SAVE THE DATE: Sleep Summit Oct 8-11, 2024

Research Drop: What Matters Most to Boutique Hotel Guests (the Sleep Industry Will Celebrate the Results)

Have you heard of sleepscursions?

If not, they’re exactly what they sound like: an excursion dedicated to sleep. Does it sound made up? Well it isn’t and boutique hotels are taking notice. 

In this episode, Mark Kinsley and Mark Quinn discuss research related to boutique hotels: why people choose them over national chains, how important location is to their destination, and the most important, the mattress and pillow quality and what people expect from a niche hotel in terms of sleep comfort. 

FULL TRANSCRIPTION

Mark Kinsley: We talked to people that stayed at boutique hotels during the course of the past year, and it’s not surprising what drove them to choose those properties. What is surprising is what mattered most once they were on property, and it involves sleep. The dose Marco show begins right now. Mr. Mark Quinn, welcome to your show and our show.

The Does Mark Show.

Mark Quinn: Welcome to Become my show. Welcome to our show. Hey, great to see you. I’m fired up about this boutique hotel thing. I love boutique hotels. I love

Mark Kinsley: boutique hotels as well. And so at Englander, we are in the boutique hotel space, so we serve those type of accounts with great quality products.

You know how we are. We like to look truly learn our way into these environments so that we can serve them better. And one of the things that we were looking at as we expand our business in the boutique hotel space was what really matters? And what can we offer up to these to hotel years that will help them make a sleep experience even better?

So we did this pretty exhaustive research project, national sample research, a 90% confidence interval. And we talked to people that stayed at boutique hotels for three plus nights over the course of the past. . And of course what I wanted to learn about was how much does the bed and the mattress matter and the sheets and the pillows and all the things that go along with creating that sanctuary style sleep environment.

Because you know how it is, You go into a hotel sometimes and you know there are lights blinking here and there, and noise from the neighbors and no blackout blinds and the bed feels like a rock. And then you have this awful experience. So what do people truly experience at Boutique Hotel Environ? And, and one of the things that bubbled up throughout just having conversations about this research was many people are heading out these days on sleep excursions.

Now, Adrian, yo, Adrian from our team, talked to me about sleep excursions. She’d been reading up about this, and people are booking boutique hotels or booking, you know, Airbnbs or other properties just for the sake of getting good sleep. So this is top of mind for people and that clearly they’re seeking it out.

Here’s the first data point. This is not going to surprise you. The number one reason people chose boutique hotels over other properties. They were more fun and unique. And then second to that was location. Of course you can, you know, put a smaller property in a cooler neighborhood and you can make it very quirky, fun, unique, attractive, stylish, whatever you wanna say.

So it’s not surprising that people would choose it for that. Now once they were on property, once they were staying in the hotel, we gave them a list of 20 items and we said, How important are each of the following in a boutique hotel? And we let them just rank those. Based on their own experience and their own preferences.

Now this is everything from the entertainment, the fitness center, the availability of a restaurant on property, check in, check out pillow sheets, mattress staff, all that. The number one item that mattered most, most important item once they were on property quality, comfort of the mattress, and number two, getting a good night’s sleep.

And I, the angels and the heavens opened up for me and they rejoiced. I’m like, people actually do care. May not drive them into the market for that boutique hotel, but once they are there, they want a great mattress and they want to get a great night’s sleep. Does that surprise you? What are your thoughts?

Mark Quinn: You know, I, It doesn’t surprise me. I, I was gonna say, first of all, well, the sleep excursion thing, like Bridget loves to go. E with me on a business trip, even if it’s for a day or so because she’s not at her house and she doesn’t wake up feeling like she’s got stuff to do, right? So you wake up in a hotel and the only thing you have to do is order room service, get coffee and, and lay around unless you’ve got some kind of excursion planned or whatever.

