Successfully accommodating your friends or family in your home overnight is both an art and a science. It requires time, planning, cleanliness, attention to detail, and communication.
If that sounds intimidating, it shouldn’t. Earning a proverbial five-star rating for your accommodation skills doesn’t require a mansion or luxurious amenities plucked from the world’s best resorts. All it takes is sticking to the following tips for hosting happy overnight guests.
Welcome to Hotel [Insert Last Your Name Here]: Here’s how you can ensure guests will enjoy their stay…
1. Declutter your space.
No, we’re not talking about cleaning, necessarily (although that does come next). Decluttering your space for guests involves storing unnecessary items, removing items from drawers, and clearing table tops and other surfaces from your guest room.
When your friends and family arrive, they’ll be toting suitcases and other personal items. Decluttering the space allows them to unpack their things and “move-in” for their stay, rather than live for a few days out of their luggage. The same process can make a difference in other rooms your guests may also use, like your kitchen or bathroom.
2. Clean like you never have before.
Quell any trepidation your guests might have about staying in an unfamiliar place by cleaning it from top to bottom. Not that they’ll perform the white glove test (well, at least hopefully not), a spotless façade with clean and fresh linens will give your guests one less thing to worry about in their travels.
3. Plan sleeping arrangements in advance.
Having a choice isn’t always a good thing. Planning where your guests will sleep in advance will show them you’ve put some thought into their visit. Plus, it’ll eliminate any opportunity for confusion.
4. Supply all of their bathroom needs.
Stock your bathroom with every bathroom essential: Hand soap, clean towels, washcloths, toilet paper, and shampoo and conditioner. Travel-size toiletries work great – you may even be able to use the bottles you’ve collected while staying at hotels!
5. Get to know any dietary preferences and restrictions ahead of time.
Ask your guests both their favorite things to eat at each time of the day, and if they have any special dietary restrictions. That way, when you stock your fridge with food for their stay, they’ll feel more at home and you can rest easy knowing it won’t be wasted.
6. Set up a DIY coffee station.
Think back to when you were a kid, sleeping at a friend’s house for a sleepover. Is there anything more awkward and uncomfortable than waking up first? And as an adult, the feeling can be even worse when coffee is a necessity upon waking. Put together a DIY coffee station your guests can operate in case they’re the earliest risers in the household.
7. Show them some digital love.
Delight your guests by showing them you’ve thought about their digital needs. Keep a pair of extra phone chargers in their room, write down the Wi-Fi information they’ll need, and provide instructions for operating the TV if there’s one where their staying.
P.S. To really wow your guests, provide them a radio or Bluetooth speaker for the bathroom – It’s less an opportunity to capture blackmail material of them singing in the shower, and more a way to add a sense of privacy. Although…
8. Be their own personal concierge.
Guests coming from out of town? Be prepared with a list of potential things for them to do in the area during downtime. You could list the most popular tourist destinations around, great places to eat, or even some tips only the locals would know about. It’s a great chance to offer personalized recommendations if you can!
9. Think personal. Think details.
It’s easy for guests to think they’re a burden. Show them you’re excited about their stay. Incorporating personalized details and “before-they-ask” conveniences into your guests’ experience can make a world of difference making them feel at home, even if they are small gestures. For example, a welcome basket for house guests is a great idea to show you’re pumped and prepared to be hosting. And if you’re entertaining during the holidays, decorating appropriately should also be on your to-do list.
And…voila! That’s how to be a good host for your overnight guests. It’s certainly not all-inclusive, but it will provide you a handy checklist to wow your friends and family with world-class accommodations, right in your own home.
But wait, before we wrap up…what if your guests have kids? Of course, you can’t forget about them: Here’s how to keep them busy while they’re staying with you.