Waking Up To Sleep Tourism

When you strip down what a hotel is all about -- even with all the frills and amenities that now come with an overnight stay -- it’s sleep. A guest might enjoy a hotel restaurant or fitness center, but refreshing slumber is a real priority.

With the importance of sleep now increasingly recognized for its physical and emotional health values, the emergence of “sleep tourism” has hotels seeking to distinguish themselves on that front. A good example is the Conrad New York Downtown, a luxury property that is part of the Hilton network.

The hotel launched the Goodnight Conrad Package a few months ago to keep guests well rested and refreshed during their New York stays and to offer a bit of serenity amidst the city’s hustle and bustle. It includes:

  • Silk sleep mask, to keep guests from being disturbed by any light
  • Scented sleep therapy balm --calming scents to help guests relax
  • A bedside reading meditation card that puts the guest in the right state of a mind for a good night’s sleep
  • Use of a Yogasleep natural white noise machine



Everything but the noise machine can be taken home. There are also humidifiers available on request and an optional add-on ($45) of a Jo Malone Lavender & Moonflower Pillow Mist (a scent for your pillow).

Chintan Dadhich, thegeneral manager, said sleep tourism encompasses two elements: the choice of where you spend the night; and the comfort of the guest, which is critical in getting to sleep.

While he could not divulge the number of sleep package bookings that have been made, Dadhich said there are three to four inquiries a week and bookings are being made.

The package, said Dadhich, was developed by thinking through all elements of sleep – from winding down from the day, to getting comfortable, falling and then staying asleep. “Guests are looking for something more intentional,” he said, adding that the hotel had created a “turn-key solution” for  customers  who can now intentionally focus on sleep and relaxation.

As for marketing the package, Dadhich said that social media has been “a great tool” with the leveraging of travel influencers. In addition, the hotel has shared the package with local, national and trade media outlets and it can also be found on the Conrad’s website.

Of course,  experts have weighed in on all this. According to a CNN Travel article last year, Dr. Rebecca Robbins, a sleep researcher and co-author of the book “Sleep for Success!,” believes this shift has been a long time coming, particularly with regards to hotels.

“People often associate travel with decadent meals, extending their bed times, the attractions and the things you do while you’re traveling, really almost at the cost of sleep,” she said. “Now, I think there’s just been a huge seismic shift in our collective awareness and prioritization on wellness and wellbeing.”

Hotels will probably not stop promoting decadent meals or staying up late at the bar, but they should also be more cognizant about --  and more proactively market -- a great night of rest.

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