The jury rests

Mat­tress wars are hot­ting up as ho­tels lure guests with more lux­u­ri­ous bed­ding. Our in­spec­tors go un­der the cov­ers

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

AND so to sleep: the days are gone when a bed was just a bed. In the com­pet­i­tive world of five-star ac­com­mo­da­tion, ho­tels are in­tro­duc­ing pre­mium mat­tresses, cloud-soft un­der­lays and squishy doonas, pil­lows of all shapes and tex­tures, and sound­sleep in­duce­ments such as aro­mather­a­py­based toi­letries and herbal teas. The Four Sea­sons Tokyo of­fers guests six kinds of ec­cen­tric-sound­ing pil­lows, in­clud­ing cy­press chips and buck­wheat chaff.

From Sof­i­tel’s MyBed to Mar­riott’s Re­vive, this is no to­ken approach: in most cases, guests who love their ho­tel sleep can or­der the bed­ding for home. It’s an­other way for ac­com­mo­da­tion groups to con­sol­i­date guest loy­alty and to ex­tend the ex­pe­ri­ence: fre­quent-sleeper pro­grams, one could say.

In all cases, we have tried Syd­ney ho­tels, but the bed­ding is mostly uni­ver­sal across the re­spec­tive ho­tel chains; some mod­i­fi­ca­tions may have been made for in­ter­na­tional cli­mate zones. Sof­i­tel in French Poly­ne­sia, for ex­am­ple, fea­tures a lighter ver­sion of its MyBed, more suit­able for the trop­ics.

With tongue firmly in cheek, man­age­ment at the Outrig­ger on the La­goon, on Fiji’s Coral Coast, refers to its Westin Heav­enly Bed clone as the Hell of a Bed.

Here’s how 10 five-star ho­tels stack up.

Sof­i­tel Went­worth Syd­ney

EMBED­DED re­porters never had it this good: Sof­i­tel’s MyBed was one of the first to hit the in­ter­na­tional ho­tel junkie’s radar and re­tains its leader crown.

Sof­i­tel Went­worth Syd­ney is un­der­go­ing re­fur­bish­ment and will un­veil its revved-up look next month, com­plete with the up­dated Paris Sof­i­tel MyBed. Those who’ve tried the ex­ist­ing MyBed may find it hard to imag­ine how it could be im­proved. But the new model is all goose down and feath­ers (re­plac­ing duck), with win­ter and sum­mer weights, and uses all-nat­u­ral hypo-al­ler­genic ma­te­ri­als.

No princess, no mat­ter how fussy, could pos­si­bly feel a pea un­der this lot. The mat­tress top­per is like marsh­mal­low (and sur­pris­ingly sup­port­ive, de­spite its airy fluffi­ness) and the snowy bed linen is talc soft.

For the full Posh-and-Becks faux-roy­alty ex­trav­a­ganza, book a So Sof­i­tel Pre­mier Pack­age and have a but­ler on hand to scat­ter roses, run a treat­ment bath (de­signed by Anita Lat­touf of the ho­tel’s Lat­touf Hair Spa us­ing Aveda’s Caribbean soak and scrub prod­ucts, smelling of lime, mango and ve­tiver) and serve af­ter­noon tea with Lenotre patis­series and a four-course din­ner.

Oh, and to plump the Paris MyBed pil­lows, of course. Brand­ing: Sof­i­tel MyBed. Mat­tress: Patented ex­tra-thick high­den­sity box spring. Goose down and feather king-sized mat­tress top­per is 183cm x 204cm.

Sheets: 230-thread count, pure cot­ton or blend.

Cover: Paris du­vets of goose feather and down; two sea­sonal weights. Stitch­ing for­mat en­sures a con­sis­tent plump­ness.

Pil­lows: Over­sized, filled with goose down and feather.

Where: All Sof­i­tels. Sof­i­tel Went­worth Syd­ney is the first in Aus­tralia with the Paris ver­sion; oth­ers to fol­low.

Take home: Feather du­vets, pil­lows and com­forters avail­able via SoBou­tique (de­liv­ery from Europe; lo­cal site will be set up this year). Un­til Au­gust 31, 10 guests at any Sof­i­tel in Aus­tralia or New Zealand have a chance to win a Sof­i­tel MyBed val­ued at more than $3200. www.sof­i­tel.com.

Bou­quets: The ul­ti­mate sleep ex­pe­ri­ence in serene room with thick cur­tains and per­fect light­ing.