But so I get that and sleep in and not have to worry about making the bed and like all those little things. So I totally understand. Um, as far as the mattress and the, i, I, I, I get that it’s the most important thing, but here’s what’s funny. If it wasn’t a boutique hotel, if that was Mark instead the answer for any hotel, then don’t you think hotels would spend more time talking about their mattress and their sleep environment?

We know that heavenly bed back in the day when they came out with that concept, it was a huge win. And you always had people talking about, I want the heavenly bed, I want the heavenly bed. And little did they realize. It wasn’t just the mattress that was good there. It was all the things around the mattress, the down comforter, the pillows, they had the type of sheets.

It was the whole complete setup. So I guess it doesn’t surprise me at all. But given that if we, by the way, props to you in England are for doing the research, cuz you don’t wanna be the company that doesn’t know what it doesn’t know, right? So you went out and paid to learn your way in. So when you’re going to these boutique hotel years, Hotel, yours.

That’s a word, right? Yes. Um, then it’s about what you know, not about what you think you know, So you’re handing them data and says, Look, don’t take my word for it. This information is projectable to your population and the people buying from you. But anyway, so I love that you guys did that, but it doesn’t surprise me.

I just wonder if it’s the same, if they get the same like response back on national change. Do.

Mark Kinsley: I would think so. So let me give you a couple more pieces of data that, that you could snack on here. So we asked when you entered the room during your last stay, your boutique hotel stay, what did you first notice or gravitate toward in the room itself?

Please be as specific as possible. 87% of people, almost every person said the first thing, theyre gravitated. Was the bed and the mattress . And if you think about it, when people are in the room, you know, they’re kicking back on the bed. You know, we, we have a, a little chart that breaks down, like, what are people doing in the room?

And a lot of times they’re working in the bed and of course they’re sleeping in the bed and watching TV in the bed. So they spend a lot of time there. So it’s no surprise they gravitate toward it. And the other thing that you said that was really interesting that I was surprised by the data was how many people actually inquire about buying the mattress?

They slept. Specifically at a boutique hotel, 36% of people have inquired about a mattress they slept on at the hotel. Now, I’m not so sure I trust this next number. 25% of our total sample said they claimed they purchased the brand they inquired about. Now, that might be true for a boutique hotel, probably not so much for a chain, Definitely not for like a VR, b O or Airbnb.

But a third of people are saying, Hey, I asked about the mattress. I slept. And I think a lot of it has to do for that, uh, entire experience they’re creating and all the conditions that you just described that Bridget enjoys not having to make the bed. And I don’t have all these haunts around me that I, uh, have to go take care of.

But I Wow. If that is the case and so many people are asking about the bed, you better have a great beds and even programs where you can help people get the mattress they slept. As a boutique hotelier,

Mark Quinn: You know, I, I like it, Mark, because at the end of the day, like if they’re really that fired up about your bed, number one, if you have a great bed, and so I dealt with this guy Dan Digs by Dan, right?

So he is got some Airbnb places out on the West coast. And Big Sur, like just beautiful, like, you know, higher end homes. So he put all spanking co-eds in there and then he created a marketing asset with a tent that said, Hey, here’s your bed. It was grown on a from in England, it’s celebrated by the Queen herself.

And so there’s this whole thing and then its as if you wanna buy one, here’s where you go. Like, that seems like a complete. Like hack in a positive direction for the consumer because if they lay in your bed, number one, if you’re, if you think enough about it that you’re gonna build value in the bed by saying, Hey, this is how we source our bed.

This is why it’s so incredible and this is why you’re gonna get a great night’s sleep. Just by calling it out, it tells the person staying at your hotel that you value it on their behalf. Like you’re the curator of the cool stuff, right? And then so, uh, and then if you love it, like a lot of ’em will, because here’s another thing that made me think Kinsley is like, so how bad does your bed at home have to be for you to go to a.

