Hotels Selling Everything in the Room

I’m often struck by hotels that market their room decor, especially their beds, and I wonder whether it can really be a good business for them. The items are generally overpriced, and often not of as good quality as I’d want to buy for myself. And yet there’s still something that would appeal to me in owning a Westin Heavenly Bed ensemble.

Turns out that selling hotel furnishings is
a large and growing business. Westin expects to sell $8 million worth of bedding this year.

It’s easy to buy a bed that you’ve already slept in and are comfortable with. You spend more time getting comfortable with hotel furniture than you would in a store. And hotel furnishings help bring back memories of a trip.

    Since introducing its Heavenly Bed five years ago, the Westin chain has sold 4,000 Simmons mattresses, and 30,000 cotton sheets and goose down pillows, says Nadeen Ayala, a spokeswoman for the hotel chain. A complete Heavenly Bed, all 10 layers, is $2,565 for a queen package.

But as I wrote several months back, it’s more complicated than just marketing.

    the phenomenon of pricing items in a room also serves as a deterrent for guests to simply take the items. If the item is for sale, it isn’t meant to be free. And since hotels usually charge a premium over what a consumer might pay elsewhere, the threat of seeing the item added to a hotel bill at checkout is further deterrence against swiping a bathrobe or clock.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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