LONDON: International hotel chain Holiday Inn is offering a trial human bed-warming service at three hotels in Britain this month.
This photo taken on January 14, 2010 shows Bed Warmers Jacqui Barry and Nick Woods (right) help to beat the big freeze for Laurence Lancashire, centre, as Holiday Inn launches the world's first complimentary Live Bed Warming service at the Holiday Inn Kingston-South in Surbiton, Surrey, to help customers get off to a good nights sleep. [Photo/CFP]
If requested, a willing staff-member at two of the chain's London hotels and one in the northern English city of Manchester will dress in an all-in-one fleece sleeper suit before slipping between the sheets.
"The new Holiday Inn bed warmers service is a bit like having a giant hot water bottle in your bed," Holiday Inn spokeswoman Jane Bednall said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
The bed-warmer is equipped with a thermometer to measure the bed's required temperature of 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit).
Holiday Inn said the warmer would be fully dressed and leave the bed before the guest occupied it. They could not confirm if the warmer would shower first, but said hair would be covered.
Florence Eavis, Holiday Inn spokeswoman told Reuters that the "innovative" bed-warming method was a response to Britain's recent cold weather and marked the launch of 3,200 new Holiday Inns worldwide.
She could not explain why the beds were not being warmed by hot water bottles or electric-blankets, but admitted the human method was quirky.
Holiday Inn are promoting the service with the help of sleep-expert Chris Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Center, who said the idea could help people sleep.
"There's plenty of scientific evidence to show that sleep starts at the beginning of the night when body temperature starts to drop," he said. "A warm bed - approximately 20 to 24 Celsius - is a good way to start this process whereas a cold bed would inhibit sleep."