When you visit New York City, there’s no shortage of hotels to choose from. If there’s one thing this city knows, it’s how to get heads into beds. Did you know: According to Smith Travel Research, at the end of 2013, New York City had 106,000 existing hotel rooms, 12,600 rooms under construction and 11,500 rooms in the planning phase? I don’t know what the exact numbers are today but I do know that’s a LOT of hotel rooms in one city.
So how do you choose the one that’s right for you? Besides weighing the obvious considerations like location and rates, how about trying to find the hotel that will ensure the best night’s sleep?
On a recent trip to New York City, my wife and I checked into The Benjamin. It’s a luxury boutique hotel in midtown Manhattan and it just underwent a full-scale renovation to the tune of $10 million. The new look is chic and our one-bedroom suite on the 22nd floor was huge and featured a swank terrace overlooking New York City.
But the thing I liked best about the hotel was its Rest and Renew program. Led by sleep specialist Rebecca Robbins, The Benjamin’s sleep program is designed to ensure that guests are getting the best rest possible. Rebecca is the author of Sleep For Success and she travels internationally, speaking about the latest in sleep research. She also heads up the hotel’s sleep program by making sure that guests can have a personalized experience that results in a great night’s sleep.
My wife and I each filled out a short survey about our before bed routines and our sleep habits and patterns. Rebecca looked at our results and emailed us each her analysis and recommendations to help us improve our sleep. For instance, my wife is a stomach sleeper so Rebecca recommended that she use a really low pillow to prevent any neck strain.
And speaking of pillows, you can choose yours from the hotel’s Pillow Menu, which features 10 different pillow types, tailored to all kinds of sleepers – from kids to pregnant women, from side sleepers to back sleepers.
The idea of giving guests the perfect night’s sleep also extends into the design of the rooms. You’ll find blackout shades on the windows and analog alarm clocks on the bedside tables. I loved this because I’m super sensitive to any light in the room at night (it drives my wife nuts the way I’m constantly covering up every light before bed.) But obviously I’m not alone; Rebecca says that the light from digital alarm clocks can really disrupt your sleep, hence the analog clocks. And blackout curtains are an essential in my opinion. Every hotel should have them. Need a snack before bed? The hotel restaurants’ chef, Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, offers guests a menu of items all endorsed by Rebecca that are low-iron and low-sugar and around 200 calories, to tide you over until morning.
This hotel was really great – beautiful new rooms, a great restaurant on the first floor (The National – try it; you’ll love it) and a great location in the heart of New York City. But the sleep program is what really impressed me. As a frequent traveler who’s often tired and/or jet-lagged, I really appreciate this attention to rest. (I got shingles earlier this year from too much travel and being over tired, so rest is increasingly more important to me.) Guests can have a personalized sleep consultation any time at the hotel, either with Rebecca herself or with any one of the trained Sleep Team staff members.
So the next time you’re in New York City and looking for a place to stay, check out The Benjamin. After running all over one of the world’s greatest cities, you’ll be happy to check in to a place where you know you’ll have sweet dreams.