Back to Hotel Basics: Offering Guests a Good Night’s Sleep

No matter what your hotel is proud of most, stop for a moment and remember the hotel basics.  Much as you might hate to admit it, at the heart of every booking of every hotel is one driving factor: guests need a place to sleep. 


Don’t lose sight of this basic hotel need or you’ll end up with a contingent of grumpy travelers checking out in the morning – or worse, not telling the hotel directly and instead sharing a bad review to colleagues or online.  Fifty-five percent of travelers said they look for reviews that specifically address sleep quality in a TripAdvisor survey and a good night’s rest impacts everyone.  Although you can’t cater to everyone’s sleeping quirks, all hotels can work toward providing a restful stay.




Bedding has become such a selling point for brands that some chains go as far as to sell mattress and linens for home use.  That speaks volumes about how much the actual bed impacts a guest’s stay.


Not all hotels can invest millions in sleep research or upgrade all their rooms to high-end linens, but every property should strive to offer a bed and pillows that offer support.  Pillow menus are a great way to offer variety for different sleeping styles without having extras stored in every room.  Particularly if guests don’t have access to adjust their own thermostat, have extra blankets available as well and don’t overlook guests who may just want an extra thin sheet if the standard duvet is too warm.




For light sleepers, noise pollution is a common hotel complaint.  It isn’t sensible to expect complete silence in a property with hundreds of guests, but travelers should and do expect a reasonable amount of quiet throughout their stay.  


Large overhauls like mounting TVs on soundproofing material to muffle volume to the room next door or installing new windows and doors pack a big punch.  However, even smaller gestures can make a big difference.  Make sure all alarms are switched off and that in-room appliances (like air conditioners and minibars) are properly serviced to run quietly at night.  If the hotel is busy and guests need to be booked into noisier rooms (like those near the breakfast room or elevator), consider low-cost solutions like offering free earplugs or a download of a white noise app.




According to the National Sleep Foundation, 73% of Americans say a dark room is important for good sleep.  Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest ways for a hotel to improve sleeping conditions.


Black-out curtains and/or darkening shades are only modestly more expensive than standard drapes, making them a great investment for hotels.  Other things that a hotel can easily change are dimming electronics like alarm clocks to their lowest setting and using LED lightbulbs in corridors since they emit light in the less-disturbing blue part of the spectrum in case light seeps in under the doorway.




Unfortunately, travel is stressful and disruptive to normal routines, whether from jet lag, packed schedules, travel delays, or navigating new environments.  Internal body clocks don’t always coincide with local daytime hours, so it’s important to provide a sleep-conducive environment, regardless of what time the clock displays.  


When in doubt, treat all travelers like they have a “do not disturb” sign up and make it easy for them to provide feedback at a time convenient for them, rather than the other way around.   With guest communication services like TrustYou Messaging, good-intentioned calls after arrival may be replaced with text messages, a less intrusive method of contacting your guests without disturbing their routines. 


Anyone who’s ever tossed and turned all night can attest to how bad sleep ruins your day.  On the other hand, a good night’s rest sets travelers up to enjoy the rest of their stay instead of focusing on the negative.  While these suggestions address the biggest aspects impacting sleep quality, stay on the lookout for recurring themes in guest reviews to ensure you’re addressing specific factors at your hotel.


And if all else fails, offering a complimentary cup of fresh-brewed coffee is always a step in the right direction.