Good Night! Hotels Are Selling the Beds--and Almost Everything Else


If you have sweet dreams at a Westin Hotel and wish you could sleep as soundly at home, you can buy the bed (or, more precisely, a new one just like it). The chain sells four signature "heavenly beds" a day, says Sue Brush, vice president of brand operations for Westin Hotels and Resorts, North America. You'll find a catalog in Westin rooms with an order form, toll-free phone number and Internet site. A king costs $1,300, or $2,700 with all the accouterments, including pillows, sheets, duvet and bed skirt.

If you like the graceful mahogany settee in your room at the Dharmawangsa Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, you can buy it for $755 (excluding shipping and handling). Gleneagles, a grand hotel beloved by golfers in Perthshire, Scotland, sells king-size goose down duvets just like the ones in the rooms for $130 (including postage). You can buy everything in the rooms at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. (The hotel is expected to launch a Web site in July that has a picture of a Shutters room, allowing you to point and click on any item for prices and details.)

In the old days, a guest might buy a hotel robe as a remembrance of a pleasant vacation. But now hotel room shopping is all about home decorating, which is becoming as easy as checking into a stylish hotel, many of which have transformed their rooms into showplaces out of the pages of glossy magazines.

And it may be a matter of learning to like luxury, said Frank Bowling, general manager at the Hotel Bel-Air. "People experience new things like fine linen when they stay at a hotel and want them at home," he says. He should know; he once slept so soundly at the New York Palace Hotel that he bought the bed and the bedding.

Hotels rarely open with retailing in mind, and a few don't want any part of it. Chip Conley, chairman of Joie de Vivre, a San Francisco-based chain of 20 boutique hotels, thinks it's tacky to put a price tag on everything in a hotel room. The luxurious Amangani resort in Jackson Hole, Wyo., doesn't sell its wares; it wants to protect its distinctive look.

But when guests started asking where they could get the room service china or fluffy bathmats, other hoteliers tried to be accommodating. At first they obtained the desired item for guests or put them in touch with the designers and suppliers. As the decor got snazzier and demand grew, they created catalogs that were placed in the rooms.

It all started with the beds. That makes sense if you think about it; at a hotel, people have the opportunity to test them before buying. Without even trying, the Toronto-based Four Seasons chain sells 2,000 of its custom-made Sealy box springs and mattresses a year.

Shutters' custom-made beds are hot sellers too. At $1,700 for a king, they're even a good deal, says Armella Stepan, the hotel's general manager. She says it would cost $300 more to get a bed as good at a retail store.

At the Old Monterey Inn, the beds are well priced ($834 for a California king mattress and box springs) and apparently so comfortable that the 10-room B&B; sells more Serta beds than any other inn in the state. (They're sold only to guests.) Owners Ann and Gene Swett also do a brisk business with the plush feather ticks that go atop their mattresses, priced at $326 for a king.

It was an easy step from beds to bed linens. The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Atlanta just opened a lobby "sleep boutique" that sells its bedding, and linens are especially popular at the Mondrian, the Hotel Bel-Air and W Hotels. King-size W pillows cost $70 each; two king pillowcases, $20; 200-thread-count cotton and polyester king flat sheets with gray or taupe piping, $40 each; the king duvet, $330; the king duvet cover, $200.

But never mind the bed. Perusing the W catalog, which also has a gum ball machine ($140), pear-and plum-shaped pillows ($175), a rubber AM/FM radio ($55) and flip-flops ($15), all in hip, contemporary W signature designs, is like shopping for a lifestyle. "If you like the look and aesthetic at a W, you can take it home with you," says Theresa Fatino, vice president of design and brand development for W. At the chain's new W Chicago City Center, there's a complete retail store with an expanded assortment of W paraphernalia.

What's the world coming to when you can lie in bed at a hotel and order Bel-Air sheets, W flip-flops, Shutters lampshades and "heavenly" Westin mattresses? I don't know, but I think I like it.

Dharmawangsa, Jalan Brawijaya Raya, No. 26, Jakarta, Indonesia 12160; telephone 011-62-21-725-8181, fax 011-62-21-725-8383, Web

Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland PH3 1NF; tel. 011-44-1764-662-231, fax 011-44-1764-662-134,

Mondrian, 8440 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069; tel. (323) 650-8999, fax (323) 650-9241,

Old Monterey Inn, 500 Martin St., Monterey, CA 93940; tel. (831) 375-8284, fax (831) 375-6730,

Shutters on the Beach, 1 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405; tel. (310) 458-0030, fax (310) 458-4589,

W Catalog, tel. (800) 779-6050,

Westin Hotels & Resorts, c/o Hotels at Home, 9 Law Drive, Fairfield, NJ 07004, tel. (877) 777-5418, fax (973) 882-9395,

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