"The industry thought we were nuts when we introduced this fluffy, all-white bed and did this huge PR campaign where we trotted this bed out to landmarks around the world including the New York Stock Exchange, Grand Central Station and the Space Needle in Seattle," said Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), Westin's parent, who conceived the Heavenly Bed and modeled it after his bed at home in Connecticut. "The motive in the hotel business was to cut corners on the beds, and we all remember those crazy earth tone polyester bedspreads of old. Westin's Heavenly Bed was the first of many Starwood innovations that gave the industry a much needed wake up call and helped our brands differentiate themselves in a powerful way."
The Branding Power of Providing Guests with a Good Night's Sleep
Shortly after Westin introduced the Heavenly Bed, Westin's internal survey of overall guest loyalty and satisfaction increased dramatically, and these satisfaction scores have continued to increase over the past five years. Guest's ranked comfort of bed 8.96 out of ten in 1999, and in 2004 this score has reached an impressive 9.19 and continues to be the brand's highest rated guest satisfaction score. And now, the J.D. Power and Associates 2004 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study(SM) recently revealed that guest room satisfaction is a factor of overall guest satisfaction, and in the study, Westin was ranked "Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Upscale Hotels Chains."
"Since we launched the Heavenly Bed not only are our guests getting a better night's sleep, but our internal guest satisfaction surveys show they have consistently experienced higher overall levels of satisfaction during their stay. The Heavenly Bed and our other Heavenly in-room products have created a halo effect on the entire Westin guest experience," says Sue Brush, Senior Vice President for Westin Hotels & Resorts. "The brand loyalty the Heavenly Bed has built for Westin during the past five years is incredible. It is a proven fact that travelers continue to stay at Westin because of the luxurious comfort of this wonderful bed.."
Just how much do guests love the Heavenly Bed? So much so that many insist on bringing a bit of heaven home. To date, Westin has sold almost 4,000 fully loaded Heavenly Beds and 30,000 signature sheets and pillows. "I finally decided to buy a Heavenly Bed because it seemed less expensive than moving into a Westin hotel," wrote one California guest about a stay. Another guest who stayed at The Westin Los Angeles Airport wrote "We enjoyed the bed so much, we tried to get it in the car, but it wouldn't fit." And the orders keep coming - the brand expects sales of its Heavenly line to exceed $8 million this year.
The History of the Heavenly Bed
At Starwood the Westin team spent more than a year developing the Heavenly Bed. They began the process by filling a hotel ballroom with 50 beds from 35 hotel chains -- representing all the major chains plus luxury and boutique hotels around the world. The mission was to build the best bed in the hotel industry. After months testing hundreds of mattresses, pillows and bed linens, the Heavenly Bed was born. The ten-layer Heavenly Bed consists of a custom-designed pillow-top mattress set; a cozy down blanket; three crisp sheets; a comforter, duvet and five pillows.
For more information on how to purchase Westin's signature Heavenly Bed please visit www.westin-hotelsathome.com, or call (877) 777-5418.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 750 properties in more than 80 countries and 110,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwood.com.
*J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study(SM). Study based on 29,424 individual evaluations. 13 upscale hotel chains were ranked in the study; upscale excludes luxury hotel chains. www.jdpower.com.