Hotel-goers have varied preferences when it comes to staying in hotels, such as mattress characteristics, nighttime routines, and what they prefer to have on their bedside tables. The data is part of a new study conducted online by global research company Ipsos on behalf of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in the United States, Great Britain, Russia, and China. The study includes a sample of 3,148 respondents.
Creatures of Habit
Hotel goers reflect a mixed result on which bedtime rituals are most important to their sleep routine: four in ten say watching TV (41%) or taking a hot shower/bath (41%), followed by: dimming the lights (33%), reading a good book (25%), changing the room temperature (22%), listening to soothing music (20%), following your beauty regimen (17%), being intimate (15%) and sharing/reviewing your day on social media (8%). One in ten (11%) say none of the above.
In China (61%) and Russia (57%), the top bedtime ritual appears to be taking a hot shower or bath, while in the United States it is watching TV (52%) and in Great Britain it is reading a good book (36%).
Gender perspective: In the Great Britain, women prefer reading a book (44%) while men prefer watching TV (32%). Russian women most prefer taking a hot shower or bath (68%) while Russian men most prefer watching TV (55%).
Perhaps the only clear agreement among respondents appears to be that, when traveling, a majority (72%) sleeps on the same side of the bed as they do at home: 75% in the United States and China, 73% in Great Britain, and 62% in Russia. Majorities across all age groups and gender, within each country studies, say they sleep on the same side of the bed.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
International travelers appear to have split views on what would make the best night’s sleep at a hotel. They show a slight preference for medium (50%) over firm (28%) or soft (14%) mattresses, with varied intensities. Chinese respondents show the strongest preference for medium mattresses (62% over 17% for soft and 16% for firm), followed by respondents from Russia (57% medium, 20% firm, 13% soft) and the United States (43% medium, 32% firm, 19% soft). Respondents in Great Britain are tied between favoring firm (43%) and medium (41%) mattresses. Only 7% across all countries show no preference.
Gender perspective: In the United States, both genders prefer a medium mattress. Men (36%), however, are more likely than women (28%) to prefer firm mattresses while women (22%) are more likely than men (16%) to prefer it soft. In Great Britain, men are most likely to prefer a firm (47%) over a medium (37%) or soft (7%) mattress while women are most likely to pick a medium (46%) or firm (39%) over a soft (9%) mattress. There are no statistically significant gender differences in China or Russia.
Respondents indicate that there are a variety of different items that a hotel could provide to help them have a better night’s sleep. Two in ten indicate that bath salts/oils for a soothing bath (23%), oils for a relaxing scent in the room (22%), herbal tea (21%), ear plugs (19%) and music (18%), could help. Other items selected include: eye mask (15%), guaranteed wakeup call (15%), comfortable pajamas (14%), books (13%), white noise machine (11%), hot water bottle (11%) and pillow spray (9%). Three in ten (29%) say none of these.
There is great regional difference on this measure. Russians are most likely to pick herbal tea (39%) as something a hotel could provide to help them have a better night’s sleep, while those from Great Britain are most likely to pick ear plugs (29%). In China it is comfortable pajamas (27%) while in the United States it is a white noise machine (23%).
Gender perspective: In the United States, women are most likely to pick oils for a relaxing scent in the room (26%) as something a hotel could provide to help them have a better night’s sleep while men are most likely to pick a white noise machine (23%). In China, women are also most likely to pick scented oils (31%) while men are most likely to pick music (26%).
Those who have ever stayed in a hotel were asked which one of the following items is important for them to have near/on their nightstand when traveling, and a majority (56%) select an outlet for electrical devices (ie: smartphone, tablet) and a table lamp (56%). Half or less select phone (50%), remote control (44%), alarm clock (40%), window blinds master switch (13%), and an iPod doc (8%) while 2% say other. The strongest preference is in Russia, where 68% of respondents choose a phone as the most important item to have at their nightstand while traveling. The top item in China is an outlet for electrical devices (61%), in Great Britain it is a table lamp (61%) and in the United States it is an alarm clock (58%).
Gender perspective: In Great Britain, the top night table choice for women is a table lamp (70%) while for men it is a tie, though at a considerable distance, between table lamp and electrical outlet (51%). In the United States, women also prefer a table lamp (65%) and men prefer either an alarm clock (57%) or a remote control (57%).
For the Love of a Good Hotel Bed
Nearly half of respondents who have ever stayed in a hotel (44%) indicate they wish they could make their bed at home the same way it’s made in a hotel. Those in China (66%) are most likely to feel this way, followed by Russia (41%), the United States (39%), and Great Britain (30%).
Among those who have ever stayed in a hotel, three in ten (31%) say they have ever wanted to take home the hotel bed/pillows/duvet because the sleep was so good. Americans are most likely to want to take it home (44%), followed by 33% in Great Britain and Russia. Chinese respondents are least likely (15%) to say so.
Snapshot on age: Young Americans are most likely to say they wanted to take home the bed item (52%), considerably more so than older (50-64: 35%) and middle-age (35-49: 44%) Americans. The trend is true in all countries surveyed: Russia (under 35: 46%, 35-49: 27%, 50-64: 23%), Great Britain (under 35: 39%, 35-49: 30%, 50-64: 29%), and China (under 35: 27%, 35-49: 10%, 50-64: 2%).
Hotel goers select a wide variety of items that have distracted them from getting a good night sleep when traveling, with noise being the top factor both across (52%) and within all four countries: Great Britain (63%), the United States (52%), Russia (53%), and China (40%). Other distractions on the aggregate level include: room temperature (37%), uncomfortable bedding (31%), no fresh air (26%), unpleasant odor (25%), jet lag (18%), lighting (17%), not enough blankets (11%), and interruptions from housekeeping (10%). Only 18% say none of these have distracted them from getting a good night’s sleep while traveling.