City Guides

Napping Around The World: A Travel Story

Alex Shannon has amassed a devoted following by napping in the most luxurious locations around the world. As a career. Talk about your dream job.

Having overcome sleep issues as a child, the London-born content creator tried various ways to improve his sleep quality and health throughout his life. Since first noticing a gap in the influencer market and dreaming up his concept, he has napped in and reviewed luxurious destinations from Miami to Greece, all documented through his Instagram account @followthenap.

Here, he walks us through some of his all-time favorites spots—from where to sleep in the best beds, float in the best tubs, take in the best views to who’s got the pampering game down. And let’s not forget, who’s got the best room service. Because between napping, a guy’s gotta eat.

MOST EXOTIC PLACES I’VE SLEPT

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai

“This oasis in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is dotted with luxury tented suites—each with its own private pool. Every morning, I’d wake up and watch camels, oryx, and gazelles while I ate breakfast on the deck—in fact, a baby gazelle even came up for a snack! This place makes you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere in the absolute best way, and offers a perfect contrast to the sensory overload of the city of Dubai itself.”

Photo Courtesy of Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa

Azulik Resort, Tulum

“Even though it’s in the busiest area of Tulum, this hotel is designed to feel like its own little jungle world. It’s all centered around the natural landscape, and none of the rooms have electricity—which was both good and bad to be totally honest; some powerful air conditioning would have been appreciated. Being able to nap on a private balcony under the shade of the jungle canopy or in the giant nets above the trees at their Kin Toh restaurant is pretty unmatched though.”

Photo Courtesy of Azulik Resort

WHERE I FELT THE MOST PAMPERED

Amangiri, Utah

“Without a doubt, Amangiri is both the most intensely relaxing and amazingly pampering place I’ve ever stayed. It’s surrounded by the Red Rocks of the Colorado Plateau which makes you feel like you’re on another planet, and somehow makes you leave your everyday worries at the door. Everything from design to service, food to amenities is truly exceptional. Spending the evening at their spa, ending in the stargazing pool is a pampering experience I’ll never ever forget.”

Photo Courtesy of Amangiri

Mandarin Oriental, Paris

“At this point, I’ve been lucky enough to experience more hotel rooms than I can count. That said, The Apartment at Mandarin Oriental Paris is the only one that actually left me speechless. It’s the largest hotel room in Paris and is decorated with the most impeccable attention to detail. In addition, when I arrived, Mandarin Oriental had set me up with a luxury goodie basket of champagne, fresh fruit, cologne, a chocolate Eiffel Tower and even sent a complete selection of cakes and pastries from their Cake Shop for me to enjoy. Indulgence at its finest!”

Photo Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental

Cliveden House, Berkshire

“As a London native, there’s just something about a quintessentially English experience that makes me feel fancy AF! At Cliveden House, that’s exactly what you get. I visited the Lady Astor suite and enjoyed afternoon tea in bed… because why should breakfast have all the fun? The whole experience was perfect and made me feel like I was a secret member of the royal family.”

Photo Courtesy of Cliveden House

THE BEST VIEWS

Le Metropolitan, Paris

“Definitely the most iconic view I’ve woken up to (and the photo that really started my success on Instagram) was in the Eiffel Suite at Le Metropolitan Paris. An oval window looks out to one of the most unobstructed views of the Eiffel Tower that I’ve seen. Falling asleep to the tower sparkling at night and walking up to the sun rising over the city was absolutely magical. Fun fact: the bed in this room isn’t actually under the window; I hauled the mattress over there to get a better shot.”

Photo Courtesy of Le Metropolitan

Armani Hotel, Dubai

“A hotel inside the world’s tallest building should have a pretty epic view, right? Well the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa doesn’t disappoint! I stayed in one of the Fountain Suites, which has direct views of The Dubai Fountain from its floor-to-ceiling windows. Even with all the city has to offer, I spent my first night eating room service in bed because I figured I already had the absolute best view in the city and wanted to make the most of it.”

