This plush simplicity is client proven, universally appealing and with the essentials in place (two tub chairs, a desk, integrated bedside tables and lighting — a good hotel room is tailored to flip into the luxuriance of a newly decorated, freshly minted space every 24 hours. There are interior lessons and easily imitated touches of mink everywhere. Let’s bring some of that hospitality-level detailing back to our master/ensuite.
The single most important thing after sparkling cleanliness is the comfort of the bed. Hotels cannot change their beds routinely — they build on a superb mattress as a base using toppers.
You can lift the whole quality of your night’s sleep this weekend with a carefully chosen, perfectly secured new layer suited to your preference for a soft or firm feel. This does not dispense with the need to get rid of the mattress after around eight years of use; the unhealthy allergens in the materials are still steadily accumulating.
Most hotels use quality, firm, hybrid latex/pocket sprung mattresses that are exceptionally deep, set over a velour divan base to match the decor. This allows an unfilled end of the duvet cover (longer than standard) to be tucked under the mattress and pulled straight. Some top-flight hotels use a third (flat) sheet between the duvet and bottom sheet.
For memory foam toppers, a bit of a Marmite, Harvey Norman offer (2.5cm-5cm) Sleep to Go, including a “smaller double” size for those in-between beds, from €151 with The Linen Room, filled cotton toppers from €90 (on offer), harveynorman.ie.
Top Drawer at the Fota Retail Park stocks down and feather mattress toppers from €125, topdrawer.ie. Don’t forget Argos for Silentnight Hungarian goose from €170, and Silentnight Airmax products from €80.
The Sleep Council in the UK says we should change our pillows every two years. The physical structure will have declined after 18-24 months of constant wear and the biological load will by then include a disturbing helping of skin mites and inevitable minute debris shed and smeared from your face and neck.
Hotel pillows tend to be moderately to firmly supportive. Back or side-sleeper, for subtle luxe pick up a couple of pillows in duck or goose from €46 to over €250. Thump these up into glory for the top pillow and combine with flatter, bottom pillows in polyester or bamboo with cluster support.
Together with buckwheat and memory foam, there are other synthetics cased in cotton which are both hypoallergenic and provide a delicious cooling airflow to the head. A variety of two pillow materials and support styles is a highly appreciated offering in a guest room, stacked up in snowy white (Oxford case) to include a reading bolster. Try the seductive selection at thewhitecompany.com and the Flora Danica Iris range of natural fillings at Jysk from €110 a pair, jysk.ie.
Fat, white, heavy, and with a high thread count — bales of immaculate towelling, accompanied by an ankle-length bathrobe are crucial to the spa feel of every boutique hotel. We’re looking for 500gsm-650gsm which describes the density and feel of the towel as it envelopes the body in comfort, sopping up water instantly.
Cotton holds up to 25 times its weight, making it the classic choice. Look for double-hem stitching. Include real, bath towel sizing — generally reserved for beach towels of up to 180cm in length and 100cm in width.
White should remain white so run your pale towels on the highest setting your machine can manage and use a rinse of white vinegar to drive them back to snowy perfection. A spin in the dryer will be all quality, 100% cotton towels will need to remain fluffy.
Avoid highly scented fabric conditioners that can make the pile slippery and water repellent. We love M&S’s Spa Towels from €13.5-€40 with a 600gsm, marksandspencers.com. Mulberry silk robes with French seams from €195 (wedding gift alert) are available at The Ethical Silk Company, theehticalsilkcom.com.
White linen is a hotel trope because it displays cleanliness and sits up against other statement throws and coverings effortlessly.
Thread count will determine the sophisticated sensory experience between the sheets, but materials and weave type count too, with cotton now joined by other naturals including bamboo, ideal for summer beds with its natural wicking qualities.
If you have body temperature issues, try bamboo by night, starting with a pillowcase. Sonya Mcwhinney at K Bamboo sells double duvet sets from €120 and cases from €35, kbamboo.ie.
The thread count for a good hotel touch will range from 250-300, best experienced by choosing a sateen or percale weave. One of the odd truths about hotel linen is that it is softer than your home set because it gets used and laundered daily in detergents with wrinkle defying phosphates — delivering a 400-600 thread-count experience. I travel with my own pillowcase, as I find hotel sheeting can feel “bleachy” on sensitive skin.
Senses Linen deals in gorgeous cotton/mulberry silk sheets from €200 for a flat sheet (wedding gift alert), and a stonewashed percale weave, which in Egyptian cotton has had a nice battering to relax threads and crinkling, €115 for two Oxford cases, a double duvet and bottom sheet, senseslinen.com.
Cloaking out the world, high-rise penthouses with frame-less floor to ceiling fenestrations allow us to blind the windows in heavy window treatments. There’s a degree of acoustic insulation offered with weighty, fat, solid-coloured curtains together with the obvious privacy, which combined with triple glazed windows adds monastic quiet and a blessed feeling of protection to suburban sleeping quarters. The floor should have the yield of good underlay.
It’s underlay that makes a floor truly quiet and celebrates the softness of any wool-pile.
Rest rather than pool your curtains on the floor in heavy, lined, quality textiles matched to sleek wand or cord operation rather than simply yanking them open (and potentially staining the material over time).
For the sophisticated Four Seasons luff (softly pleated when pulled) there will be at least twice the width of the windows in the curtain material. The trick to keeping the look contemporary is to ensure your curtains pull right back from the glazed area, especially with a really nice architectural window void — use a good long rail or pole over the reveal.
Sheers not only diffuse daylight beautifully but will connect you to the landscape while shielding you from prying eyes, and the reality of just how filthy upstairs windows are (most of the time).
To the floor, and left shut, sheers can reconfigure an ugly short window.
For principals or sheer add-ons, Ikea’s Gjertrud in grey are an unusual update to your granny’s nylon nightmares, €18, ikea.com/ie. Married to curtains, recessed roman blinds in white or rain white offer huge versatility framing any available view.
Explore the ranges, including night-and-day blinds at blinds2go.ie, or skip down to The Drapery Shop in Emmett Place, the draperyshop.ie, or any feted haberdasher.
Auto Rails is one of a number of specialised firms for remotely operated curtains if you fancy swish operation directly from the bed, autorails.ie (Dublin).