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Before You Go

For Sunday, March 16, 2014

By McClatchy News Services


Pick your mattress top at Four Seasons

In the battle among hotels to offer the most comfortable beds, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is going to the mattresses.

The luxury hotel company with 92 properties, including three in the Los Angeles area, will begin to offer guests customized beds, with mattress toppers that vary in firmness at the request of guests.

The program, expected to be available at all Four Seasons hotels by 2016, comes in response to a survey the hotel company commissioned. It found that about half of all guests like medium firmness, 28 percent preferred extra firm and 14 percent liked soft mattresses.

Under the new program, guests can choose from three mattress tops that vary in firmness. Guests can request the firmness they want when they check in, and returning guests will find their favorite mattress top already in their room.

"This new research supports what our guests have told us: Everyone has different sleep needs, but the desire for a good night's rest is a universal passion," said Chris Hunsberger, executive vice president for product and innovation at Four Seasons.

In fact, 30 percent of those surveyed said uncomfortable beds have forced them to request a new hotel room. A handful have even sacked out on the floor or in the bathtub to get a good night's sleep.


Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, doesn't fly to Israel.

In fact, the airline's online route map doesn't even show that Israel exists.

The New York Post charged last week that the omission on the map is among several ways that Etihad discriminates against Israelis.

In response, Etihad issued a statement, saying, "We do not discriminate in any way and welcome passengers of all faiths and religions, carrying valid documentation."

Etihad, however, offered no explanation for the online map, which does not identify Israel by name but names its neighbors, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.

Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times

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