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The Real Lessons of the Hotel Bed Wars

Hotel_beddingThe New York Times reports (registration required) that pretty much every chain that is likely to upgrade their bedding has probably done so -- and despite claims that this is something that guests say they want, there is no corresponding research that supports this.

So what have we learned?

The first thing is, customers will rarely - if ever - tell you what it is that they want. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers hotel analyst Bjorn Hansen, even without asking for bedding in the first place, "Most travelers seem to be extremely positive about the improved quality of beds and bedding." Westin sold $10 million in bedding accessories to its customers last year.

Secondly, hotel sampling has led to other changes in home consumption patterns. Hanson also noted that the bedding revolution has led to changes in the way people sleep at home, with guests modernizing their bedrooms after sleeping in hotel beds. As I've blogged before, hotels are increasingly becoming an influencer of consumer habits.

(In a similar vein, the HotelChatter blog reports that the Healthy Hotels Guide will be rating individual hotels and the cleanliness of their bedding, and posting the results online.)

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