And the hotel bed is better than the one that you have. Like, that’s sad, right? So that’s another thing where you’re like, Oh my God. Like a good gut check for people is, hey, if you ever travel and their bed is better, then you know you have a problem. But they may not realize it because they don’t have a measuring stick against the one that they have at home.

So that’s another thing that made me think, But yeah, that makes total sense, especially if, you know, that’s the thing. Like who’s, who’s helping you? The hotel is helping the consumer have a shortcut into a killer experience that they had at your property. So why not help ’em and take some profit out of that?

Mark Kinsley: You know, Rex Harris from Bright, uh, came to Dream Camp and he was talking about how Bright is putting many of their mattresses in boutique hotels and other properties so that if you live locally, you can go spend the night on. And not have to make the upfront investment before you really understand how you feel about the product and how your body feels on that product.

And I think this is just serving the consumer in a way that might be unexpected. And whenever you create surprise as a boutique hotelier, you create delight. And you know, I was even thinking about this in terms of a connection to retailers. So I can’t tell you how many mattresses George Samaras with Portland mattress makers in Portland, Maine would sell based on his relationship with these property owners along the beautiful coast of Maine.

And of course, people have this magical experience and they enjoy the mattress and they got great sleep and they come home and they want the same bed. Not surprising. Um, so whenever you think about the experience though, you gotta figure out how to make it easy and frictionless on the consumer. So maybe there’s an opportunity for the hotel.

To partner with the mattress Retailer as well. So you know, hey, as Englander I would be happy to put together a program where, okay, great. We know as a consumer it’s a pain to figure out how to get a new mattress and then get rid of the old one and get the new one into your house. So that friction creates a delay in the purchase.

And we know that sometimes it’s a couple of years, and then once they’re in the market for a mattress, it’s usually one to three months. Once they truly decide I’m gonna. So anytime you can remove that friction, boom, they went to the hotel, they decided on the bed they wanted to buy, and now they’re having a hard time getting it.

That’s where the local retailer could come in with that relationship and be like, Hey, we do delivery. We do takeaway in the case of a guy like Keith Moneymaker, we have their dreams for all foundation, which Sanitizes gently used mattresses and gives them to people who are sleeping on the floor. So there’s this whole swir.

Effect there that you can create for consumers on top of putting great mattresses in your hotel. And I know a lot of retailers do do a really good job with that. So obviously, you know, we’re looking at this as this, um, I would call it a swath or a cohort of consumers who are more attuned to their sleep and the, and the data suggests that our, our boutique hotel.

Guests who stayed in the past three, uh, three nights in the past 12 months, said 76% of ’em said I’m a pretty good sleeper. So if you are a pretty good sleeper, which that’s much higher than the general population, you’re dialed into sleep, you might be an influencer. And, and I’ll tell you the other stat that I loved here was 71% of respondents said the quality of their sleep’s gonna impact that.

Mark Quinn: Wow. There’s a whole nother like, how, what’s the value of the review of your hotel company? Right? Like really important. And so Kinsley, it reminds me of a conversation. You are, you and I were having the other day about final mile delivery, right? Why? Like do everything right with your customer, like the funnel, you get ’em in, you’re meeting with them on social media.

You’re creating a great experience for them with your brand. So when they come into your store and then you screw it up when you deliver the bed, right? So think about the reverse, like thinking on this. So I stayed at a hotel like this was a decade ago when I was gonna go call on sleep number on behalf of Legett and Plat because we sold ’em adjustable bases.

So I wanted to go try their product and I found out that in Minneapolis, that there was a place, a hotel that had their product in there. So I slept on it the night before. So that when I went into the meeting, I could speak from experience, Hey, I slept on your bed. Here’s the problem though. The bed they had in that hotel was like their baseline model, like junk, like felt like really badly.

And so when I slept on it, it like, I did not have a good impression of sleep number. What I knew that the average consumer didn’t know though, was that was their base model and they had much better product above that. So if you’re gonna have a bed in the. The consumer takes that sheet off and they see, hey, that’s an Englander.

