Ashford Castle’s executive housekeeper shares the perfect bedroom setup for a luxurious night’s sleep
Mary Flannery has plenty of experience in creating a perfect sleeping environment for guests, and she's shared her secrets with us.
One of the best things about a luxury hotel stay is undoubtedly the bedrooms. From the crisp sheets to the supremely comfortable pillows, you’re guaranteed a night of exceptional comfort.
It’s almost like magic, this careful crafting of the perfect bed, something that we never seem to be able to recreate at home. However, Mary Flannery, executive housekeeper at Ashford Castle, has shared her expert knowledge with us, revealing how she creates the ultimate sleep environment for guests at the five star hotel.
The bed is undoubtedly the most important aspect of your perfect night’s sleep, and Mary believes first impressions are everything. As the bed usually takes up the majority of the floor space, its presentation is very important.
When it comes to comfort, Mary’s top tip is to size-up your duvet. So, if you have a single bed, dress it with a double duvet and for a double bed, use a king size duvet.
“For the ultimate sense of luxury in the bedroom, make sure you always go a size up in a duvet for maximum impact,” she explains. “For extra comfort, mattress toppers are non-negotiable, feather and down or microfiber being the best choices for an extra layer of comfort.”
A good pillow is the secret to a great night’s sleep, and although pillow types are a personal preference, a firm microfiber pillow for support and a duck down pillow for comfort are the perfect choices for most.
And just like choosing a good mattress protector is important for keeping it in good condition, the same goes for pillows, a pillow protector is essential.
When making the bed Mary advises, “Never place the pillows flat, instead place them upright to give a finished look. Complete the look with a neatly folded throw in a complementing colour at the end of the bed to add interest and texture.”
Hotel sheets are always particularly inviting, and Mary says the secret is white bedding, as it symbolises a sense of luxury and relaxation. Of course, white bed sheets can be a real chore to keep clean and crease-free, so Mary recommends two drops of fabric softener in a spray bottle of water and spritz to keep linen fresh and presentable.
As for the fabric type, she says to always choose cotton over polyester to avoid overheating at night, and to choose a minimum of a 300 thread count for the fitted sheet.
A holder for your bedside essentials is ideal to place your jewellery, glasses, hand cream and other accoutrements to avoid the room looking scattered. If you’re a bookworm, stack books neatly with spines showing, and add a bottle of fresh water for that finishing touch.
Mary says that creating a sense of atmosphere should never be underestimated, and candles and diffusers are perfect to help us unwind and relax. Lighting is also essential for creating the perfect ambience, so carefully choose lamps with low wattage bulbs to help soften the feel of the room.
And if space is no object, a comfortably dressed chair is a real luxurious statement piece and perfect for reading. Appropriately placed photos, art work and objects complete the look and can personalise the area and bring calmness and memories