While spa-licious bathrooms and high-tech gadgets have diverted attention from the bedding wars frenzy of the recent past, the sleep experience still rules the hotel stay for most guests. At The Benjamin, New York City, management backs its claims of a great night's sleep by giving away a free night's stay if a guest is dissatisfied. “Most of our guests are business travelers,” says John Moser, chief marketing officer for Affinia Hotels. “We realized that the number-one productivity tool isn't a laptop, and it's not a Blackberry — it's a good night's sleep.”

The Benjamin will go pretty far to back up that guarantee in “the city that never sleeps.” In addition to its specially designed Benjamin Bed with its 400-plus thread count sheets, down-filled comforter and triple sheeting, the hotel has added a “sleep concierge” to its staff.

“We offer our guests a selection of 12 different types of pillows from which to choose: down, upper body, buckwheat, satin, hypo-allergenic, water-filled, Swedish memory, magnetic therapy, a jelly neckroll, a five-foot body cushion, sound, maternity and a special anti-snore pillow,” says Associate Sleep Concierge Sarah Pesek.

Some researchers believe that sleep deprivation hinders the production of natural growth hormone — the hormone that influences healing, muscle growth, brain function and metabolism — that is produced during deep sleep. The effects on productivity are obvious.

“What many people don't realize is that sleep is as important as exercise. It is during sleep that our body heals and repairs,” says Stephen Phillips, spa director for Half Moon, a luxury resort in Rose Hall, Jamaica.

To that end, management at Half Moon is introducing its “Half Moon Memories” bed. The new bed is locally manufactured, and its “state of the art technology” is said to have been originally developed by NASA. It features an open-cell, “memory foam” temperature-sensitive material that conforms to body contours eliminating “sinks,” evenly distributing body weight across the sleep surface.

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