Small Touches to Make Your Guests Feel Welcome
You know the saying– it’s all in the details? Well, in this case that’s absolutely true. Whether you have guests coming into town for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or any time of year, these small, easy touches will make them feel like they’re at home.
Communicate beforehand about important issues
Make sure that– even if these are your closest friends or family members, you know everyone’s food allergies so you can shop for snacks that are safe for everyone to munch on! Also, make sure you have some activities planned if they’ll be there for more than just a night. Make sure your guests are aware of these activities beforehand, so they can pack appropriately. No one wants to be left out of a fun hiking day trip because they only brought fancy dress shoes! Likewise, remember to be flexible about what kinds of activities your guests enjoy. Some might prefer to go to a local brewery, or to check out a local museum. Find out beforehand, and make sure everyone’s on the same page!
A warm welcome
Even if your guests are getting in late, stay up and wait for them! Make sure to leave the porch light on, and to have some snacks ready for your tired guests. Wine, beer, and some cold water should do the trick, as well as some granola bars, cheese and crackers, and anything else you know they like. Also, make sure that (if they’re driving) your best parking spot is available for them to use, and always greet them at the door to help with their luggage! If they’re not driving, and you have a car large enough, make sure you’re at the airport to pick them up!
Get your guest bedroom ship shape!
This means more than just changing the sheets (although you certainly should, even if no one has slept in the guest room since you last changed them; you don’t want musty-smelling sheets for your guests! You should also make sure that the sheets are soft and comfy– if they’re not, it might be the perfect time to invest in some new guest room sheets.
Just as important as the sheets are the pillows. Remember that everyone sleeps with a different firmness of pillow, so make sure to have a variety available for them. If it cramps up the bed, put a basket with extra pillows and blankets in the guest room for them to access easily.
Some nice touches to the guest bedroom are a few bottles of water and some granola bars in case they get hungry and don’t want to wake you (or your other guests), an alarm clock, an extra phone charger, and some of the latest issues of some popular magazines (these are especially good to have on hand for early risers or night owls). Also, a touch that most guests will see as extra special are fresh flowers on their nightstand.
Want to go absolutely above and beyond? Leave a “Welcome bag” or basket for them on the bed. Fill it with locally-sold items you love (fresh homemade soaps are always a winner). Then, add a personalized “welcome” note. Add a seasonally-scented travel candle, a matchbook, some chapstick, a list of local restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, and a gift card to a local coffee shop if they’ll be in town long enough to use it, or to a large chain that they’ll definitely use when traveling home! Add a card with your phone number(s), your address (they’ll need it to plug into Google Maps, or to tell the Uber driver!), and if they’re staying for a while and you trust them, a spare key on a keychain! Bonus points: if you’ll be busy during certain days or nights of their stay, make sure to leave an “events happening around Your Town” list for them to check out!
…And don’t forget about the guest bathroom!
If it’s in the same room as the guest bedroom, simply show them where it is, and where you keep extra towels, toilet paper, and plunger. At the bare minimum, you should supply hand soap and fresh towels– at least one per guest for each day of their stay, and then a few extra.
But if you want to be known forever as THE host(ess) with THE most(ess), we recommend also supplying toiletry kits for your guests, with travel-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner, face wash, body wash, disposable razors, mini-hairsprays, deodorant, and a spare toothbrush and toothpaste, because you never know what someone will forget! Also, having a hair dryer in the guest bath will be a nice touch, as many people forget to bring them!
Does your guest bathroom have a bathtub? Make sure it’s clean, and ready to relax in. Leave some candles nearby, and some fizzy bath bombs or bath salts for them to enjoy as well. For maximum coziness, leave robes in the bathroom for your guests to wear while they relax and get ready!
If your guest bathroom is shared by multiple rooms, make sure that the locks on the doors work, and that the guests meet each other ASAP if they don’t already know each other. If the guests will have to leave their room to reach the guest bathroom, make sure to stock their bedrooms with extra towels, so that no one ever has to use a soggy or damp one! Also, a hall nightlight will help guests find their way much more easily.
Photo by Good Housekeeping
If you’re going to have guests sleeping in the living room, make sure they’re also taken care of…
The more the merrier, it is! If you have guests sleeping in your living room, office, or playroom, make sure that they’re also just as comfortable as the guests sleeping in your guest room.
This means making sure you have clean, soft sheets, pillows, and extra blankets where they know where to find them, and that their bed is made up when they arrive so they don’t feel like a burden.
If they’ll be sleeping on an air mattress, make sure you check it first for any type of leak that could end with your guests on the floor in the middle of the night.
Also, make sure to keep the air pump for the bed nearby, in case they decide they want the mattress to be firmer.
Make sure they have a place to put their things, know which bathroom to use, and receive the same toiletry kits and welcome bags as the other guests!
Some things that you might not think of beforehand, but that are important include making sure it’s dark enough in the room! This might mean putting up some light-blocking curtains before they arrive. Also, you might want to add some earplugs and sleep masks to their welcome baskets, so they get the best possible sleep. Make sure any other guests you may have know that they’ll be sleeping there, so that they can be sure to show respect. In the morning, if you need to un-do their bedding (like if it’s in your living room), make sure you help, and then re-make their bed the next night. Finally, let them know what time you typically wake up in the morning so you don’t startle them!
The most important thing to remember about playing host(ess) is this:
Make everyone feel welcome! Show them where everything is, and tell them sincerely to help themselves– especially if you won’t be around for the day. If you’ve got anything you’d rather not share (an old bottle of bourbon, for example), simply move it to your room while they’re there. The idea is to create a feeling of a home away from home.. Which is what we do best here at The Groome Inn.
Feeling overwhelmed about having guests stay with you? Send them our way! We’ll gladly take care of them and make sure they have everything they need!
Find out more today at www.TheGroomeInn.com!