In the city that never sleeps, one New York City hotel is making sure its guests get a good night’s rest.
Over the years, the Benjamin Royal Sonesta New York in Midtown has prided itself on providing a comfortable, relaxing experience for its short-term and long-term guests alike. After hearing feedback from its guests, the team at the Benjamin knew they had to come through to elevate the sleep experience for hotel guests.
“When you come to stay at the hotel, you come to stay for a great night’s rest. Yes, there are other factors that come into play when staying at a hotel, but sleep is what you really need,” said Simon Chapman, General Manager at the Benjamin. “Some people are great sleepers and a lot of people actually struggle, that’s what we find just from the feedback.”
What resulted from that feedback was the Rest & Renew program, a complimentary experience that has been a staple of The Benjamin’s offerings for the past 24 years. The hotel team partnered with Dr. Rebecca Robbins, a Cornell sleep professor and author, to create elements of the program to ensure a great night’s sleep.
The Rest & Renew program started off with a pillow menu, which has ten different pillows to choose from that aim to optimize your sleep depending on your sleep position, so stomach sleepers, side sleepers and back sleepers can find the perfect pillow that works for their sleep style. There are also options for those who want to reduce snoring as well as joint pain.
“There’s all kinds of sleeping positions. I sleep on my side, I have a Swedish memory foam pillow. I also have one of those body pillows. it’s comfortable for me, but, you know, everybody’s different,” said Chapman. “We have a pillow for everybody. Even if they just want to try it out or try a few out, our guests have that available and they can certainly just call down along with any other feature that will help them achieve that great night’s rest.”
Chapman says that the Swedish memory foam pillow, which is ideal for back sleepers, is among the most popular choices of the Benjamin’s guests, as well as a satin pillow that reduces pressure on facial bones and helps maintain hairstyles overnight, and the buckwheat pillow, which conforms to the head and neck for maximum comfort and stress relief.
Other elements of the Rest & Renew program include blackout curtains for the room, access to noise machines, a lullaby music library, reading materials, sleep masks and ear plugs, work-down and wake-up calls, and on-demand meditation, which was developed by Dr. Robbins herself. There are currently two options for meditation: Mindfulness, which aims for deeper focus and awareness, and Mantra, which balances mood and sense of well-being. Both are available by dialing the hotel phone so you can meditate in the comfort of your room.
“We try to do everything we can to please our guests,” said Chapman. “Even though we may have an upset guest or something that’s not going quite right and it may not be anybody’s fault or challenge or anything like that, we always want to try to do the best we can.”
Chapman says that the response over the years to the Rest & Renew program has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I just saw two comments today from guests saying they just had an amazing time. They gave us a 10 out of 10 and they had an amazing night’s rest,” said Chapman. “I think when you have so much going on, this is kind of like your oasis in the city. The Benjamin, over time, has really worked hard to kind of create that oasis. There’s other factors that come into play, but having a great night’s sleep is probably one of the reasons why our guests do keep coming back.”
As time goes on, Chapman says there may be new elements that get implemented into the program, including options for those who track their sleep patterns. For now, the hotel is proud to have created a program that has remained positive and effective over the course of several years.
“I think as this program keeps developing and changing, we’re going to move with the times as well to keep up with it,” said Chapman. “Looking at this experience, we take it seriously. I think that has really helped create a loyal following for this property.”
The Benjamin Royal Sonesta New York is located at 125 E 50th St. For more information about the Benjamin Royal Sonesta’s Rest and Renew Program, visit thebenjamin.com.