Photo Courtesy of Armani Hotel

Cape Hotel, Los Cabos

“I was really impressed by The Cape when I stayed there a couple of years ago. Their higher category rooms have completely unobstructed views of the sea and The Arch of Cabo San Lucas. Their private villas also have the most insane outdoor lounge areas with views that you’d never expect from a large resort. You get to have all the privacy and seclusion of a private home with all the amenities of a major hotel.”

Photo Courtesy of Cape Hotel

HOTELS WITH THE MOST COMFORTABLE BED

Encore at Wynn, Las Vegas

“This one was a surprise to me! How is it possible to get some of the best sleep of your life in Las Vegas?!? Well, I clearly didn’t do my research beforehand because Wynn has their own brand of beds and bedding, which are so insanely comfortable I didn’t even want to leave the room. When you wake up in Vegas feeling well-rested and without a hangover, you know you’re doing something right.” 

Photo Courtesy of Encore at Wynn

Plaza, New York

“Not only was my bed so comfortable, but my entire time at The Plaza was such a perfect New York moment. I stayed to try their Home Alone experience which was such a perfect dose of nostalgia and really captured that feeling of excitement when you stay at a hotel as a kid (clearly mine never went away). Picture being snuggled up in a marshmallow-y bed while a snowstorm rages outside but you’re enjoying a custom-ice cream sundae being served to you off a gold cart! I mean, this one could also win for “most pampered” to be honest.”

Photo Courtesy of The Plaza

FAVORITE NON-HOTEL SLEEPING SPOTS

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Suite

“I travel back and forth between LA and London as often as I possibly can (even though it’s been over a year now with the pandemic). Every time I get to enjoy Virgin Atlantic Upper Class, I arrive so well-rested and in such a great mood that I can’t wait for the return flight. My favorite thing is changing into some pjs, laying the bed fully flat and enjoying afternoon tea while watching a movie.”

Photo Courtesy of Virgin Atlantic

Glamping tent at Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills

“Technically, this is still a hotel but it’s definitely unique enough to include on this list. The Glamping Suite at the Beverly Wilshire hotel features an enormous balcony that looks down on Rodeo Drive, which houses a glamping tent complete with a full Four Seasons bed, faux fur throws, a crystal chandelier and every type of pillow you can imagine. You can even toast 24k gold s’mores by the fire. I’m not one for camping but this I’ll do any day!”

Photo Courtesy of Beverly Wilshire

FAVORITE ROOM SERVICE BREAKFAST

Mandarin Oriental

“This one has to go to Mandarin Oriental as well. My favorite was in Paris but the Asian breakfasts that they have in most of their hotels are all absolutely delicious. In Paris, I had the dim sum breakfast paired with some of the best coffee ever. Honestly, I’d go back for the food alone.”

Photo Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental

BEST HOTEL BATHROOM & BATHTUB

Taj Hotel, Dubai

“I had to give both best bathroom and bathtub to the Taj Dubai. Their Presidential Suite has one of the most opulent bathrooms I’ve ever seen and is designed with two full walls of sinks, mirrors and counterspace so that couples don’t fight over time in the bathroom (smart). Their tub is an enormous circular masterpiece that looks out directly on the Burj Khalifa. It feels like you’re just luxuriating on top of the world, because you kind of are…”

Photo Courtesy of Taj Hotel, Dubai

FAVORITE ALL AROUND

Amanzoe in Porto Heli, Greece

Photo Courtesy of Amanzoe

Mandarin Oriental in Lago Di Como, Italy

Photo Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental

Four Seasons in Florence, Italy

Photo Courtesy of The Four Seasons

Nobu Ryokan, Malibu

Photo Courtesy of Nobu Ryokan

FAVORITE SLEEP ACCESSORIES

CHECK OUT ALEX SHANNON

IG @FOLLOWTHENAP

Editor’s Note: Some of the activities, hotels, and restaurants listed on our website may be currently closed due to Covid health restrictions. We urge you to check before visiting and to exercise caution and follow CDC guidelines if traveling or visiting any of our recommendations.

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