Here at MT we’re fortunate enough to receive some weird and wonderful press releases, which enlighten some of the darkest reaches of our ignorance. Only this morning we were informed excitedly that Addis Ababa Bole International has become the first African airport to support bar-coded boarding passes – and there’s still two years to go before the IATA deadline! We could scarcely believe it (although we should have known better – after all, Ethiopia ‘has a tradition of excellence in the air transport industry,’ as we’re sure you know).
But this was nothing to our excitement when the latest news from Conrad landed in our inbox, introducing ‘one of the world's most extensive pillow menus’. Apparently the hotel chain now provides its fortunate guests with more than 75 varieties of pillow from around the globe, catering for their ‘most personal of pillow preferences’. We have no idea why they’re telling us this, but we couldn’t help but be intrigued.
Having always thought that there were only three types of pillow (soft, firm and somewhere in between) it was a real education to discover the hotel chain’s bewildering array, which stretches to seven pages. You can choose a ‘destination-based’ pillow – like the Porcelain Pillow in Singapore (an uncomfortable-sounding imitation of an ancient Chinese style) or the Water Pillow in Miami, which apparently ‘brings a bit of the Miami water scene to bed’.
Or you can go for one of the ‘mood-inspired’ pillows, which include ‘Anti-Stress’, ‘Romance’ (we dread to think) and even a ‘Cold and Flu’ offering. And of course, the eco-conscious are also well catered for, thanks to the 'Organic Buckwheat Pillow' – which apparently moulds to the head and ‘allows natural air circulation, helping to relieve migraines, tension and muscle spasms’.
In the old days, asking for ‘an extra pillow’ used to be a euphemism used by male guests when they were requesting additional female company. If you do this in a Conrad Hotel, the concierge is more likely to think that you’re desperate for the calming properties of patchouli. But on the plus side, at least in this case you’d be allowed to buy the extra and take it home with you.
However, the highlight of the release was a quote from sleep expert Dr Chris Idzikowski at The Edinburgh Sleep Centre, singing the praises of Conrad’s pillows – presumably after some extensive testing. Sleep expert – now there’s a job to aspire to...