Brick­bats: If it’s MyBed, why can’t I take it home? Susan Kuro­sawa

Shangri-La Syd­ney, The Rocks

THE bed is su­perb, the view sub­lime, but what re­ally im­presses is the per­fec­tion of the ap­ples in the com­pli­men­tary fruit bowl, so ripely red and highly pol­ished they dazzle. We won­der if the ho­tel em­ploys an ap­ple buf­fer or per­haps it’s a sec­ondary duty of the young man who comes to our room with a wel­com­ing pot of Chi­nese tea, which he pours with great cer­e­mony, soon af­ter we check in.

In the early evening, the lights are dimmed, the green-and-gold silk bed­cover and some of the pro­fu­sion of cush­ions and bol­sters are whisked away (leav­ing four de­li­ciously plump goose down and feather pil­lows) and bot­tles of min­eral wa­ter and mono­grammed slip­pers are placed be­side the su­per-sized bed.

Most charm­ing, how­ever, is a sou­venir book­mark fea­tur­ing an ex­tract from James Hil­ton’s 1933 book LostHori­zon , which is left on the bed: ‘‘ But here at Shangri-La, all was in deep calm.’’

All is calm, too, in this bed with a view, thanks to the room’s tall win­dows with low sills; we draw the heavy drapes and sink into the sub­limely soft mat­tress and fall asleep, lulled by the faintest whis­per of traf­fic stream­ing across the Har­bour Bridge. Brand­ing: None. Mat­tress: Sim­mons Beautyrest, 25cm thick, 810 coils. Top­per is a mix of 75 per cent goose down and 25 per cent goose feather.

Sheets: Pure cot­ton; 300-thread count in most rooms; 800 in top-rated ac­com­mo­da­tion. Cover: Goose feather and down doona. Pil­lows: Menu of feather, anti-snore, buck­wheat, foam or bol­ster.

Where: Mat­tresses, pil­lows and linen are stan­dard­ised in all Shangri-La ho­tels and re­sorts, with some vari­a­tion be­tween reg­u­lar and Hori­zon Club floors.

Take home: Bed sup­plier can be pro­vided on re­quest. www.shangri-la.com.

Bou­quets: Bed with a view; ex­tracts from a lit­er­ary clas­sic; those per­fect ap­ples.

Brick­bats: Large mar­ble bath­room chilly in mid­win­ter. Sue Milne

Park Hy­att Syd­ney

SOME­TIMES you just can’t say no to ex­cess. At about 10cm wider than a stan­dard king bed, the Park Hy­att’s Grand King is lux­u­ri­ously large enough to lose your­self and your loved one. With a sump­tu­ous mat­tress top­per over a 33cm-deep, pil­low-top sup­port mat­tress, the bed is bliss­ful.

Dual-lay­ered, dou­ble-glazed doors keep the room whis­per quiet above the bus­tle of the west Cir­cu­lar Quay wa­ter­front. The flat-screen TV can be swiv­elled to watch from bed or moved to avoid an­noy­ing LED stand-by lights. And to save you mov­ing once you’re feel­ing al­most co­matose, the sheer and black­out cur­tains are re­mote con­trolled. Af­ter a deep slum­ber, if the har­bour and city views don’t have you jump­ing out of bed, guests are pro­vided with a route map to start the day with an in­vig­o­rat­ing walk or jog along the beau­ti­ful har­bour or his­toric Rocks precinct. Brand­ing: Made ex­clu­sively for Hy­att. Mat­tress: The Hy­att Grand Bed fea­tures a made-to-or­der, no-flip pil­low-top mat­tress and three-part com­fort sup­port sys­tem. The UniCased Edge de­sign en­sures the mat­tress re­tains its shape and re­sists body im­pres­sions. The Pos­ture­pedic in­ner­spring sys­tem pro­vides or­tho­pe­di­cally cor­rect back sup­port, re­duc­ing toss­ing and turn­ing. Each Hy­att Grand Bed in­cludes 23cm Shock Abz­zor­ber Plus spring unit with a 10-year war­ranty.

Sheets: 280-thread count; cus­tom-made for over­sized Grand King.

Cover: Doonas are 50 per cent duck down and 50 per cent feather.

Pil­lows: Over­size king rec­tan­gu­lar (80cm long), large square (Euro­pean style) and stan­dard size on the bed (two of each); same down com­po­si­tion as doonas.

Where: Hy­atts Aus­tralia-wide and across the world.

Take home: Grand King (twin, full and queen also avail­able) and ac­ces­sories: www.hy­att.com or www.hy­at­tath­ome.com.

