Some people make a bee-line for the mini bar, others look out the window, but the first thing I do when I check into a hotel room is squeeze the pillows. Are they hard or soft, feathered or foam? Is there enough, or too many? The lonely, single synthetic pillow, the cheap pillow, the thin pillow, the feels-like-concrete pillow – they all make my heart sink. Lumpy pillows? Noooooo. My preference is for two downy pillows, soft as a cloud and dressed with fine linen (after all, I am paying for this) but that’s not why I care. Well-chosen, good quality pillows say a lot about your hosts and how much they have invested in your comfort. Hence, all the hotels reviewed on these pages have been pillow prodded – and passed the test.

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