August 25, 2018

What matters most

To hotel guests, that is. According to Trivago's business blog these are the top room amenities that guests want to see when they arrive. At The Sleepy Owl, we're trying to discover all the time what our guests prefer and what they absolutely love, so don't be shy to tell us your list!

1. Plush pillows and breathable linens

Luxurious sheets and pillows that come in a variety of plumpness can really help a person relax at the end of the day. Down filled duvets, too!

2. Soft, oversized bath towels

Let's face it - hotel towels are often scratchy at best. But imagine wrapping yourself in a buttery soft towel. Now that's comfort! Plus if it's oversized guests won't have to worry about awkward interactions if they happen to be staying with their parents, kids, etc.

3. Full sized, high quality bathroom products

Do you even use hotel shampoo? For most guests, the standard offering of soap-shampoo-conditioner feels a little drab. But bathroom supplies could actually inspire, invigorate, and make life easier if hotels choose wisely.

4. Complimentary refreshments

Mini bars can be convenient, but if hotels don't offer something like in room bottles of water or coffee, guests can feel a little taken advantage of. 

5. Something special

Whether it's a welcome cocktail, or a couple of homemade cookies upon arrival it's important to feel that your presence is appreciated.


So what do you think? Do you have different ideas about what you'd like to see when you check in?

good nights sleep illustration

August 24, 2018

Choosing your sleeping position based on your personality

So just as everyone sleeps a little bit differently, the reasons why you choose your particular favourite position might be based on more than just habit. We've stumbled on some sleep psychology that tries to explain why you sleep the way you do - and what it means about who you are. Here's our mini guide to get you started!

Back Sleepers

The Soldier - Arms at your sides and ready to spring into action if necessary. This sleeping position is preferred by people who like structure and take themselves seriously.

The Stargazer - Arms are flung above your head like you just don't care. But you actually do care - especially about relationships and helping people you care about. 

Side Sleepers

The Log Roller - Legs are straight and arms are at your sides. Typically preferred by easy going and social people who are very trusting (and maybe a little gullible). 

The Yearning Dreamer - Arms are outstretched in front of you, like a mummy. These folks are a little suspicious of new people and have a hard time making decisions, but once they do - it's final.

Stomach Sleepers

The Skydiver - Head to the side with your arms wrapped around the pillow. You're playful, you're fun, but you're also kind of brash sometimes. You seem free-spirited but you might be secretly anxious.

The Baby - All curled up in the fetal position. We've all preferred this way of sleeping at some point in our early life, but for those who still favour it you may exhibit a tough exterior that covers up a shy and sensitive nature.


So, which one are you? Do you think the description matches your personality?

room showing bed

August 22, 2018

Choosing Your Pillow Based on Your Sleep Position

Just like our personalities, every person sleeps a liiiiiitle bit differently. And the position in which you're most comfortable snoozing correlates to a specific pillow as well. We made a quick and easy guide for choosing the best one based on the recommendations from

1. Back sleepers - If possible, choose a pillow that has a natural curvature and remember to put a pillow under your knees for better back support!

2. Side sleepers - Opt for a thicker pillow which will allow your spine to stay straight and horizontal. Bonus points for placing a firm pillow between your bent knees. This keeps the top hip from rotating downwards.

 3. Stomach sleepers - This is apparently the most stressful position for the back and neck so try to use a flat pillow or even no pillow at all! (Unless you want to place one underneath your abdomen to support the natural curve of your spine.)

That's it folks! We offer a variety of pillows at the hotel but as always, recommendations are appreciated! We love to take good care of our guests! And we love a good night's sleep!

August 11, 2018

What happy people do before bed

When you were a kid, you might have had the luxury of being tucked into bed at a specific hour and picking out a bedtime story. Maybe even a lullaby! Maybe even a kiss on the cheek. There was probably a whole routine that involved brushing your teeth and throwing on a pair of ninja turtles pyjamas. Now, as an adult, you have to navigate the world of going to bed independently. 

Some of our bedtime habits are helpful, and others? Not so much. So we're rolling out a tiny (read: doable) list of things people do before bed to wake up happier. 

1. Express gratitude. It's so simple this can often get overlooked but the art and discipline of counting your blessings actually causes your brain to focus on positive thoughts, planting seeds of optimism and hope into your cells. It can be so easy to get trapped in a cycle of stressful thinking in the quiet of the night, so be proactive and write or say aloud at least a handful of things you're really, truly thankful for. Try to make a meaningful connection with each one and avoid rattling off the same few every night. 

2. Unwind. There's nothing like the right kind of candle or bubble bath or softly playing song to make you feel right at ease. Reading, stretching, drinking tea - discover what it is that relaxes you (don't be afraid to try new things!) and make it a staple in your sleepytime routine.

3. Get rid of the clutter. Try keeping a notepad next to your bed. Before turning off the light, jot down anything important that you need to remember the next day. It might be a doctor's appointment or sending flowers to a friend. If you can move it out of your brain and onto paper, you'll have a better chance of falling asleep sooner.

August 7, 2018

There are half as many hotels in this city as there are people in Fort Frances

So where should you go if you like as many options as possible? Head to Beijing! It boasts a total of 4,169 hotels (including B&Bs, according to Price of Travel) and also a big wall that's pretty famous. You can find ultra modern places, traditional spots that serve tea in your bedroom, even one dedicated to the ancient art of puppet shows. 