Bou­quets: Turn­down ser­vice in­cludes a Lindt choco­late and bot­tled wa­ter. Thought­ful touches to ease guests into bliss­ful dreams in­clude laven­der-based T2 Sleep Tight Tea and Botan­i­cals green tea and pas­sion­flower oil (with burner).

Brick­bats: Wish we could sleep in longer. Sharon Fowler

Taj BLUE, Wool­loomooloo

THE for­mer W Ho­tel is now a funky flag­ship for the In­dia-based Taj ho­tel group.

Its har­bour­side lo­ca­tion and mar­itime his­tory (the ho­tel is housed within a for­mer wool and cargo-han­dling wharf and sheds) make this a tri­umphantly Syd­ney place to stay.

In the split-level suites, bed­rooms are up­stairs, cen­tre-stage in small­ish lofts and an­gled to the wa­tery views; a hook is pro­vided to open and close blinds on two sky­lights (if on the north­ern side, the spiki­est bits of the city sky­line seem to hover in th­ese squares of sky).

The bed is huge, made to look even more oceanic by an over­sized suede head­board. The pil­lows are lay­ered with a quilted sham un­der soft cot­ton cases edged with a navy stripe, a la Ralph Lauren.

The decor theme is cobalt, the tac­tile tex­tures are mo­hair and wool; even the glasses are a shiny navy. All of this blue­ness clev­erly echoes the har­bour be­yond.

The civilised break­fast menu in­cludes gourmet herbal teas (from Bengali chai to Chi­nese green sen­cha), freshly squeezed juices that tran­scend the usual orange-ap­ple line-up, and an In­dian masala omelet hum­ming with spice. Just the thing to get you on your way af­ter a night of plush com­fort be­side the har­bour. Brand­ing: No house brand. Mat­tress: Sealy Ex­ec­u­tive Com­fort Plush with pil­low top.

Sheets: 300-thread count Egyp­tian cot­ton from Sphinx Col­lec­tions. Cover: Goose-down doona. Pil­lows: Four stan­dard on king-sized bed; pil­low menu soon to be in­tro­duced. Where: Taj BLUE Syd­ney. Take home: Con­tact ex­ec­u­tive house­keeper Melissa Tracey: melissa.tracey@tajho­tels.com; www.tajho­tels.com.

Bou­quets: Aveda toi­letries in tin­gling mint and rose­mary; 800ml bot­tle of Voss arte­sian wa­ter by the bed; Spa Chakra, ar­guably Syd­ney’s best day spa, is a mere stum­ble away. www.spachakra.com.

Brick­bats: Turn­down ser­vice choco­lates are rather passe; read­ing lights should be more di­rec­tional. Susan Kuro­sawa

Four Sea­sons Syd­ney

THE har­bour and city views from Syd­ney’s Four Sea­sons are so stun­ning it’s a shame to close the cur­tains, but this is a sleep test af­ter all. The ho­tel of­fers a turn­down ser­vice dur­ing which room lights are dimmed, sooth­ing mu­sic is played on the bed­side stereo and room tem­per­a­ture ad­justed ac­cord­ing to the sea­son. Heavy, floor-to-ceil­ing cur­tains with vel­cro clo­sures shut out all light.

The ho­tel’s beds — the cor­ner­stone of its Per­fect Sleep pro­gram — have been cus­tom­made by Sealy since 1984. The king-size bed’s four pil­lows aren’t too squishy and have enough give to en­sure your head sinks slowly.

Sleep is a sub­jec­tive thing. I like my mat­tress firm and my light­ing soft, and in my ju­nior suite it’s soft enough to set off the panoramic view and in­crease any chance of ro­mance. The cus­tom-made bed is near per­fect, its mat­tress firm but for­giv­ing. The 300-thread count cot­ton sheets are crisp and tightly tucked, mean­ing you don’t feel as if you’re be­ing rolled into a ke­bab each time you turn.

As a night­cap, try the Sweet Dreams ($28), which in­cludes two minia­ture bot­tles of Bai­ley’s Ir­ish Cream with a se­lec­tion of mixed choco­late truf­fles or the herbal and tea cake ($17), with a pot of anti-stress ‘‘ petal’’ herbal tea and cakes.

Brand­ing: Four Sea­sons bed is cus­tomised by Sealy.

Mat­tress: The Cus­tom Four Sea­sons Ul­tra Plush Pil­low Top by Sealy; 33cm deep; hand­built box springs; 848 coils.

