At best, hotel bed wars can be deemed
a stalemate, but a new battle of comfort is brewing: Welcome to the
chair wars. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, which already supplies
ergonomic chairs in guest rooms, appears to have an early edge.
Back in 2006, the chain commissioned a signature in-room lounge
chair from Princeton, N.J.-based Michael Graves Design Group, and
the resulting invention now populates hotel rooms in New Jersey,
Texas and elsewhere. The “Wyndham Smart Chair” promises to be
standard at all Wyndham properties by year’s end.
What’s so smart about it? The chair has
an adjustable flat surface for each arm, perfect for snacks or
computers; a power outlet and Internet port built into one arm; and
the surface is protected by Crypton, a menacing-sounding product
applied to the upholstery to keep it stain- and microbe-free.
InterContinental’s Crowne Plaza brand
conducted research and found that 60 percent of business travelers
believe more comfortable chairs could help them focus better in
meetings. Now all Crowne Plaza properties have ergonomic chairs in
breakout rooms and flex-back, banquet-style chairs with contoured
seats at select properties.
Not to be outdone, Westin, which led
the way with the Heavenly Bed, began testing a high-tech,
remote-controlled toilet seat, the Brondell Swash 800, at the
Westin Chicago River North, last summer. (Don’t worry, it comes