Guest Rooms: A Practical Guide

After many conversations, I have gathered that hosting guests overnight is one of the most stressful parts of hospitality for many people.  All the little details and preparation, in a world where time seems to run dangerously low, just makes for one big stress storm.

I get it. You want everything to look and be perfect. However, I want to let you in on a little secret that I pray brings some freedom to your worrisome soul:

Most guests are not looking for perfection, but rather a place of rest. And a lot of times, more than fancy home decor, rest looks like a listening ear for some deep conversations or waking up and not having to worry about breakfast. The key to an awesome guest experience is less about things, and more about the warmth found with who and where they are.

OK so you have guests coming over to stay the night {or two or three…} and you have no idea where to begin…

1. Determine the space: Do you have a guest bedroom or will you need to setup an air mattress? Which bathroom will they use? Once you have that figured out, you can begin by taking inventory of your bed sheets, pillows, and towels to make sure you can accommodate all of your guests.  I also freshen up all these items in the laundry early on {if necessary} so this will be one less thing to worry about closer to their arrival.

2. Plan ahead: Be sure to stock up on groceries and toiletries. Will there be children visiting? Ask what special snacks they would like. Or if there is a baby, perhaps you can add an extra carton of milk or any other essentials that would avoid a late-night market trip for the already tired parents. Are there any special dietary needs? I love having fresh fruit when guests are coming over. They usually fit just about every dietary restrictions just in case!

3. Manage your budget: Don’t run, this can absolutely be budget friendly! Plan, as much as you can, the meals, activities and communicate with your guests about what they would like do while they are in town and plan accordingly. For example, we live in Orlando and 89% of the time family or friends come visit from out of town, there is a Disney trip involved {which we L O V E}. However, if they visit during blackout dates for our annual pass, we usually will skip the park and have dinner ready at home for when they get back.

4. Be present: It is so easy to get all caught up in the doing that we forget to just stop and intentionally participate in the conversation, board game, movie night, or whatever other activity is happening with people you don’t get to see very often, in your own home. Stop and be present. The dirty dishes and misplaced toys will still be there an hour from now. Time with those we love is a gift that refreshes our souls more than we thought we needed.

Here’s a practical list of some of the things I like to have for my guests:

Must haves:

  • Towel
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Shampoo

A little extra:

  • Bottled Water on Nightstand
  • Handwritten welcome note {add a PS. with WIFI information}
  • Hair Dryer
  • Loofah/Washcloth {brand-new and one-time use, of course!}
  • Iron and Board

The Full service:

  • Welcome Basket with their favorite snacks
  • Bathrobe
  • Turn-down Service {depending on how you think your guests will feel about you walking into their room, take a moment towards the end of the day and turn down the linens and prepare the bed for use. You could also light a candle or turn on just a lamp at this time. Refresh water, flowers, and towels as needed}
  • Fresh Flowers







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