I saw a great study from the Four Seasons hotel group the other day about what folks do in their hotel rooms before heading to bed. And the cultural differences are quite something.
The study was done by the hotel group as part of their new Four Seasons Bed program, which will allow guests to personalize their sleeping experience. The Four Seasons Bed, a collaboration between the Toronto-based hotel group and bed manufacturer Simmons, will feature a mattress that can shift between three levels of firmness. After guests choose between soft, medium or firm mattress toppers, a selection of pillows and other bedside amenities will be available to completely customize the experience before arrival.
There was no category for Canadians but the study showed that 52 per cent of Americans like to watch TV before turning out the lights in their hotel rooms. Russians were right behind at 50 per cent. But only 34 per cent of Chinese respondents listed TV watching as a pre-bed activity, and only 32 per cent of UK respondents said that’s the case.
On the subject of “reading a good book” (they didn’t ask about reading a bad one), only 19 per cent of Americans and Chinese said that that’s their pre-bed routine. Twenty five per cent of Russians said so, while a whopping 36 per cent of UK respondents listed a good book as their pre-bed ritual. That’s almost double the number of Americans, who are much more inclined to turn on the boob tube (as we used to call it) than delve into fine literature. Tsk, tsk.
The Chinese don’t read much, either. But they’re very clean. A sizeable 61 per cent of Chinese respondents said they have a shower or bath prior to going to bed in a hotel room. Russians were right behind at 57 per cent. Only 31 per cent of Americans listed a bath or shower as their pre-bed routine, and only 22 per cent of UK folks did so. The Brits, apparently, are too deep into King Lear or A Tale of Two Cities to be bothered with bathing.
On the subject of listening to soothing music, 31 per cent of Chinese respondents listed that as their pre-bed activity on the road, compared to 23 per cent of Russians, 13 per cent of Americans and 12 per cent of UK residents. Most Chinese music sounds more soothing to me than popular UK and American music, so maybe that makes sense.
How about getting intimate before bed? That was listed as a favourite hotel activity by 29 per cent of Russians, and good for them I say. There has to be something to do at night in Siberia, right?
The Russians are downright rabbit-like compared to the other groups. Only nine per cent of Chinese in the Four Seasons study reported intimacy as their pre-bed activity. It was a bit better for Americans with a “score” of 16 per cent.
Only 13 per cent of UK folks reported intimacy as their favourite pre-bed activity in a hotel. I guess they’re too busy reading about sex to actually bother with, you know, having any.