Struggle to get to sleep when you stay somewhere new? You’re not alone. For many travellers, the “first-night effect” can leave people tossing and turning at night, and groggy the next day, with their minds unable to switch off due to the new surroundings.This is one reason accommodation providers spend so much time investing in quality bedding, creating comfortable and relaxing environments for their guests. But while some leave guests feeling refreshed, others do not.To understand more about the sleep quality enjoyed by travellers, we’ve analysed over 2.5 million popular online review platforms reviews for the ratings guests have given their accommodation across hotels in the US, UK and Europe.
The cities offering the best night’s sleep to visitors
Analysing the data from the 50 popular tourist cities across the US, UK, and Europe, our study found that, on average, Rome offers visitors the best night’s sleep.
The average ‘top 100’ accommodation in Rome is rated 4.50 out of five stars for ‘Sleep Quality’ by guests visiting the Italian Captial, with two thirds (66.3%) of ‘Sleep Quality’ reviews in Rome giving five stars.
Lisbon and Prague were found to have the second-highest average sleep quality in their ‘top 100’ accommodation providers.
On average, the hotels, hostels and other accommodation types in Lisbon and Prague were given 4.47 out of five for ‘sleep quality’ by reviewers on popular online review platforms, with 64.9% of ‘Sleep Quality’ reviews in both Prague and Lisbon five stars. However, Prague does have a slightly higher percentage of one-star reviews – Prague 1.9% compared to Lisbon 1.8%.
Rounding off the top three, Paris was found to be the third-best city for ‘sleep quality’ reviews, out of those analysed. Accommodation in Paris was given an average rating of 4.44 out of five by visitors, with 61.5% of ‘Sleep Quality’ reviews giving Parisian accommodation options five stars.
Top 10 Cities for Sleep Quality Reviews
|Rank||City||Country||Average Sleep Quality Rating||Percentage of Reviews Given 5*|
|6=||Washington D.C.||United States||4.40||74.4%|
The cities offering the worst night’s sleep to visitors
At the other end of the scale, our study found that accommodation in Copenhagen offers the lowest average sleep quality to visitors. Reviewers on popular online review platform giving accommodation choices in the Danish Capital an average sleep quality rating of 4.02 out of five stars, with nearly one in 20 (4.7%) of ‘Sleep Quality’ reviews giving one-star.
Las Vegas fairs slightly more favourably, in second bottom position of the 50 cities analysed, accommodation in ‘Vegas’ averages4.03 out of five stars according to former guests to the city, with one in 50 (2%) of Vegas’ reviews being one star.
While those visiting Birmingham (UK) rated the ‘top 100’ accommodation options the third-worst, with review scores for the quality of sleep guests got when staying in Birmingham (UK) averaging just 4.04 stars out of five, with almost one in 12 (7.5%) ‘Sleep Quality’ reviews giving the UK’s second city one star.
Bottom 10 Cities for Sleep Quality Reviews
|City||Country||Average Sleep Quality Rating||Percentage of Reviews Given 1*|
|2||Las Vegas||United States||4.03||2.0%|
|4||San Diego||United States||4.05||1.8%|
|9=||Los Angeles||United States||4.12||1.5%|
City Sleep Quality Scores in The U.S.
Our research found that Washington DC is the best city for ‘Sleep Quality’ scores, with accommodation in the US capital rated an average of 4.4 out of five stars.
Las Vegas meanwhile was found to have the lowest average ‘Sleep Quality’ scores, with visitors to Vegas giving the accommodation options in Vegas an average ‘Sleep Quality’ rating of just 4.03 out of five stars.
City Sleep Quality Scores in Europe
Rome was found to have the best average ‘Sleep Quality’ scores on popular online review platforms in the popular European cities we analysed. Visitors to the Italian capital rated the accommodation options an average of 4.5 out of five stars for sleep quality.
Copenhagen on the other hand was found to be the lowest-rated city, of those analysed, with visitors scoring the accommodation options in the city just 4.02 out of five.