Sheets: 100 per cent cot­ton, 300-thread count; some by Frette.

Cover: Doona filled goose down.

Pil­lows: Four: 25 per cent duck down and 75 per cent duck feather. Foam, hy­poal­ler­genic or buck­wheat also avail­able. Where: All Four Sea­sons ho­tels. Take home: Four Sea­sons be­gan the mat­tress revo­lu­tion in 1984 when it in­tro­duced a spe­cial Sealy model with hand-built boxspring coils and a three-layer pil­low top at its Lon­don ho­tel; it was also the first chain to of­fer its beds for sale. Bed kit avail­able for about $6000 (this in­cludes mat­tress, box spring and frame; bed­ding ex­tra). www.foursea­sons.com.

Bou­quets: 24-hour health and fit­ness fa­cil­i­ties (menu of aro­mather­apy treat­ments) and

with 100 per

cent room ser­vice; L’Oc­c­i­tane toi­letries; deep-soak tub and sep­a­rate shower.

Brick­bats: In­su­la­tion could be bet­ter: even 15 floors up, the late-night buzz of Ge­orge Street can be heard. The television (not flatscreen) is a lit­tle dis­tant from the bed (in­stead, read The Her­mit by Eu­gene Ionesco). Lex Hall

Sher­a­ton on the Park

SHER­A­TON’S Sweet Sleeper bed has the aah fac­tor: in­stantly com­fort­able and supremely snug. All beds come with the Sweet Sleeper set of Sealy Pos­ture­pedic plush-top mat­tress, soft fleece blan­ket and puffy doona. There are five al­lergy-sen­si­tive down pil­lows on each bed, and guests can re­quest a turn­down ser­vice, which in­cludes bot­tled wa­ter.

To soothe those aches be­fore turn­ing in, there’s a mar­ble bath­room with sep­a­rate shower and tub, and a range of qual­ity toi­letries. Fur­nish­ings are sim­ple with a cosy feel and the TV is po­si­tioned at the foot of the bed for con­ve­nient in-bed view­ing. For a healthy start next morn­ing, try yo­ghurt ($9), pan­cakes ($24) or a fruit smoothie ($8) from room ser­vice. Brand­ing: Sher­a­ton Sweet Sleeper Bed. Mat­tress: The Sealy Pos­ture­pedic mat­tress and foun­da­tion used by Sher­a­ton is the No. 1 bed re­tailed in North Amer­ica. Each has a 600-coil Pos­ture­pedic plush top mat­tress ( 29cm mat­tress height with 23cm foun­da­tion). Sheets: Cot­ton sheets, 200-thread count. Cover: The doona is 100 per cent polyester wo­ven into a fine mi­cro de­nier for soft­ness and feel sim­i­lar to nat­u­ral blended ma­te­ri­als. Blan­kets are 85 per cent acrylic and 15 per cent polyester fleece.

Pil­lows: Two nat­u­ral pil­lows (50 per cent feather and down), two syn­thetic Com­forel pil­lows by DuPont (100 per cent hy­poal­ler­genic), and sig­na­ture S-Crest pil­low in mi­cro de­nier polyester fab­ric. Pil­low­cases are made from polyester-cot­ton blend with a thread count of 180.

Where: More than 70,000 Sher­a­ton rooms around the world.

Take home: Cal­i­for­nia king, $1300; other sizes are also avail­able. www.sher­a­ton-ho­tel­sath­ome.com. Bou­quets: Comfy bed­ding, beau­ti­ful bath­room; sheer and sleep-en­hanc­ing black­out cur­tains.

Brick­bats: We have trou­ble reg­u­lat­ing the air­con­di­tion­ing. Sharon Fowler

The Westin Syd­ney

WE have Westin’s bosses to thank for putting in the hard yards, toss­ing and turn­ing on dozens of dif­fer­ent beds and pil­lows for a year to come up with the chain’s aptly named Heav­enly Bed. A job well done.

I’ve never seen a mat­tress like it: topped with such a thick, comfy pil­low-like top that you could al­most fall asleep brush­ing your hand across it, let alone ly­ing down.

The down blan­ket — weighted ac­cord­ing to cli­mate zone — is also a thing of beauty. Add a crisp white-cov­ered doona and four QE2­sized pil­lows, and you have the in­gre­di­ents for a sleep ma­chine. Plus a whop­ping boudoir pil­low (great for loung­ing, though I think it’s meant to be dec­o­ra­tive).

