Case Study: Hastens Ventures Into Hospitality

But not in the way you might think.

The Concept

Hästens has been working on an intriguing new project recently—its very own hotel. Opening a hotel amidst the global pandemic may seem like an unwise choice, but Hästens’ new hotel is not a traditional travel venue. Instead of a place to stay while touring, the brand is offering a safe and health-oriented getaway that is centered around better sleep.

Located in the historic Portuguese city of Coimbra, the hotel is the first in a new business model that is intended to expand into a sort of sleep spa franchise. Hästens has partnered with Grupo o Valor do Tempo, a unique Portugese company that works across industries to develop high-end experiential concepts, on the project. With a 15-room capacity, this new hotel venture is meant to showcase the brand’s ultra-premium sleep products.

The sleep-oriented experience begins as soon as guests walk through the door. At check-in, guests will be asked to select pillow firmness from a special pillow menu and will be encouraged to utilize the site’s in-house Restore Sleep app. To take the experience up a notch, a sleep specialist will be on call at the front desk—available to patrons throughout their stay which is limited to one night.

Soft neutral blues and whites create a calming atmosphere in the bedrooms, while Portugese marble contributes to a deeply luxurious and warm library-inspired aesthetic (a story drawn from the nearby University of Coimbra) in the bathrooms. An article from Architectural Digest explains further, “For guests staying at the sleep spa, special research appointments at the institution are an extra perk. Those experiences, which can be scheduled by the hotel, provide opportunities during which guests can delve more deeply into their own idiosyncratic interests.”

The overarching plan for the franchise is to expand by opening new hotels in other university towns like Salamanca, Cambridge and Bologna. Charming in aesthetic and thoughtful in its goals, the new hotel concept seeks to facilitate a spa-like experience in which guests can not only try out sleep products from Hästens, including the brand’s ultra-premium mattresses, but also nurture their bodies as well as their minds.

Takeaways

While the popularity of this new destination is yet to be seen, the concept sounds intriguing. And it capitalizes on a nearly universal need that has likely been exacerbated by the stress of the pandemic—an opportunity to get better sleep (and test-drive tools that can help support that goal).

Unlike the classic in-store rest test, even in the most gorgeous of showrooms, an overnight stay on a luxury mattress in a high-end hotel setting offers an enhanced experience—as well as the privacy to truly relax and enjoy the mattress thoroughly.

Although retailers and manufacturers alike may not have the bandwidth to replicate this concept by launching their own hotel chains, it could be the wave of the future for ultra premium manufacturers and department stores—as well as an incentive for new hospitality and bedding and mattress partnerships to come. As the hospitality industry reevaluates itself amidst the pandemic, this type of luxurious sleep and spa experience may serve as a creative way to appeal to “stay-cationers”—offering a compelling opportunity to get away from the pressures of our current stay-at-home life.

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(Photo credit: Francisco Rivotti)