As many of us are planning to be either a host or guest this holiday season, I’m sharing a few of my favorite guest room essentials when it comes to planning a welcoming room, and you can find more of my faves on my Pinterest board, An Inviting Guest Room.
1. A luggage rack (or two). Providing a place to put a suitcase that is easily accessible will make your guest’s stay more comfortable. It’s somewhat of a nuisance for your guest to find a place to set their luggage on the floor, or on your clean comforter.
2. Gourmet coffee, hot chocolate and tea. Few things feel as decadent as a hot steaming cup of gourmet coffee, cocoa or chai tea. A good host knows the importance of a fully stocked shelf (or basket) of Keurig blends, fresh creamer, sweeteners and pretty mugs and spoons. Don’t forget the marshmallows for the hot chocolate.
3. Clean linen and fresh blankets. Nothing is worse than jumping into bed and sensing someone has been there before you, or waking up chilled and not knowing where to find an extra blanket. Make sure your guests have freshly washed sheets along with easy to find blankets in the closet.
4. Beautiful, fluffy towels – Even new towels need to go through a wash cycle before they are ready to be put out in the guest bath. Do a sniff test and make sure there is not a mildew smell when the towel gets wet.
5. A comfortable chair, reading light and a small table nearby. If your guestroom is large enough, it’s a nice touch to have an area, other than the bed, where your guest can enjoy reading a magazine, covering up with a blanket and drinking a cup of tea while looking out the window at the surroundings.
6. Special amenities. Leave a basket with an assortment of updated magazines, healthy snacks and fresh baked cookies. Other items to include are power bars, crackers and bottled waters. A small television, neatly tucked in the corner or inside a cabinet, is a nice touch when a guest enjoys watching their favorite cooking show or sitcom. For tech-savvy guests, place your WiFi password someplace visible, or in a pretty frame on the bedside table where they won’t miss it.
7. Fresh flowers and a soft scented candle. Unless your guest suffers from allergies, a lightly scented bouquet of seasonal flowers or holiday greenery shows extra effort on your part, making them feel at home. If you decide to put a soothing candle in their room, don’t forget the accompanying matches!
8. Bathroom Essentials. Place a tray or basket in the bathroom with toiletries that your guest may have forgotten; a toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, body and face wash, and unscented lotion. An extra hair dryer is always appreciated, and you can alert your guest in advance that you have one ready and waiting so they don’t have to worry about packing their own. Your guests will be grateful for the extra space in their suitcase.
9. A local visitor’s guide and personal suggestions. Guests often want to enjoy the local sights and sounds, spending time on their own. It helps to arm them with local lists of restaurants and personal favorite sites and attractions. Bookmark them on Yelp! and share via text for those who will be using their phone’s navigation system.