Putting on the Ritz -- at home

The Chicago hotel's gift shop will be happy to sell you many items you enjoyed during your stay -- even your mattress.

Material World

August 29, 1999|By Chicago Tribune

The people who stay at Chicago's Ritz-Carlton Hotel and its sister hotel, the Four Seasons, are accustomed to having the best, whether it's a late-night snack of escargot and ale brewed by Belgian monks or a night's sleep on the hotels' celebrated supercomfortable mattresses.

And for a price, they can have pretty much the same experience -- minus the snails, perhaps -- to go.

The gift shops at the hotels, managed by the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts group, carry mementos far beyond the usual pens and postcards.

According to Ritz gift shop manager David Hamelin, these include not just the hotels' mattresses, but lamps, barware, feather and down pillows, terry cloth bathrobes and hair dryers -- enough that customers can almost re-create a hotel room in their own homes.

Hamelin reports that about 100 mattresses (a king-size mattress plus box spring is $999 plus freight) are sold annually out of the Ritz gift shop. One guest bought three, one for each of his houses, he says, while some European visitors have had them shipped home.

These are not, he hastens to add, the actual mattresses from one's hotel stay, but brand-new ones of the same type.

What makes them such a hit?

It's "a really well-made mattress," Hamelin says. "The king size has 565 wrapped coils, three inches of superfoam and 17 pounds of cotton quilting on each side," he says. "The result is a mattress that is really snuggly and plush, but yet very firm."

Pub Date: 08/29/99

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