Simplicity and subtlety are critical elements of hotel bedding

Fil Doux Textiles has unveiled its first bed throw collection, Sueño. It consists of three patterns customizable with seven colors. The Coconut Grove pattern is a graphic stripe designed to exude a three-dimensional effect; Fire Island is a small-scale chevron design (shown); and Hamptons is a clean, minimal stripe.

The bed is arguably the focal point of the guestroom, central to the experience, and hotels need to continue delivering a luxurious, comfortable experience for guests.

Frederico Galligani, general manager of Hotel Castello di Casole – A Timbers Resort, said, “Proper sleep and restful sleep are on the top of the list of any traveler, and there is huge knowledge, preference and awareness among customers about comfort, rest and well-being.”

While rest never goes out of style, the role of the bed is evolving—and that means bedding must evolve with it. “The bed has become the number-one work zone in hotels,” said Christine Shanahan, managing director of design at HVS Design. “We would love to see more products that accommodate this function, such as ink-resistant bedding, more power at the bedside or possibly including a mobile or portable hard surface that could be at the ready for use.”

Shanahan said that, above all else, owners look for platform beds. “The platform bed is guiding new looks and decisions, such as lower bed heights, top-of-the-line mattresses and opportunities for color, texture and varying materials at the base. It requires less effort and maintenance while looking fresh and clean all the time. Owners are looking to the bed to lead the story of luxury. While other elements have become necessary in a guestroom, such as technology and convenience, nothing will trump the effects of a good night’s sleep. We are working closely with owners and manufacturers to develop the proper mattress selection when using a platform bed, as well as coordinating the heights and construction of these elements to ensure the result for the guest is a good night’s sleep,” she said.

Appearance matters almost as much as comfort. Alan Benjamin, president of Benjamin West, identified the current look of bedding as “clean, simple and practical—an overall ‘less is more’ approach. This trend is the white bed and bed-box cover. In my opinion, the white bed focuses on cleanliness perception. There are no busy patterns to hide behind or bed throws to wonder how long since it’s been cleaned.

“The top of the bed is pretty much all white—we are not seeing the multiple accent pillows or bed throws, all of which usually wind up being thrown on the floor,” he continued. “For a pop of color, some designers are still using a decorative accent throw pillow. We’re seeing more boxspring covers—typically solid colors or a small pattern or tone-on-tone look—with plinth-style bed bases in lieu of bed skirts and frames.”

“There is a consistent trend to bright and white bedding,” Shanahan said. “However, neutrals, textures and a clean palette are making their way back as accents. We are seeing a strong trend toward simple and straightforward, but with selective, subtle hints of punctuation and luxury, whether it’s a chunky merino wool throw or a velvet pillow.”

In previous seasons, bedding focused on decorative touches. “Accent bedding selections were more about bold statements and obvious patterns,” Shanahan explained. “Now, we can accomplish a softer feel at the bed by starting with an upholstered platform bed base, adding an upgraded mattress and completing it with a simple but luxurious bed throw. 

“We love the reintroduction of simple bedding accents,” she continued. “Over the years, the accent bed pillow and bed throw have been challenged as unnecessary or unwanted, but these items are the very pieces that differentiate a bed from feeling sterile to feeling warm.”

Benjamin identified bed boxes as a new trend in bedding, though they present challenges. “The biggest challenge I see with the bed-box cover trend is how these are put on the bed,” he said. “We have heard many comments of these not fitting properly and viewed photos of how these don’t look right. In many cases, it comes down to them not being installed correctly.”

At the end of the day, guest satisfaction is the goal, and a good night’s sleep is the quickest way to get there. “We work carefully to select fabrics and finishes that are easily cleanable but luxurious,” Shanahan said. “This combination ensures both happy owners and happy guests.”

“More than technology, I would suggest everyone in the industry begin investing in proper mattresses and luxury linen,” concluded Galligani. “There is nothing more rewarding than being contacted back by your clients, asking to purchase pillows, duvet and linen used at the hotel.”

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