Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to our well-being though it’s sometimes easier said than done. Heat, noise, and stress can all interfere with our rest, yet if you sleep soundly for over seven hours, you can significantly reduce health problems. I was delighted to be invited to try the ultimate sleep experience with Duxiana and their Dux 818 bed at Marriott Hanbury Manor Hotel and Country Club.
Duxiana is a Swedish luxury sleep bed manufacturer who have carried out extensive research on the sleep cycle to create beds that will optimize your resting experience. In stages one and two of the cycle, you’re drifting in and out of consciousness and easily woken. In stage three your body produces delta waves and breathing reaches its lowest level. Stage four, or deep sleep, is the most important level of sleep where some areas of the brain become more active. It’s been shown in an independent study by the Karolinska Institute that you can get an extra 10% Deep Sleep per night using one of Duxiana’s High Performance Sleep Systems -aka a bed! Environment is also a key factor for sleep and Hanbury Manor was the perfect place to try out the DUX 818 luxury bed. Nestled in 200 acres of Hertfordshire countryside, it’s a Jacobean style country retreat with 161 bedrooms and suites, an 18 hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus and a spa and leisure club.
Our room was in the quietest part of the hotel, overlooking the golf course, and fully equipped with L’Occitane toiletries, fluffy bathrobes and a wide screen TV. Hanbury Manor had thoughtfully given us some Hanbury Ale to drink and some handmade chocolates.
I couldn’t wait to get a closer look at the bed, from a distance it looked like a standard bed. Yet when we peeled back the sheets, there was not one but three separate mattresses. The story of DUX beds begins in 1924 when Swedish chocolate maker Efraim Ljung visited Chicago and had a fantastic night’s sleep. Intrigued, he discovered that the bed was constructed of flexible steel springs and was inspired upon returning home to come up with something even better. These days, Duxiana also has a unique chain of design hotels where the concept of a good night’s sleep is key. Not only that, they also supply all the beds in Dubai’s iconic Burj al Arab hotel.
This bed is a bit like an onion, there are so many layers! I’m told that there are nearly four times as many springs as a normal bed, and a unique Pascal cassette system, so that each zone of the bed can be customized with a soft, medium or firm cassette to suit individual needs. There’s also lumbar support which you can individually adjust for each side of the bed, keeping the spine perfectly straight as you sleep.
Even the special Dux Xleep Pillow had coils inside it, safely encased in an air cushion that holds your neck in place all night and relieves it of any muscular tension while you sleep. If you place a hand on it as we did to test, it springs immediately back into shape.
However we decided to be virtuous and hit the health club and spa. The pool feels very spacious as it opens out onto the gardens and outdoor sun loungers at one end, and a relaxation area at the other. We made good use of the gym’s extensive facilities to work up an appetite for dinner.
We chose to eat outside overlooking the golf course and really enjoyed our starters – lobster bisque with parmesan straws and East Coast Scottish scallops with crispy pork belly and cauliflower paste. It’s always nice when these are presented in the shell.
Mr Luxe’s main of Hereford beef rib eye dry aged for 35 days, with triple cooked chips was a complete success – the meat was tender and very juicy and the chips were crispy on the outside and fluffy inside. My hake with spring greens, samphire and a very striking salad of blue potato was served with a flavourful Pernod butter sauce.
I opted for a moreish chocolate pavé with honeycomb and Mr Luxe opted for a succulent pistachio and raspberry almond cake.
After a nightcap in the magnificent Oak Hall, it was time to turn in for bed.
There were other surprises in store for us to ensure the very best night’s sleep: firstly a Lumie Bodyclock Iris with built in aromatherapy chambers. This clever device simulates sunrise, enabling you to wake up easily. Most people’s natural body clock runs slightly longer than 24 hours, meaning that unless it’s corrected, you gradually wake up later and later each day. Morning light can correct our body clock and synchronise it to the 24 hour day.
I actually have a Lumie clock on my bedside table, it’s particularly effective in Winter when it’s dark outside and though I also set a normal alarm to be on the safe side, it certainly helps me to wake up gradually. Mr Luxe particularly liked the aromatherapy aspect of the clock, with a relaxing bedtime oil in one chamber and a revitalizing morning scent in the other. I couldn’t really smell them from my side of the bed but that’s probably because the windows were open.
We were also provided with a moisture serum from Rajeunir so that when we woke up, we would look as good as we felt 😉 The texture of this serum is light and non-greasy, just as well or I wouldn’t have been able to persuade Mr Luxe to try it. Rajeunir may have a French name, it means rejuvenate, but they are a British company who have received rave reviews for their two main products, the moisture serum and lip serum. The idea behind the moisture serum is that you only need this rather than a separate day, night, eye cream and primer. It has seven active ingredients to plump up skin and lock in moisture. That was the theory, so I was excited to see whether it would fulfill its promises.
I can honestly say that I had one of the best night’s sleeps ever – no tossing and turning as I sometimes do in a strange hotel room, just complete rest until the next morning and a very gradual wake up thanks to the Lumie clock. We both felt that our skin looked more hydrated and somewhat smoother. Obviously I’d need to trial the product for longer but first impressions were promising. I have since been using it when my skin needs a boost and it does seem to give it a glow and a hydration boost.
The sun was shining and we took some time to explore the rest of the grounds after breakfast. There are lots of comfy lounges and reception rooms.
And the original chapel of the Manor House, Poles Hall, would be perfect for weddings or a special event – it even has a minstrel gallery.
We had a fabulous stay thanks to Duxiana and their Dux 818 bed. I’ve been hankering after a Dux bed ever since our stay, and popped into their Marylebone showroom to admire their range – they even make bed linen, inclinable headboards and matching furniture!