City ‘Sleep Quality Scores’ in The UK
Accommodation options in London were found to offer the best ‘Sleep Quality’ according to reviewers on popular online review platforms. Visitors to the UK capital scored London’s accommodation an average of 4.35 out of five for the quality of sleep they had when staying in the city.
The UK’s second city, Birmingham, was found to be the lowest-rated by visitors when it came to sleep quality. Reviews of accommodation in Birmingham averaged just 4.04 out of five.
The best places to stay for a quality night’s sleep, overall
Our analysis revealed that the AJWA Sultanahmet (Istanbul) and the Manayunk Chambers Guest House (Philadelphia) were the highest-rated places to stay among those in our analysis, scoring an average ‘Sleep Quality’ score of five stars out of five.
The second best places to stay based on ‘Sleep Quality’ review scores are The Publishing House Bed and Breakfast (Chicago), and the Fairmont Grand Del Mar (San Diego). The Publishing House Bed and Breakfast scoring slightly higher when it came to the percentage of reviews giving the BnB five stars (98.39%).
Rounding off the top three places to stay for the best night’s sleep when travelling are Le Bristol Paris (Paris) and the Ben Cruachan Guest House (Edinburgh), both scoring an average rating of 4.97 in guest ‘Sleep Quality’ reviews.
However, the Ben Cruachan Guest House does score slightly higher when it comes to the percentage of reviews that are five stars – 97.22% compared to 97.12%.
Top 10 places for sleep quality, according to popular online review platform reviews
|Rank||Area||City||Hotel Name||Sleep Rating||% of 5* Reviews|
|||US||Philadelphia||Manayunk Chambers Guest House||5.00||100.00%|
|2=||US||Chicago||The Publishing House Bed and Breakfast||4.98||98.39%|
|||US||San Diego||Fairmont Grand Del Mar||4.98||98.21%|
|3=||EU||Paris||Le Bristol Paris||4.97||97.12%|
|||UK||Edinburgh||Ben Cruachan Guest House||4.97||97.22%|
|||EU||Athens||AD Athens Luxury Rooms and Suites||4.96||96.15%|
|5=||EU||Lisbon||Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel||4.95||95.00%|
|||EU||Lisbon||Hotel Britania Art Deco a Lisbon Heritage Collection||4.95||95.16%|
|||UK||London||Royal Lancaster London||4.95||94.83%|
|||US||Washington DC||Lyle Washington DC||4.95||94.55%|
|||US||Washington DC||Trump International Hotel Washington D.C.||4.95||96.30%|
|6=||EU||Venice||Hotel Nani Mocenigo Palace||4.94||94.12%|
|||EU||Prague||BoHo Prague Hotel||4.94||93.85%|
|||EU||Istanbul||Sheraton Istanbul City Center||4.94||94.12%|
|||EU||Budapest||Prestige Hotel Budapest||4.94||93.83%|
|||EU||Amsterdam||Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam||4.94||95.38%|
|||UK||London||Canopy By Hilton London City||4.94||94.44%|
|||UK||Oxford||Whispering Cottages Bed and Breakfast||4.94||94.12%|
|||US||Orlando||Wyndham Garden Orlando Universal I Drive||4.94||93.75%|
|7=||EU||Istanbul||Shangri La Bosphorus Istanbul||4.93||95.35%|
|||UK||Brighton||The Twenty One||4.93||93.81%|
|8=||EU||Rome||Singer Palace Hotel||4.92||93.44%|
|||EU||Prague||Four Seasons Hotel Prague||4.92||93.25%|
|||EU||Prague||Hotel Residence Agnes||4.92||92.59%|
|||EU||Paris||Hotel Signature St Germain des Pres||4.92||91.96%|
|||UK||Brighton||27 Brighton Guesthouse||4.92||91.67%|
|||UK||London||Pan Pacific London||4.92||92.31%|
|||UK||London||Shangri La The Shard London||4.92||91.67%|
|||UK||London||The Montcalm London Marble Arch||4.92||92.16%|
|||US||Chicago||The Peninsula Chicago||4.92||93.67%|
|9=||EU||Venice||Venice Times Hotel||4.91||90.91%|
|||EU||Prague||Alcron Hotel Prague||4.91||90.91%|
|||EU||Prague||Aria Hotel Prague||4.91||92.98%|