Full marks, too, for the bed­side lights: one for a sub­dued ef­fect, an­other for read­ing. The top-class Bose sound sys­tem is within arm’s reach. Turn­down comes with bot­tled wa­ter. (A ‘‘ bal­anced’’ ver­sion is avail­able in the room for $7 a large bot­tle.)

The TV is flat-screen, nat­u­rally, a size­able 94cm, and po­si­tioned op­po­site the bed, so there’s no need to turn my head. It can even be viewed while in the bath, cour­tesy of a glass screen. The touch of a but­ton brings down a pri­vacy screen.

Mat­tress: Sim­mons Beautyrest, 32cm thick, 960m coils. Baker linen mat­tress pad.

Sheets: Dec­o­ra­tive piped Baker thread count from 180 to 250. Cover: Poly­fill doona with cover. Pil­lows: Four king-sized pil­lows: two feather, two syn­thetic and boudoir pil­low.

Where: Heav­enly Beds are at all Westin ho­tels world­wide. In Syd­ney, rooms have king­sized beds or two dou­bles.

Take home: $3685 for the king-sized ensem­ble, two pil­lows, doona and de­liv­ery. Items can be bought sep­a­rately. In the US, Westin also sells mink-trimmed eye masks and the Heav­enly Dog Bed. www.westin.com/ syd­ney; guests@sleep­maker.com.au.

Bou­quets: The room tem­per­a­ture dis­play can eas­ily be seen from bed and air­con­di­tion­ing is whis­per quiet.

Brick­bats: The height of the huge pil­lows may not be to ev­ery­one’s lik­ing. Barry Oliver

In­terCon­ti­nen­tal Syd­ney

linen, THE king-sized bed is one to sub­side into: its white cot­ton depths and wo­ven oat­meal cover look invit­ing and they ful­fil their prom­ise. There are three good-sized pil­lows lined up (ex­tras in the walk-in wardrobe), plus a bol­ster. Half-duck and half-goose down, with bor­dered cot­ton cov­ers, they bunch and pile ex­actly as needed for sump­tu­ous sleep­ing.

Ex­ec­u­tive house­keeper Ur­sula Dufey, 20 years at the ho­tel, is re­port­edly metic­u­lous about bed-mak­ing and train­ing staff. Hospi­tal cor­ners are im­mac­u­late.

Bed­side lights are fine for read­ing and there’s a con­ven­tional large-screen TV in the bed­room. Turn­down comes with the req­ui­site choco­late (one be­tween two). Cur­tains ex­clude all light, but the har­bour spec­ta­cle should not be ban­ished and in north-fac­ing rooms can be glimpsed from the bed. Brand­ing: None. Mat­tress: Sealy Ex­ec­u­tive range, with cot­ton pro­tec­tor. Best suites have 50 per cent duck and 50 per cent goose down top­per. Sheets: 100 per cent cot­ton. Cover: Doona of 50 per cent duck down and 50 per cent feather; 100 per cent cot­ton cover.

Pil­lows: 50 per cent duck and 50 per cent goose down. Non-al­ler­genic on re­quest. Where: In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tals world­wide. Take home: Not for sale. www.syd­ney.in­tercon­ti­nen­tal.com. Bou­quets: Gen­er­ous bath­room with moun­tains of tow­els.

‘‘

Brick­bats: Ex­tras spar­tan (in­stant cof­fee and unin­spir­ing tea); room and ser­vice in­for­ma­tion only avail­able on TV screen. Ju­dith Elen

Syd­ney Har­bour Mar­riott

IT is like sink­ing into marsh­mal­low: the Mar­riott’s Re­vive bed has the squashiest of mat­tress top­pers, per­fect for a snug win­ter night’s sleep. There are six pil­lows on the oceanic king-sized bed: two pure goose-down in big square Euro­pean style, and four stan­dard, with goose-down and feather fill­ing. A bed­side pil­low menu sug­gests a fur­ther five va­ri­eties, from mi­cro-fi­bre to la­tex.

