Stanford Court Personalizes the Sleep Experience

SAN FRANCISCO—While the modern guest wants a hotel with exciting, inclusive public spaces; local themes incorporated into design; and a boutique, lifestyle feel, it should go without saying that hotels should also provide a good night’s sleep.

Of course, along with the customized, personalized nature of most other elements and amenities in a hotel, different guests require different circumstances for restful sleep. “Sleep and comfort are intensely personal. What one guest finds divinely comfortable can be torturous to the next guest,” said Stanford Court’s General Manager Michael Baier. “Hotels are forced to make decisions based on what appeals to most. While most guests find our beds comfortable, some do not. Same story with pillows!”

As such, Stanford Court, located here, has introduced its Nod Hill sleep program—a play on the property’s location atop the city’s famous Nob Hill. According to Baier, the program all started with the alarm clock. “We were deciding on replacements for our alarm clocks. The hotel had a hodgepodge of clocks ranging from ones with CD players and iPhone 30-pin connectors [the old ones]to basic digital clocks with bright red displays,” Baier said. “We wanted a unified clock for all guestrooms. While discussing which would be the best clock, it became clear to the team that the very essence of the clock was in question. We discovered that not one of us actually uses a clock when traveling; we all use our smartphones.” A quick survey of the office confirmed that this rang true for all—not one person used the guestroom alarm clock when traveling.

“Once we decided that we were going to remove all the clocks from the guestrooms, we knew that we needed to communicate to our guests that clocks were available upon request,” Baier said. “We had a few other things in the works like a pillow menu and Jambox partnership. These things all came together to create Nod Hill.”

The program includes Jawbone’s Jambox speakers, which are available for all guests to use. Visitors can play their favorite songs via the speaker or scan the QR code displayed on the Nod Hill card to download Stanford Court’s curated playlist of white-noise sounds. The hotel also offers complimentary earplugs, a selection of four different hypoallergenic or feather pillows and a courtesy wakeup call.

Baier noted that the hotel chose the products included by thinking of anything and everything related to sleep, as well as how to replace the features of the traditional clock that guests still use, such as listening to music. And, of course, ease of use was a factor. “Jambox syncs with any smartphone or laptop with Bluetooth; it is incredibly simple,” said Baier. “Once synced, all audio content streams from your device to the speaker.  The radio, Pandora, YouTube, your iTunes library, audio books—everything!

“We have designed our experience with the following guest in mind: mid-30s tech/startup traveler,” continued Baier. “This guest is more concerned with being immersed in an authentic local experience than amassing loyalty points at a chain hotel. Our offerings are designed to appeal accordingly, from complimentary bottled water to blazing fast and free WiFi.” And, he said, response to the Nod Hill program has been positive. “Guests love the thoughtfulness and thoroughness of the program,” said Baier.

—Nicole Carlino