Here in Fort Frances, you've got half a dozen options (none devoted to the art of puppetry as far as I know), but what matters most is that you feel comfortable, rested, and taken care of. 

August 2, 2018

Who knew chocolate could be the key to a good night's sleep?

I've never been able to sleep well on airplanes. You see, when I was 14 my friend told me about a little horror called "sleep paralysis" and how (apparently) it's more likely to happen if you sleep on your back. So as you might imagine, trying to sleep on my back whilst mostly sitting straight up in a chair is not very relaxing. 

But on a trip to Guatemala this spring, I stumbled upon these little guys - chocolate magic sleeping pills. They've got 1mg of melatonin per piece. The first time I tried them I popped four in my mouth (a full dose) while waiting at my gate in the airport. I was asleep before takeoff! If you've got a red eye, a long day of travel, or just a hard time getting to sleep while trying to keep your elbows off someone else's arm rest - take these!

Find these and other great chocolate wonders here.

laptop utilising hotel wifi

July 31, 2018

Don't forget to check in!

There is a stark contrast between walking into your house and checking in to a hotel. While entering your home is more familiar, it's also likely to be far less intentional. 

We spend the bulk of our days being busy without ever holding ourselves accountable. We put in our hours, do our work, scroll through endless piles of information and entertainment, and stare at the ceiling at the end of the day wondering what we're even doing with our lives.

When you check in to a hotel, you generally need two proofs - who you are (ID card) and your right to stay (credit card). We should practice doing the same in life, silently and purposefully checking in to each space we enter throughout the day. 

"This is who I am and this is why I belong here." 

July 30, 2018

Want to be a good host? Try this.

Here's a short list of some of the best and favourite things guests love, whether staying at a 5 star resort or their grandmother's home. 

1. Something to fill their belly. Whether it's fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, a backyard BBQ, or some candies and a bottle of water on the beside table, plan according to the hour and nature of the arrival. After a day of fending for yourself on the freeway or the airport, it's nice to know that someone is taking care of you - and what speaks louder than food?

2. Soft things. Pillows, blankets, plush towels, anything that people can curl up into. Cozy is key when hosting. 

3. An invitation to participate in your rituals and celebrations of life. Whether it's family dinner, your weekly bowling league game, a free concert in town, the best way to feel connected to someone is to experience something with them. 

July 26, 2018

The Super Simple Secret to Finding Adventure in a Small Town

We get it. Small towns do not have quite the appeal of the cities, at least at first glance. Fort Frances doesn't have an amusement park, a shopping mall, or even a movie theatre. But ask yourself why you want to travel in the first place? 

To relax? Meet new people? Experience a new culture? Have fun? Make memories?

All those things can easily happen right here in a small town. But it requires a bit of counter-intuitive knowledge. Are you ready for it? 

You need a tour guide! And maybe a few actually! By that I mean you need to make friends with the locals. They have the inside scoop that Google will never have access to because every small town has hidden gems that can't be found online: the best cliff to jump off on Rainy Lake, the no-fail blueberry picking spot, the hilarious one man show happening in the dingy hotel across town. 

Meeting and befriending locals is simply the best way to travel if you want to experience what life is really like in any place, especially small towns. I can't begin to count the number of times living with locals has given me exclusive access to parties and gatherings and activities and conversations that were the highlight of my trip. You can always follow the guidebook, but why not start talking to actual humans? Living like the locals is simply the most basic but entertaining way to travel. It doesn't mean you have to sleep at their house and become part of the family - but find the coffee shop the old guys gather around at, start asking people for recommendations on the street, go to the library and ask them who's the most interesting person to talk to. Try it all! 

Being bored is a state of mind, and a horrible way to get around in the world.

Happy travels! Hope to see you soon!

July 25, 2018

Don't ever travel without this one thing!

It's important to know where you're going on a trip, but it's just as important to know how you're going on a trip. I'm not talking about planes vs. trains, people. I'm talking about knowing yourself and the people you're with!

Your idea of a good time might be centred around a sacred itinerary of must-sees, with every 15 minutes planned and prepared for. Maybe your husband would rather lounge around until midmorning with room service and take in the lake view from the balcony before even thinking about putting on real clothes. You might prefer the charm of staying in someone's home while your friend feels most satisfied in the consistent atmosphere of a chain hotel. Love trying street food? Scared of getting sick? On a budget? Ready to splurge?

This kind of tug of war is where most couples/friends/families run into problems. 

And you'd rather run into something like a turquoise sea with some cold, fresh coconut water, wouldn't you? Me too. So listen - everyone has a different idea of what "the very best travel day" looks and feels like. None are wrong (although they might seem like it at the mention of a "rigorous hike" or "7 hour museum tour.") So, do you know your version of the perfect day? What about your travel partner's?

  1. Communicate about these things beforehand and know everyone's 1. must do's and 2. want to's before jetting off anywhere. Hash out ideas even if all you can come up with is "wander the streets until something good happens." This will take the pressure off having to make rushed decisions in the moment and prevent possible opportunities for friction and frustration.
  2. Be firm about what is important (budget, for example) and flexible with what isn't. There are tons of happy compromises to be made!

If you prefer to be spontaneous, allow your partner to plan out some activities but ask to be kept in the dark about the details so that it still feels surprising. If you prefer to plan, ask for general timelines and guidelines of spontaneous activity from your partner like, "On Tuesday from 8 am - 2 pm we'll look for the best croissant in the whole city attempting to ask locals only in French." 

Happy travels! Hope to see you soon!