If that’s the lowest price, like not a great bed, then their view of Englander then is bad if the hotel didn’t invest in the right product for that room. Right. So there’s also that side of that that you gotta really be careful with. Right.

Mark Kinsley: And for the panel that I’m gonna help facilitate at the Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association, that’s the name of the conference.

It’s at the West Lake Village Inn in Thousand Oaks, just north of la. So I’ve already talked to some of the other attendees and the people that are gonna be on the panel. And this gentleman named Max Long has a, a beautiful property in Bali. And it’s a 15 key property. And he said that he actually took out all the mattresses that were from kind of your standard supplier and has upgraded those just to enhance that guest sleep experience.

So I know these hotels are thinking about it because the guests are thinking about it. And gosh, if you, the deliver a bad night of sleep for someone and there are conditions that you can control and one of those is the amount of time that your body. Spends on that mattress, that’s an investment worth making.

A hundred percent. And by the way, if you are a hotelier or a retailer and you would like this research, it’s a 27 page research deck. And I think it has great insights for what’s happening in those hotel and boutique hotel environments. How to enhance the guest experience. Some data you can chew on to refine that experience.

Shoot me a note. You can go to fam.news and and text us on our podium number. You can email me, Mark England or.com and I’m happy to share it with retailers as well. Maybe there are retailers out there trying to put together a program. And, uh, and it might be something that they can chew on to help their local hotelers create that amazing experience.

Happy to share it with you. Yeah, I think a lot

Mark Quinn: of retailers do that, uh, Kinsley and go out and like sell to those types of hotels so they have people coming in. So data like this would be very helpful to them. And there’s a lot of embed manufacturers that have very large contract divisions of their companies.

So this kind of research could be really. You know, I, I love it. I, I, and I think, here’s the problem too. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, going back to that data point, if you don’t get a great night of sleep, then in, in the consumer’s mind, are they blaming the mattress for that, even though it might have been temperature, even though it could have been.

The people in the room next door to you, keeping you up with tv, like blaring through the wall all night long. Like there’s a lot of things that could impact sleep, but the mattress may be the victim of, of that, you know, negative outcome. So that’s interesting that a little, Yeah. For me it’s about the robe kinsley.

I go straight to the closets about the rob, look at the robe and the slippers. I make sure that they’re like warm and fuzzy and you know, comfortable.

Mark Kinsley: Yeah, you gotta have a robe or it’s not a Quinn approved experience. Hey, I will tell. We asked open-ended questions, uh, advice for improving this sleep experience at a boutique hotel.

Number one was the bed, the mattress. Now that can be a little all-encompassing. Number two blackout shades like you

Mark Quinn: cut out there on me, you said? Yeah, number one. I’m sorry. You cut out there on me. What was number one again?

Mark Kinsley: Yeah. When people were given the option and open ended option to respond about what would enhance or improve this sleep experience at a boutique hotel, the number one thing they said was the better the mattress.

So they are dialed into that thinking about it. Then it’s blackout shades, pillows, noise lighting, cleaner blankets. So anyway, it, it did bubble up to the very top. And now when I think to your point though, when people think about the better the mattress, they are thinking about that entire experience. You know, the pillows too, too high in profile or too low, or you don’t have options there.

The sheets are scratch. Or the top of bed doesn’t look luxurious or feel right. Um, and then of course the mattress is like a rock or it just doesn’t feel comfortable. People are gonna be thinking about that. So it is the entire experience.

Mark Quinn: Yeah. You know, man, I, gosh, it, it, so kensey, you know what’s really crazy about this whole conversation?

If you look at it and then you look at the research with consumer and you open end that question to them. What can help you get a better night of sleep and mattresses dead last, but, but yet when you look at it through the lens of a hotel, somehow mattress like boils up to the top of that list. Don’t you think?

