Arriving in the capital after a long flight? Or wired after another day exploring one of the world’s most stimulating cities? Then what you need is some quality rest. So slip on the silk eye mask, snuggle up under the Egyptian cotton sheets and - with a spritz of lavender pillow mist - sink into the dreamiest slumber. Here’s our pick of London’s best beds:
The royal bed, Mayfair
Require a bed fit for a queen? Look no further than the Royal Suite at one of London’s most prestigious hotels, Claridge's. Close to Buckingham Palace, its royal connections extend back to Victorian times. The exquisite suite, adorned with freshly cut flowers, has hosted royalty from across the globe. Before bed, perhaps you’ll want to play yourself a classical lullaby on the in-room grand piano. Or maybe just enjoy a nightcap courtesy of the complimentary rose champagne.
The high-tech bed, Westminster
The state-of-the-art handmade beds at Eccleston Square Hotel are fully adjustable, with a range of massage settings. Handmade by Swedish company Hästens, they cost the hotel a whopping £20,000 a pop. Enough to make anyone lose consciousness. Other techy touches include a personal in-room iPad 2, which acts as a digital concierge, and a SmartGlass shower wall between the bedroom and bathroom that you can turn from clear to frosted at the touch of a button. Depending on who you’re sharing with, of course...
The garden bed, Mayfair
Stay in one of the Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square's 8 Balcony Suites, and gain access to a secret garden designed in pleasing symmetry. The tranquil oasis is part of the hotel’s Sleep Well Experience, offering frazzled guests the chance to chill out in the city. As part of the package you also get a Philip Stein Sleep Bracelet, which is said to channel the most beneficial natural frequencies for sleep direct to the wearer, a copy of The Sleep Book by expert in the field Dr Guy Meadows, and a gift bag complete with relaxing shower gel and bedtime tea.
The peace and quiet bed, Knightsbridge
Boasting ‘the quietest night’s sleep in London’, you can be sure of top-notch rest at The Lanesborough. The Regency-style rooms are fresh from a major 2-year renovation. Expect thoughtful features such as night lights on the side of the bed, activated by sensors, to gently guide you to your Italian marble bathroom after dark.
The dream-like bed, Clerkenwell
The first thing you notice when you enter the Rook’s Nest –The Rookery Hotel’s split-level suite – is the remarkable bed. Behold the decadent gilded faux bamboo frame with black-winged cherubs at its foot. Before lights out, luxuriate in the beautifully restored Victorian bath. But first find the magic button on the wall. It sets the ceiling above you moving, revealing the boudoir’s very own 40-foot dreaming spire.
The sleepyhead bed, Embankment
Settle down for a night in one of Corinthia Hotel’s Sleep Rooms. Designed to encourage zzzs, they include Hypnos mattresses made with British lambswool, black-out blinds and an extensive pillow menu. With their Sumptuous Sleep Retreat package you get lots more snooze-inducing stuff. From an 120-minute Sleep Ritual at the hotel spa to a turndown treat of valerian tea or warm milk and pumpkin-seed cookies.
And finally: Our experience of the spa bed, Park Lane
And if you simply don’t have time to get in your full 8 hours, head to Spa Intercontinental for a session on their dry flotation bed. A 20-minute nap on the bed is supposed to be as restorative as 3 hours of normal sleep. I went to check it out: The mattress, filled with warm water, gives you a feeling of weightlessness without getting wet. I was a little sceptical before trying this one. But with the room’s ambiance so calming – meditative music silencing my mind and soft candle light soothing computer-strained eyes – I began to relax. As I sank slowly down into the mattress, it took the shape and weight of my frame and embraced me in its warmth. Any aches or pains in my heavy limbs seemed to drift away with ease. And, within minutes, so did I. Header image: the view from Corinthia Hotel London.