|||EU||Prague||Mosaic House Design Hotel||4.91||91.43%|
|||EU||Paris||Hotel Grand Powers||4.91||92.45%|
|||EU||Madrid||CoolRooms Palacio de Atocha||4.91||90.63%|
|||EU||Barcelona||H10 Casa Mimosa||4.91||92.31%|
|||EU||Amsterdam||Luxury Suites Amsterdam||4.91||93.33%|
|10=||EU||Vienna||Palais Hansen Kempinski||4.90||91.30%|
|||EU||Paris||Hotel de Crillon A Rosewood Hotel||4.90||91.94%|
|||EU||Paris||Hotel la Nouvelle Republique SPA||4.90||89.66%|
|||EU||Milan||Room Mate Giulia||4.90||90.11%|
|||EU||Barcelona||The Corner Hotel||4.90||89.60%|
|||UK||Edinburgh||Six Brunton Place Guest House||4.90||90.81%|
|||UK||Birmingham||The High Field Town House||4.90||92.50%|
|||UK||Glasgow||Alamo Guest House||4.90||90.65%|
|||US||Washington DC||Hotel Madera||4.90||90.00%|
The best places to stay for a quality night’s sleep, in each city
According to the results of our analysis of popular online review platform reviews, these are the best places to stay for a quality night’s sleep when visiting the 50 cities analysed.
From boutique BnBs to international chains, the results show the best places for visitors to stay to avoid (or at least lessen) the “first-night effect”.
Top places to stay in each city
|Area||City||Best Hotel||Sleep Rating||% of 5* Reviews|
|US||Atlanta||The Candler Hotel Atlanta Curio Collection by Hilton||4.81||85.83%|
|US||Boston||The Whitney Hotel Boston||4.88||91.67%|
|US||Chicago||The Publishing House Bed and Breakfast||4.98||98.39%|
|US||Los Angeles||Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills||4.80||87.92%|
|US||Miami||Four Seasons Hotel Miami||4.81||87.22%|
|US||New York||Arlo Midtown||4.88||88.46%|
|US||Orlando||Wyndham Garden Orlando Universal I Drive||4.94||93.75%|
|US||Philadelphia||Manayunk Chambers Guest House||5.00||100.00%|
|US||San Diego||Fairmont Grand Del Mar||4.98||98.21%|
|US||San Francisco||Grand Hyatt at SFO||4.86||90.50%|
|US||Seattle||The State Hotel||4.85||85.00%|
|US||Vegas||Residence Inn Las Vegas Airport||4.84||83.67%|
|US||Washington DC||Lyle Washington DC||4.95||94.55%|
|US||||Trump International Hotel Washington D C||4.95||96.30%|
|UK||Birmingham||The High Field Town House||4.90||92.50%|
|UK||Brighton||The Twenty One||4.93||93.81%|
|UK||Bristol||Southville Guest House||4.87||86.96%|
|UK||Edinburgh||Ben Cruachan Guest House||4.97||97.22%|
|UK||Liverpool||Orrell Park Hotel||4.84||87.50%|
|UK||London||Royal Lancaster London||4.95||94.83%|
|UK||Manchester||Hyatt House Manchester Aparthotel||4.88||87.69%|
|UK||Oxford||Whispering Cottages Bed and Breakfast||4.94||94.12%|
|EU||Amsterdamn||Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam||4.94||95.38%|
|EU||Athens||AD Athens Luxury Rooms and Suites||4.96||96.15%|
|EU||Berlin||Hotel am Steinplatz Autograph Collection||4.86||88.89%|
|EU||Budapest||Prestige Hotel Budapest||4.94||93.83%|
|EU||Copenhagen||Hotel d Angleterre||4.87||88.98%|
|EU||Dublin||Hard Rock Hotel Dublin||4.87||86.67%|
|EU||Frankfurt||Premier Inn Frankfurt Messe hotel||4.80||85.71%|
|EU||Heraklion||Olive Green Hotel||4.86||88.31%|
|EU||Krakow||Holiday Inn Krakow City Centre an IHG hotel||4.86||87.29%|
|EU||Krakow||Hotel Indigo Krakow Old Town an IHG hotel||4.86||87.50%|
|EU||Lisbon||Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel||4.95||95.00%|
|EU||||Hotel Britania Art Deco a Lisbon Heritage Collection||4.95||95.16%|
|EU||Madrid||CoolRooms Palacio de Atocha||4.91||90.63%|
|EU||Milan||Room Mate Giulia||4.90||90.11%|
|EU||Munich||The Charles Hotel||4.80||85.32%|
|EU||Paris||Le Bristol Paris||4.97||97.12%|
|EU||Prague||BoHo Prague Hotel||4.94||93.85%|
|EU||Venice||Hotel Nani Mocenigo Palace||4.94||94.12%|
