Tis the season to welcome overnight guests! It goes without saying that traveling during the holidays can be a rough gig so treat your friends and family to a bit of special care to help them unwind, as well as have everything they need right at their fingertips. You don’t need to have a full, luxurious suite to be a great hostess. A couch and the right extras are wonderful as well provided you’ve thought through their needs.
Consider your home a more charming and cozy version of a luxury hotel and you can’t go wrong!
At a minimum provide a comfortable bed with soft sheets, a chair for reading and making phone calls and a variety of oft forgotten items. Grab a few baskets and fill them with the items below, put the fresh linens on the bed and clean towels in the bath and you’ll have one grateful guest!
- Declutter and clean.
One of the biggest no-no’s when creating a restful retreat is to over clutter the space with both furniture, layers of pillows and bric-a-brac. Basically, a cramped and fussy, overly decorated space isn’t relaxing so decluttering is on top of the to do list. Part of this is clearing a spot in your closet or at least providing a coat rack or some hooks and a handful of hangers.
Another key to do is a refresh of all the linens in the room and a thorough dusting; this is true even if it looks pretty clean, since infrequently used rooms get musty and dusty. If comforters and curtains are not washable, just run them through the dryer on air cycle to remove dust. Even if the sheets and towels are clean but not washed recently, they should be re-washed (sorry!).
- Provide items that every guest space should have:
- Wifi password, framing it makes it a nice touch
- Universal cell phone charger with variety of cords
- Reading lamp by the bedside
- Luggage rack, chest or bench set suitcase on
- Small assortment of books and magazines
- Eyemasks and Earplugs (it sounds a little OCD but the recommended type is way more comfortable than others, but as long as they’re the softer, bullet shaped type you’re good)
- Water by the bedside
- Simple to use alarm clock
- Cable or local TV channel listing if you have a TV in the room
- Extra blankets
- Extra pillows (I like to have some soft, some firmer density plus down as well as synthetic in case they’re allergenic)
- Lint roller and travel size steamer (or wrinkle release spray set )
- Add extra touches that will make them feel special:
- A single bloom or very small arrangement, best to a light scent in case of allergies
- One size fits all robes
- Inexpensive slippers
- Wifi speaker
- Neutral, calming luxury scented candle: note the emphasis on the words luxury – inexpensive candles are often way too strong and cloying – and neutral and calming. I love this Nest set as it offers a variety for a guest to choose from, but most by Diptique or Jo Malone are lovely choices too; and don’t forget the matches.
- Wifi noise cancelling headphones (in case they have jet lag or are early risers/night owls)
- Stamped postcards
- Bus, ferry or other transit brochures
- City guide including some tour brochure options
- Pen, pencil and blank paper or notebook
- If guests are from out of the country, plug adapters
- Consider a small food basket with a few of these items, especially if they’re coming from a different time zone:
- Trail mix
- Fruit (fresh and dried)
- Cookies and a few nicer chocolates
- Nuun hydration tablets – great for post plane flight dehydration.
- Beyond basic bathing essentials, be sure to stock the bathroom well and/or have a basket out with:
- New toothbrush and travel sized toothpaste, floss and mouthwash
- Make up removing facial cleansing wipes
- Disposable razor
- Emergen-C immune vitamin packets
- Mini first aid kit (band aids, first aid ointment, Cortizone)
- Mini over the counter medicine kit (Various stomach meds, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Dayquil, cough lozenges, antihistamine)
- Assortment of travel or full-sized toiletries: body lotion, facial moisturizer and bar of soap
- Blow dryer
- Saline solution
- Spray deodorant
- Mini sewing kit
- Feminine products
Photo by Angela Carlyle