It's Frette at the Ritz Paris and the London Savoy, Pratesi at the St. Regis in San Francisco, Fili D'oro at the Plaza Athénée in New York and Anichini at the Signature at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. We're not talking designer cocktails. We're talking sheets - an increasingly important amenity at hotels.

Even workaday Holiday Inn Express recently spent $53 million upgrading linens, adding duvets and 200-thread-count sheets on beds in the chain's 1,400 North American hotels.

"Sheets are critical," says Chaz Stevens, an L.A.-based design consultant who created the bed and bath linen for the Angelino, a new boutique hotel in Brentwood.

Experts like Stevens credit the popularity of hotel linen to the Heavenly Bed, which made its appearance in rooms at Westin hotels and resorts in 1999. Guests slept so sweetly on the beds that the chain began offering the components - comforters, blankets, sheets and even mattresses - in hotel boutiques.

After that, other high-end hotel chains, including Hilton and Marriott, joined the bedding battle.

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