I’m not saying that I haven’t had the occasional night when, because of a stuffy nose or pure exhaustion, I’ve been the guilty party. But nine times out of 10, I’m awakened (or even worse, can’t drop off at all) because Bob is snoring. This is particularly aggravating when you’ve splurged on a good dinner and a nice hotel room, and are looking forward to a night away from the routine.
So when The Benjamin, a boutique hotel in midtown Manhattan, came up with a Sleep Program, I was intrigued. I already knew about the place, primarily as the home of Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant, The National. But when I found out that they’ve got a Sleep Concierge who is charged with guaranteeing their guests a good night’s sleep, I booked a room.
The week before our visit, I received an email asking me to fill out a form regarding preferences for pillows. There are a dozen choices, but I didn’t have to think twice before checking off the “Snore-No-More” for Bob. I had a more difficult time deciding on my own pillow—Buckwheat sounded pretty restful (or was I just thinking of life on some fantasy farm?), but once I found Magnetic therapy, which promised to soothe tense muscles and improve skin tone, I was sold.
When we arrived at our room at The Benjamin—I should say our suite, since all accommodations come with living rooms and kitchenettes—the pillows were already on the bed. We had dinner downstairs (Zakarian’s “Ugly Burger” is a lot more delicious than it sounds), and after, lounged around in our suite, flipping through channels and staring at the lights of Lexington Avenue stretching miles to the north.
And then, the test. I settled in, pulled on the complimentary silk eyemask, slipped into the Egyptian cotton sheets, and…stared at the ceiling. I tossed, turned, and decided I hated my pillow. Bob, on the other hand, had dozed right off. Luckily, the nighttime Sleep Concierge was on call and, 20 minutes later, arrived at our door with the Cloud, apparently the hotel’s most popular pillow, with 10 million air beads.
Bob woke up during the pillow exchange, but dang if that guy didn’t turn right over and fall back asleep. Me? I adjusted my eyemask, gave the pillow a good punch, and lay back down. I looked over at the bedside clock—one of those nice, old-fashioned kinds with actual arms. Midnight.
The next thing I knew, sunlight was streaming through a crack in the curtains, and Bob was in the living room, making a racket with the morning paper. It was 9 A.M. and I’d just slept longer than I had since giving birth. The funny thing was, I wasn’t sure if I’d slept so well because of those 10 million air beads, or because the Snore-No-More held up its end of the bargain. It doesn’t matter. I shall return.
This post was written by Sally Kilbridge. As the country’s foremost expert on destination weddings and romantic travel, Sally is the creator and editor-in-chief of a new website, Destinationw.com, as well as the go-to resource for CNTraveler.com, the website of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Formerly the deputy editor at Conde Nast’s Brides magazine, Kilbridge writes about travel, food, weddings, and home for national and foreign print and digital publications.