Zedwell hotels have been designed to optimise sleep with windowless, sound insulated ‘cocoons’, purified air and ambient lighting. Olivia Palamountain reports
In a world where hotels and resorts are pushing boundaries to offer guests more than ever before, Zedwell hotels is going back to basics – albeit in the most luxurious fashion.
Conceived with health and wellbeing in mind, this boutique brand has overhauled the hotel experience to create urban sanctuaries that place good sleep centerstage.
Each of Zedwell’s four properties (the London Piccadilly flagship outpost opened in February 2020 and there are more to come in Greenwich, Tottenham Court Road and Marble Arch) feature windowless, sound insulated “cocoons” with ambient mood lighting and a purified air system to encourage deep sleep. Beds crafted in solid oak come courtesy of royal warrant holder Hypnos – another pioneer of sustainable and ethical practices – with mattresses that feature a combination of supportive, engineered pocket springs and hand side-stitching. These are covered with sheets made of fine Egyptian cotton.
The economic and societal effects of sleep deprivation cost the UK up to US$50 billion (or 1.86 per cent of its GDP) every year, according to data by Rand, with sleep deprivation linked to the likes of lower productivity at work and increased mortality risk.
While “sleep retreats” are popping up at luxury hotels around the world including Utah’s Amangiri, Kamalaya Koh Samui and Switzerland’s Bad Ragaz, the Zedwell has dedicated itself to the goal of making a good night’s sleep integral to every stay.
With a mantra of “clean and pure”, the brand has removed all hotel clutter to create minimal yet cosy spaces to encourage “clearer thought”.A sense of simplicity to saves both time and energy dictates the in-room functions too, with easy-to-use light and temperature switches for a stress-free, calming experience, and en suite showers that identify guests’ ideal water temperate and maintain it throughout their stay.
Architects Neri & Hu have brought the concept to life using a variety of natural and recycled materials to ensure the hotel plays its role in environmental protection.The window-free design and insulation technology used is energy efficient so that the heat generated remains within the hotel for longer, while additional sustainable elements include refillable in-room toiletries by Malin + Goetz and self-service water stations to help reduce plastic consumption.
The Zedwell also practices a sustainable supply chain by partnering with hotel service suppliers that share its vision and donates 2 per cent of sales to charities that support education for underprivileged and disadvantaged communities across Britain.
What’s it like to spend a night at the Zedwell?
According to a review of the Zedwell Piccadilly (located in the former Trocadero building) in The Times by Katie Gatens, the lobby is akin to an Apple store. She says: “A small, discreet doorway on a backstreet transports you into a vast wooden-clad, open-plan lobby with polished concrete floor and walls lined with iPads.”
The rooms are small but “restful”. Gatens says: “White mood lighting casts a delicate glow and there’s a self-heating eye mask to help you to nod off. Although there are no windows, purified fresh air is pumped into all the bedrooms, which are soundproofed up to 60 decibels.”
For those looking for more space, there are family units with bunk beds and ten-person “party rooms” with kitchens, lounges and balconies.
Gatens says that Zedwell plans to provide free yoga classes for guests, a health food bar and “mindfulness gurus”. In the spring, a 1,000-person rooftop terrace with a restaurant and cocktail bar will open.
Building on the trend for quality kip, London’s Cadogan hotel has partnered with Harley Street hypnotherapist and sleep expert Malminder Gill to provide guests with a ‘Sleep Concierge’ when the hotel reopens this spring.
The Sleep Concierge offering includes a sleep-inducing meditative recording by Malminder available in-room via the hotel app, a pillow menu and weighted blanket, a bedtime tea blended for the service and a scented pillow mist. Bespoke, in-person experiences can be booked in advance.
Gill comments: “As a Chelsea local, partnering with The Cadogan feels like a wonderful and organic fit. Sleep is the most important thing we can learn to master, and when staying in one of The Cadogan’s sumptuous suites, guests can listen to my exclusive recording and drift off.”