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Why Hotels and Down Etc Are Fans of Stuffed Animals 

Stuffed toys originated with a felt elephant sold as a pincushion by Margarete Steiff in 1880. Margarete’s nephew Richard Steiff designed the first plush bear with movable arms in 1902. The National Park Service reports the name “Teddy Bear” originated that same year, after a political cartoon appeared in which President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a black bear that had been tied to a willow tree. In 1926, a stuffed bear purchased by A.A. Milne for his son Christopher Robin inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. Teddy bears and their stuffed animal friends have continued to delight us ever since.

Many of our hotel clients have recognized the cuddly benefits and pure joy that stuffed animals bring to guests of all ages. They’ve included them in their regular décor, added them to turndown services, and made them the focus of holiday celebrations, creating mascots to be remembered. We thought it was time to share some of these special stories as we introduce our own cuddly friend.

A Special Addition to Turndown

A beautiful turndown service sets the stage for guests to wind down and ease into a great night’s sleep. The soothing mood is created by a room that has been freshened and left with low lighting and soft music playing. Typically, the curtains are drawn, the covers are neatly pulled back at an angle, a turndown mat and slippers are set by the side of the bed. In addition to these standards, a surprising number of heritage hotels have added stuffed animals to their turndown service.

The George in Christchurch, New Zealand, provides guests with a cuddly bear named George, as well as with chocolates and bottled water. “George is yours to take home, and the popular cuddly companion even has his own Facebook page where guests share their photos of him around the world. Add your own and feel connected to your fellow George lovers.” At Rabbit Hill Inn, in Northern Vermont, “The inn’s cute (stuffed animal) mascot, Harry the Rabbit, participates in the antics as well, hopping behind dressers and nightstands with a new hiding place each day.”

A Part of Holiday Celebrations

Some hotels have created special celebrations designed around their cuddly mascots. The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco offers its Teddy Bear Tea for the holidays in which it treats children to hot chocolate, treats, and sandwiches while they enjoy a holiday show. Each child receives a teddy bear gift and photo. Guests are encouraged to donate a wrapped brand-new toy for the hotel’s toy drive. Another holiday tradition is the Teddy Bear Tea at The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The tea party includes sweet and savory snacks and specialty teas, as well as beverages for the adults. Each child will receive a Roosevelt Teddy Bear, “which has been collected by generations of guest and symbolizes the priceless memories of a true New Orleans Christmas.”

A Mascot to Be Remembered

A hotel’s stuffed mascot is as individual as the hotel itself and reflects the heritage of the hotel. The Ritz Paris Bellboy and Chambermaid Teddy Bears encourage family stays. The Conrad Hotels each have their own mascot, from the Conrad Monkey at Conrad Bali to Conrad Stuffed Carabao at Conrad Manila to the stuffed camel at Conrad Dubai. The Lowell in Manhattan has a stuffed animal version of Archie, its English Bulldog mascot.

Stuffed animals reflect the brands of heritage hotels while bringing joy to their guests and whimsy to their rooms. As part of its celebration of two decades providing bedding and sleep health and wellness information to its customers, Down Etc decided it was time to introduce its sleep mascot, Peri Bear. As you would expect, Peri Bear is dressed in his sleeping cap, holding his blankie, and getting ready for bed.

A Soothing Part of a Bedtime Routine

We know that kids find stuffed animals to be great sleep companions, but there is some information to back up the comfort adults can find in hugging a stuffed animal. An article in Wirecutter found “several studies have shown that plush companions can help adults self-soothe. A 2016 study observed that holding a stuffed animal during group therapy allowed college students to better comfort themselves. The act of hugging has also been associated with stress relief, and a 2013 study found that interacting with a huggable communication device lowered stress hormones in blood and saliva.” The real benefit the author noted may have been the stuffed animal established a calming bedtime routine, which is something we highly recommend.

Introducing Peri Bear with Blankie

We love the warm welcome created by the pet ambassadors and stuffed animal mascots at some of our favorite hotels around the world. As part of our celebration of two decades providing a great night’s sleep to our customers at home and away, we introduce to your bedtime routine our cuddly, cozy sleep pal, Peri Bear with Blankie. Down Etc’s Peri Bear, the perfectly plush periwinkle pal, along with an adorable fleece blankie, make for the perfect cuddle before a great night's sleep.

-The Team at Down Etc

If you would like to read more, consider:

10 Elements of a Luxury Hotel Turndown Service to Recreate at Home


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