Hotel Online  Special Report



After Testing More than 150 Showerheads, Westin 
Selects a Speakman Shower with Two Heads to 
Launch the Heavenly Bath sm Program
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 22, 2001 - Well, rub a dub dub! Forget getting squeaky clean in the shower, for some people bathing can be downright dirty. In a new survey of 1,000 travelers conducted by Westin Hotels & Resorts, 29% of people surveyed said they sometimes ``shower or bathe with another person'' and almost a quarter admitted to ``making love in the shower.''

According to ``Bathing on the Road: A Survey by Westin Hotels & Resorts''* conducted by Guideline Research and Consulting Corporation of New York City, singing in the shower is another favorite pastime -- three out of five of us do it. People are more likely to croon country than any other type of music (12%) followed in order by ``rock'' (10%), ``popular'' (7%), ``classical'' (7%),
``Christian/religious'' (6%) and ``alternative'' (5%). Other less conventional habits in the tub include ``drinking alcohol'' (7%), ``eating food'' (7%), and a surprising 15% of folks ``talk on the phone'' while bathing or showering.

Bathing Pet Peeves

While sex in the shower may be a high for many people, bathing has plenty of lows too. Travelers' biggest pet peeves when taking a shower or bath are: 

  • water pressure being too low'' (33%);
  • dirty tub or shower'' (31%);
  • water draining too slowly'' (24%);
  • not being able to get the temperature just right'' (24%);
  • water getting outside the shower curtain'' (21%);
  • the shower curtain sucking in and touching you'' (20%).
Westin Unveils New Heavenly Bath

Westin interviewed 1,000 American men and women on their bathing habits,
likes and dislikes as part of the research and development of its new Heavenly Bath, which is designed to provide travelers with the best bathing experience in the hotel industry including a therapeutic spa shower and luxurious bath amenities. With the introduction of the Heavenly Bath, Westin is spending $10 million to replace showerheads, curtain rods, curtains, towels, robes and amenities in 32,000 rooms at its 70 hotels across North America.

What's a Heavenly Bath? 

The showcase of the Heavenly Bath is a custom-designed Speakman shower with two heads to provide more power and wider water coverage. In addition, each of the showerheads features five adjustable jets and several spray options, from a light mist to massaging needles, meaning that guests can customize their own showers. The Heavenly Bath also features a curved shower curtain rod that provides eight additional inches of elbowroom (and eliminates the dreaded shower curtain cling), plus luxurious products like an oversized Brazilian combed cotton bath sheet, custom-designed velour bathrobes and new spa amenities.

Launched today after a year of research and development, including testing more than 150 showerheads, the Heavenly Bath is designed to be the best bathing experience in the hotel industry.

"The hotel industry has typically cut corners in bathrooms, which is ridiculous because next to a great night's sleep, a terrific shower is the most important service a hotel can provide,'' said Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Westin's parent. ``As a frequent traveler, nothing frustrates me more than waking up in a hotel to a shower
with terrible water pressure, a thimble of cheap shampoo and a scratchy bath towel that looks more like a washcloth. The Heavenly Bath is designed to be the best bath experience in the hotel business, and a better shower than most people have in their own homes -- a bit of heaven on the road. The Heavenly Bath may also be the only motivation to rise from the Heavenly Bed.''

According to a survey of 1,000 travelers by Westin, Sternlicht is not the only one who has been disappointed by hotel showers and baths. ``Bathing on the Road: A Study by Westin Hotels & Resorts''* conducted by Guideline Research and Consulting Corporation of New York City, found that travelers rate low water pressure as their biggest pet peeve in the shower or bath. Twenty percent said that the ``shower curtain sucking in and touching you'' was another peeve. The Heavenly Bath will alleviate both of these bathing lows.

From rain simulators to pulsating showers to multiple nozzles, Westin tested more than 150 showerheads during the development of the Heavenly Bath. The clear winner was the Speakman custom-designed dual showerhead.

"We tested showerheads in the health club locker rooms of our corporate headquarters,'' said Sternlicht. "When we first saw this particular two-headed shower, we thought it was kind of funny looking, but when it ended up mysteriously disappearing from the locker room, we knew we had a hit on our hands.''

Two years ago, Westin revolutionized the hotel sleeping experience when it introduced the Heavenly Bed, a luxurious, all-white bed with a pillowtop mattress; high-thread count sheets; down duvet and down pillows. Today, other hotel companies have tried to mimic the Heavenly Bed, as it has struck such a chord with travelers that the company is selling four beds per day to guests who simply have to take the Heavenly Bed home. Plans call for the Heavenly Bath products to go on sale as well.

Westin has already begun installing Heavenly Baths around the country. By July, 10,000 guestrooms will feature the Heavenly Bath. An additional 17,000 rooms will be outfitted with the Heavenly Bath by the end of 2001, and the remaining 5,000 rooms will debut the Heavenly Bath in 2002. As the Heavenly Bath rolls out, Westin is also launching a ``Green Room'' program, where guests have the option to reuse their towels and bed linens as part of the company's continued conservation efforts.

The Westin Hotels & Resorts survey is based on telephone interviews conducted on a national omnibus survey during the period of April 5-8, 2001. The survey was conducted among a nationwide cross-section of 1,000 adult American men and women ages 18 or older living in the continental United States (480 men; 520 women). Out of the 1,000 respondents, 614 people claimed to have traveled in the past year and stayed in a hotel. The survey respondents were drawn from a nationally projectable RDD (random digit dialing) telephone sample. 

All samples are subject to some degree of sampling ``error'' -- that is, statistical results obtained from a sample can be expected to differ somewhat from results that would be obtained if every member of the target population were interviewed. In this report, the margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points on the totals. The margin of error for subgroups, by definition, is higher.
A minimum amount of weighting was applied to bring the findings in line with current U.S. census data on the four key variables of gender, age, geographic region and race. This is done to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total population.

Statistics cited in this report refer to the weighted data. 

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 725 properties in 80 countries and 120,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. 

Westin Hotels & Resorts

Also See DDB New York Launches $16 million Non-traditional Advertising Campaign for Westin Hotels & Resorts; Seeks to Increase the Brands Relatively Low Brand Awareness / August 2000 
Who’s sleeping with Westin?A once-sleepy brand has awakened, no small thanks to a big, white bed / Megan Rowe / Oct 2000 

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