By the bed at night, in­stead of a choco­late there’s placed a caf­feine-free Tea Tonic or­ganic teabag in a ‘‘ fruity tutti’’ mix of lemon­grass, hibis­cus, orange peel and rasp­berry. The next morn­ing, if I have prob­lems drag­ging my­self from bed, I can or­der a wakeup pack of two cans of Red Bull and a packet of trop­i­cal Be­rocca ($23) or an en­er­gis­ing room-ser­vice ba­nana or straw­berry smoothie ($8). The bed­side lights are fine for read­ing, the TV set is at a per­fect dis­tance from one’s pil­lowed perch, the gen­er­ous cur­tains are lay­ered with sheers and black-outs and there are no shafts of early morn­ing light to stab me awake. Brand­ing: Mar­riott Re­vive. Mat­tress: Comes with a 10cm top­per. Sheets: 300-thread count white cot­ton by Aus­tralian Mills. Cover: Down-filled doona. Pil­lows: Two Euro­pean and four stan­dard on king-sized bed; pil­low menu.

Where: All Mar­riotts in Aus­tralia (NSW, Vic­to­ria and Queens­land) and Court­yard by Mar­riott in North Ryde, NSW; the Re­vive prod­uct will soon be rolled out at Court­yard by Mar­riott in Par­ra­matta, NSW, and Surfers Par­adise, Gold Coast.

Take home: Mar­riott is in the throes of set­ting up the lo­gis­tics. www.mar­riott.com.au.

Bou­quets: The house-brand aro­mather­a­py­blend toi­letries; a pasta, risotto and pizza ad­junct to the room-ser­vice menu is well con­sid­ered.

Brick­bats: Pizza crumbs may dis­ap­pear with­out trace into the su­per-soft canyons of the Re­vive bed. Susan Kuro­sawa

Hil­ton Syd­ney

THE new-look Hil­ton Syd­ney has a good night’s sleep down pat. There’s no branded bed or fancy-pants ac­cou­trements, just a firm cus­tom-made Sealy mat­tress with mushy du­vet and four su­per-comfy pil­lows se­lected from a com­pre­hen­sive menu that of­fers some­thing for even the fussi­est of sleep­ers.

But it’s the clever de­sign of the ho­tel’s Re­lax­ation Room cat­e­gory that makes this the per­fect con­tem­po­rary co­coon. The light­ing is spot-on with ac­cu­rately di­rected read­ing lights po­si­tioned above the bed and a dis­creet night­light be­neath the bath­room van­ity; all are con­trolled from a bed­side panel, as are the re­cessed, fit­ted elec­tric night blinds that ef­fec­tively block all ex­ter­nal light.

At turn­down there are choco­lates and a handy weather re­port for the fol­low­ing day as well as some in­trigu­ing bed­side read­ing, in­clud­ing a dream at­las.

The flat-screen telly is per­fectly lo­cated for in-bed view­ing while the su­per-luxe bath­room rounds out the sleep ex­pe­ri­ence nicely. A bath mas­ter is on hand to rus­tle up a rose petal­strewn ex­trav­a­ganza and the mul­ti­func­tional shower of­fers plenty of power and a plethora of Crab­tree & Eve­lyn toi­letries. Brand­ing: None. Mat­tress: Sealy king-size mat­tress made to Hil­ton spec­i­fi­ca­tions in suites and Re­lax­ation Rooms. All other gue­strooms fea­ture two twin-size mat­tresses zipped to­gether to cre­ate one large bed.

Sheets: 100 per cent cot­ton per­cale (225 thread count) de­signed for Hil­ton.

Cover: Doona is 50 per cent white duck down, 50 per cent feather fill, made to or­der for Hil­ton.

Pil­lows: Full pil­low menu of­fers soft, medium and firm sup­port, low al­ler­genic, duck down and boomerang. Where: Re­lax­ation Rooms only in Syd­ney. Take home: Bathrobe, pil­lows and king­sized doona. www.hilton­syd­ney.com.au.

Bou­quets The bath mas­ter, on stand-by to cre­ate a tai­lored aro­mather­apy-in­fused plunge for die-hard ro­man­tics or weary road war­riors. One press of the Hil­ton Magic but­ton does it: room ser­vice, pil­lows, house­keep­ing, the lot.

Brick­bats: The wooden bed base has sharpish cor­ners that can cre­ate a night-time ob­sta­cle for bleary-eyed guests. Chris­tine McCabe Travel&In­dul­gence team mem­bers were guests of the fea­tured ho­tels.

Do not dis­turb: A good night's kip in a Sher­a­ton Sweet Sleeper bed, far left; Nick Jones, ex­ec­u­tive house­keeper at Sof­i­tel Went­worth Syd­ney, top; Westin house­keeper

Lalita Euapoon pre­pares a Heav­enly Bed, above

Sheet dreams: House­keeper Ter­rie Mon­tojo makes up a bed at the Sof­i­tel Went­worth Syd­ney

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