Oh, it can be a tough life travelling. How many times have I woken up in a hotel room with a cricked neck or an aching back because the hotel bed set-up or the pillows provided are just not what I’m used to at home?
And yet it seems like way too much effort to be one of those people who carries their pillow from home half-way around the world.
By the time we arrived in New York on our last trip to the US, I was experiencing neck pain to end all neck pain after several nights on the fluffy pillows of Orlando, Washington and Philadelphia. It was the sort of neck pain where burning shards spear right through the neck, shoulder and head with every step. And forget trying to look up at the NYC skyscrapers, or left and right to cross a street…impossible.
So it was a huge relief to check in and discover The Benjamin Hotel’s extensive pillow menu next to the bed.
The Benjamin Hotel offers a comprehensive ‘Rest & Renew’ menu for weary guests, which has been compiled under the guidance of the Hotel’s ‘Official Sleep Consultant’, sleep expert and author Rebecca Robbins (her book is on the bedside table). Not only is there a wide range of pillows on offer, there are also decaffinated teas for a bedtime hot drink, or a selection of light turndown snacks (which the Hotel helpfully recommends you consume 90 minutes before bedtime). Peanut butter sandwich anyone?
Plus all the staff are trained to ensure guests have 24-hour access to sleep tips and assistance with their pillow selection.
For someone wanting a quick day-time kip, you can order up a ‘Power Nap’ package from the menu for $20 (USD) which includes an eye mask, an aromatherapy temple treatment, a bottle of water, naptime turn-down and a wake-up call after 20 or 90 minutes! But we were in New York! We had no time for day-time naps!
The girls were sharing a queen sofa-bed in the living room of our suite at The Benjamin. So Queenie was straight onto the phone to housekeeping to have a 5-foot body cushion sent up to provide a barrier between the two of them. Apparently this was essential.
The first night I tried the ‘Sleep for Success Back Sleeper’. This is a pillow which is firm on the outside, but has a softer centre so that it ‘gently cradles the head’, allowing correct alignment of the neck and spine.
But the next day, my neck was no better. After breakfast, I ran back up to the suite to collect a camera and found housekeeping in our room. The maid specifically asked me whether I was happy with all our pillows. When I told her about my neck, she said she knew the perfect pillow (the Cloud 10), and would bring it and the Swedish Memory (as another option) up to the room for me.
Ahhhhhh! The Cloud 10. It was perfect – filled with millions of tiny air-beads. I slept soundly that (and all following) nights and woke with no pain in my neck. I’d go back to The Benjamin for that pillow alone. (But in fact, there’s lots of other reasons, I’d go back there too…)
The Benjamin also has a Winkzzz Kids’s Club program which includes kid-sized robes, bedtime storybooks to borrow and kid-sized pillows. While The Impossible Princess fell into the age range for this program (2-12 years) she didn’t partake of it…she was too busy beating up Queenie with the 5-foot body pillow.
The Benjamin Hotel
N 125 East 50th Street
NEW YORK NY 10022