Best sleep retreats and packages in London

The sleep tourism market is estimated to grow by over $400 billion in the next five years (Kampus Production)
The sleep tourism market is estimated to grow by over $400 billion in the next five years (Kampus Production)

I am a tired person. I do all the things I’m meant to do to get a good night’s sleep, and yet often wake up thinking mournfully about leaving my bed, counting down the hours until I can be in its embrace once more.

Is it London, always demanding more? Or am I just one of those people who needs to get into bed at 9pm but sneaks in a few extra hours and shouldn’t? Either way, when I heard that sleep tourism was an emerging wellness trend, I decided I wanted to know more about it.

It seems a sharp contrast to the idea of going somewhere to explore and learn about the place, but studies show that sleep is the thing people really crave. The Hilton found in a survey that “the number one reason people want to travel in 2024 is to rest and recharge,” while Fortune says that “the sleep tourism market is estimated to grow by nearly 8% and by over $400 billion between 2023 and 2028”

This is all well and good, and I too have often booked a break solely with the intention of unfurling so I could return to London full of vigour, but I find many hotels actually don’t aid my sleep — but rather hinder it via a series of silly little things. A by no means exhaustive list of the things that bother me: ridiculous and endless light switches; lights on various contraptions that either don’t switch off or blink all night, and air con that rages, leaving me raging.

As such I embarked on testing the below sleep retreats that have popped up in London with some scepticism. Here are my findings...

Madeleine Spencer testing the sleep package at The Laslett (Madeleine Spencer)
Madeleine Spencer testing the sleep package at The Laslett (Madeleine Spencer)

The Laslett Sleep Sanctuary

Named after the local activist, Rhaune Laslett, this hotel is very Notting Hill, with the feel being more of a night at your (rich) friend’s townhouse complete with record player and sash windows offering views of the iconic area. As for sleep, if you book the package, you can expect dinner at the restaurant, The Henderson, complete with Feragaia mocktails to swerve sleep-inhibiting alcohol followed by time in the room that’s furnished with gifts of botanical skincare by Votary, a DIRTEA cacao tin for a pre-sleep relaxing blend, and a DROWSY silk sleep mask.

The magic here was in the simplicity of it — yes, there is the option of a treatment in the Recharge Rooms, but instead I decided to just mellow to some music before going to bed. My plan served me well, and I left feeling chirpy the next day.

The West London Sleep Sanctuary package starts from £420 per night for a double room. To book, please visit living-rooms.co.uk

Four Seasons Park Lane Hyde Park suite (Four Seasons)
Four Seasons Park Lane Hyde Park suite (Four Seasons)

The Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane Sleep Escape

The sell here is the Four Seasons Signature Deep Sleep Lavender Massage — a long name that gives you all the info you really need, but I should add that bloody hell is it effective. I went at 8pm, then sort of stumbled into the adjacent relaxation pod and then to the terrific bed complete with a pillow menu and slept and slept and slept. The turn down service might’ve had something to do with how out of it I was: they not only do the usual things of dimming lights and putting out slippers etc., but they also set the temperature to between 16-18 degrees (perfect for sleep), and imposed a ‘black out’ on all those device lights I find intolerable. I would recommend doing this one solo when you are in need of complete tranquility and want to disappear from the toil of the world.

Room rates start from £895 including VAT. Sleep Escape treatments from £190 for 60 minutes. fourseasons.com

Corinthia Hotel London (Corinthia)
Corinthia Hotel London (Corinthia)

Corinthia London Ultimate Sleep Experience

Whenever I go to a fancy hotel, I sink into the bed and wonder how on earth they offer such superior levels of comfort in the hope I might be able to achieve it at home. The answer may be a serious investment in Hästens, the 172-year-old brand now providing the beds in 35 of the rooms at the palatial Whitehall Corinthia. The ‘ultimate sleep experience’ relies heavily on the charms of those beds made in Sweden using natural and breathable materials — with great success in my case. After eating alfresco in the courtyard restaurant The Garden (worth knowing about for summery evenings), I dissolved on mine and sleep washed over me before I even had a chance to do my usual rituals (room scent, hand cream, lip balm, magnesium pills).

Room rates for Corinthia London start at £800 per night. For more information, please visit hastens.com

W Hotel (W Hotel)
W Hotel (W Hotel)

W Hotel Intentions Stay

You perhaps don’t readily associate Soho with sleep — but the W is hoping to offer a port in the storm via an Intentions Stay where the room comes complete with a bundle of products curated by manifestation coach Roxie Nafousi. All of them are well-considered, from the journal to the Comfort Zone Tranquillity Set sleep-encouraging set. Despite finding the shift from the frantic pace of London and the quiet of my room overlooking the red lanterns of Chinatown quite huge, I quite quickly settled into watching a film (ET, solid choice), before doing some writing and relaxing. If you want something a little more intensely soporific, the AWAY Spa offers breath work specialist Jamie Clements’ sessions along with writer Ciara McGinely’s guided meditations to help bridge the gap between fight or flight and rest and relax. You could also try the Signature Essentials 60-minute De-Stress Massage and Express Facial, or head to the bar for a DIRTEA drink.

The Intentions Stay is an add on of £250 on any room bookings and includes the 90 min spa treatment, classes, journal, and comfort zone amenities that retail at over £70. Book the Intentions Stay at marriott.com

1 Hotel Mayfair (1 Hotel Mayfair)
1 Hotel Mayfair (1 Hotel Mayfair)

1 Hotel Mayfair Rest & Reset Package

Everything about the 1 Hotel is designed to feel like an oasis, from the 1,300 plants populating the hotel to the immense quantity of natural materials that instantly feel soothing, including some exquisite stone walls (they hail from West Sussex). The Rest & Reset package is all about showcasing the Bamford spa and products, and the hotel is justifiably proud of the collaboration. My job involves testing a lot of products and rarely am I quite so taken by a scent as I am by that of the B Silent Collection organic bath oil. Book in for a massage in the whitewashed wooden spa, return to the room for a bath, then rest. An environmentally-minded hotel, there is a drinkable water dispenser (this should be the standard in hotels) and they will even recycle/donate unwanted possessions — just leave them behind with the wooden block on to tell them you didn’t forget them, and they will find a home for them.

Rates start from £500 per night, which includes £160 spa credit. Book via 1hotels.com

Madeleine Spencer tries AI lucid dreaming (Madeleine Spencer)
Madeleine Spencer tries AI lucid dreaming (Madeleine Spencer)

Kimpton Fitzroy The Room To Dream

Before I talk about my night at the Kimpton Fitzroy, a whistle stop tour of the building’s impressive history: built in 1898, The Hotel Russell was designed by Charles Fitzroy Doll. This gave birth to the expression ‘all dolled up.’ On the staircase, you will find a brass dragon that’s come to be called ‘Lucky George’; its twin sank on the Titanic.

Now, onto the sleep package: when you enter your room, there’s a kit containing a headset, a dream journal, a lucid dreaming guide, and LabTonica’s Unplugged range. The idea behind the headset is to take you on an AI-driven journey designed to allow lucid dreaming, effectively like zoning out with images morphing before your eyes, your mind becomes buttery and soft as you ‘sleep’ — but lucidly, i.e. you are in control of your body and can command what’s happening while drifting. Dream expert Charlie Morley says it, “helps people reduce stress and enhance their emotional processing, as well as improving their quality of sleep and sleep pattern.” I found the set up innovative and surprisingly effective, feeling inspired and rested the following day.

Room fare from £399 inc. breakfast. The Room To Dream package can be added to any Kimpton Fitzroy London room or suite booking for the price of £50, kimptonfitzroylondon.com.