That’s interesting.

Mark Kinsley: It is interesting. And what you’re referring to for those who don’t know, is we did another national sample research. And we asked what most contributes to you personally getting a good quality night of rest? And we gave them eight options. Everything from fitness, nutrition, stress management, mattress, sleep aids.

So there are a variety of different options they could choose, and they put ’em in order. And the number one item they said most contributes to their good quality night of. Was sleep aids, Eh? Sleep aids number eight. Last on the list was the mattress. So you’re right. That’s why I, whenever I looked at this data and I said, Wow, 76% of these respondents who go to boutique hotels say I’m a pretty good sleeper.

So they, this is more of an influential group who’s thinking about it. So there’s this opportunity almost to create ambassadorship from this cohort.

Mark Quinn: Yes, it is. And, and I, and I like, like the, even the concept that Airbnbs, in addition to their, the, the boutique guys, if you value it and look Hensley, look what, remember you always, we always used to say who owns sleep?

Who owns sleep? What’s drug companies like? We thought that, but even back then, The Heavenly Bed owned sleep more than a lot of like mattress companies. Or furniture retailers. Or mattress retailers because Heavenly Bed was doing so much promotion and they did a fantastic job of really building value around that so that people, when they did wanna go and sleep.

In a great hotel or a like one that they knew, like invested in the mattress. Like now that we, we hear that, it shocks me that more hotel properties don’t lean into that one single message more than they do. And so what a big miss for the hotels.

Mark Kinsley: Right? Chew on this data, apply it in some way, build messages around it, refine your business up, your operations.

Um, it’s all there. It’s all there. You just gotta do something with it. And the first step, like we talked about, is just filling in the gaps and knowledge and understanding what you don’t know. And so that’s why we did this research. I’m super excited. Uh, a Nicole Fran, thank you so much for all your help getting ready for the Boutique Lifestyle Leaders Association Conference.

Thanks to the people at Westlake Village and, and everybody that’s gonna attend and my fellow panelists and the audience that’s gonna be there. Really excited to hear the feedback. So I’ll, I’ll circle back when this is my commitment to you. I’ll circle back, give you the full report, and help uh, this audience understand what these boutique hotels and people connected to this community think about the research.

And then hopefully that re, you know, refines all of our thinking so that we can understand sleep better, continue to serve people, continue to create great guest experiences both in hotels and at retail.

Mark Quinn: You know what you should do while you’re there at Kinsley is uh, spin up a new dose Marco service of coming to their boutique hotel in fabulous, uh, destination locations.

And we will do a full assessment. It would take a minimum of three days, cuz I don’t think you can do it in one day. I think you need some consistency over time. We’ll do a full assessment of their mattress, their sheets, their pillows, the nighttime rituals, the lighting, the sense in the room, and then we’ll come back and grade it for them so they can upgrade that experience based on our expertise and, and what we can travel around like Hawaii and Puerto Rico and like, you know, just stay in these really nice places.

But we’d be providing a service, don’t.

Mark Kinsley: Of course, and, and naturally we would evaluate the robes as well.

Mark Quinn: and slippers. Yes. So I love it. Hey, great job. Way to, uh, way to drill down and know what you don’t know. I love

Mark Kinsley: that you guys did that. Yeah. Thanks so much. Appreciate, uh, Englander for all the support. Um, of course I’m responsible for that company, so thank you to me for all that support.

you are brilliant,

Mark Quinn: like and uh, thanks everyone listening. We love you guys and we’re so grateful wherever you are, you’re on a treadmill. You’re out walking around the neighborhood. Uh, some people tell us they listen to us in the shower. If that’s where you’re at, then hey man, get the soap. Let’s get weird.

It’s, it’s time for the soap inside your hair and, uh, go on to Spotify and iTunes, wherever you listen to the show. And, uh, make sure you give Kinsley and his clean freshly rinsed hair. Five stars.

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