.” (Tablethotels.com). “The bed was amazing! It was like a huge marshmallow and super cosy!” (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 90.45
Bed Mentions: 534 out of 2,205 reviews
Average Room Rate: $442.09, according to Kayak
Staybridge Suites Times Square (Photo: Starving Artist Productions/ NY Hotel Management/Staybridge Suites Times Square)
No. 7 Staybridge Suites Times Square, New York City
Staybridge promises guests “the comforts of home” and seems to be delivering in the sleep department. Pillow-top Serta mattresses are made with three sheets (250 thread count with a cotton-polyester blend) and a duvet in between. Four pillows come standard, though you can request extras and choose between down or fiber.
Sample Reviews: “The beds were extremely comfortable which was great after a long day of sight seeing.” (TripAdvisor). “Best of all, it had the most comfortable bed that I have ever slept in (outside my own!).” (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 90.32
Bed Mentions: 558 out of 3,647 reviews
Average Room Rate: $330.86, according to Kayak
New York-New York, Las Vegas (Courtesy: MGM Resorts International)
No. 8 New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
New York–New York has the lowest average room rate among these hotels, and the hotel website brags about its affordability: “Yes, the hotel rooms are nice. Yes, they’re priced really low. No, there’s no catch.” Enthusiastic reviews suggest that guests agree—maybe they sleep better knowing that at least they came out ahead on the hotel bill. Prestige Suite II mattresses with 220-thread-count Sobel sheets outfit the beds, from the Park Avenue rooms up to the Penthouse Suite.
Sample Reviews: “The biggest difference were the pillow-top beds. They were fantastic. I had the flu so a nice comfortable bed was exactly what I needed after having had a long drive.” (Expedia). “Nice comfy beds…clean…and not to mention the really cool rollercoaster on the roof.” (Gogobot). “The beds and linens were amazing and made for a great night’s sleep.” (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 88.98
Bed Mentions: 1,252 out of 10,516 reviews
Average Room Rate: $158.66, according to Kayak
(Courtesy: Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground)
No. 9 Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground
Less than a 10-minute walk from Disneyland, this HoJo caters to families, with large rooms that sleep up to five (some come with bunk beds). With so many to a room, fights—pillow and otherwise—may seem inevitable and a good night’s sleep elusive. Yet the hotel rises to the challenge, outfitting its beds with Simmons Beautyrest pillow-top mattresses with triple sheeting (300 count). And improvements are in the works, according to sales director William Simpson, who revealed that the hotel will be introducing a newer AirCool technology mattress. “After a long day at Disneyland, a good night’s sleep is essential,” he observes.
Sample Reviews: “I do have to mention how comfortable the beds were… We all slept gloriously!” (Expedia). “We slept well in the comfy beds with lots of pillows.” (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 88.29
Bed Mentions: 521 out of 2,229 reviews
Average Room Rate: $186.30, according to Kayak
(Courtesy: InterContinental New York Times Square)
No. 10 InterContinental New York Times Square
Each of the 607 rooms at this sleek high-rise hotel delivers a stimulating view of the Manhattan skyline, Hudson River, and Broadway from floor-to-ceiling windows. Yet the room interiors are designed to soothe, from the walk-in rain showers to the Simmons Beautyrest Granville Terrace pillow-top mattresses with custom 325-thread-count sheets — the color of champagne — and four pillows. Communications manager Victoria Zuffranieri notes: “InterContinental is evolving its bedding standards and later this year will roll out a specially tailored mattress.”
Sample Review: “The beds were fantastic and it was one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in!!” (TripAdvisor).
TrustYou Bed Score: 87.96
Bed Mentions: 648 out of 3,651 reviews
Average Room Rate: $431.76, according to Kayak
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