|EU||Vienna||Palais Hansen Kempinski||4.90||91.30%|
|EU||Warsaw||Hotel Bristol a Luxury Collection Hotel Warsaw||4.85||89.22%|
Ways you can improve the quality of your sleep when staying away from home
To help city travellers get a good night’s rest, Carl Walsh, sleep expert and owner of BedGuru, shared with us some advice on how travellers can improve their sleep when travelling, helping them to feel refreshed and ready to explore the next day.
- Make sure your hotel room is at an optimal temperature; too cold and you’ll be shivering all night, and too hot and you’ll be sweating, tossing, and turning! Cooler is often better to encourage sleep, so I’d recommend setting your room between 15.5°C and 20°C.”
- Pack your own pillowcase for familiarity. The smell of your own home is comforting and the feeling of familiarity helps you to drift off easier
- Don’t be shy to ask for a new room! Many of us tend to shy away from saying when something isn’t quite right, and instead, we’ll put up with the pain. But when it’s impacting your sleep, that’s not ok. Hotel staff are used to this so don’t be afraid to say something if something isn’t quite right.
- White noise or classical music can be soothing and help you get to sleep. If your partner snores, or you’re a light sleeper, white noise can drown out any surroundings sounds and help you drift off to sleep. They’re also great to help reduce anxiety as your focus is on the soothing sound instead of any lingering thoughts.
- Wait approximately 2-3 hours between eating and going to bed. Give leave several hours between your evening meal and going to sleep to allow your body enough time to digest your food.
- Bring other small items from your home to the hotel room. Similar to taking your own pillows, taking your own blanket, favourite socks, or even diffuser etc. can help to create comforting familiarity when staying somewhere new.
- Hang the “do not disturb” sign on your doorknob!
Enjoying popular local cuisines is often part and parcel of travelling to new destinations and cities. However, there are some foods you should maybe avoid if you’re worried about getting a good night’s sleep.
- Hard cheeses, as these contain high levels of amino acid tyramine which promotes alertness in our brains.
- Spicy foods can cause you to have digestion issues. As well as indigestion, foods that contain capsaicin can make it harder for your body to regulate its temperature, in turn, making it more difficult to get the sleep you need.
- Fatty foods like burgers, fried foods, and baked goods are hard for your stomach to digest and can cause heartburn which gets in the way of sleep.
- Dark chocolate has a similar effect to caffeinated drinks, with a standard chocolate bar containing around the same amount of caffeine as three cups of decaffeinated coffee. Chocolate is also filled with theobromine, another stimulant that can increase your heart rate and result in sleepless nights.
To reveal the sleep quality of places to stay in popular tourist cities, we analysed the 500 latest popular online review platform reviews of the top 100 accommodation options in 50 cities, across the US, UK, and Europe.
Overall, 2.5 million reviews were analysed in the study, with the analysis omitting those with fewer than 100 total reviews. Those with greater than 100 total reviews were then analysed for their “Sleep Quality” ratings given by reviewers, with reviews for each hotel averages and counted from 1 to 5 to give us each accommodation’s average rating and spread of ratings.
Data was collated between 28/02/2022 and 11/03/2022.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License