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Holiday Hospitality — Winter 2010 | Out Here Magazine

Create a welcoming guest room

By Carol Davis
Photography by Mark Mosrie 

Nothing says, "welcome," like staying someplace that makes the extra effort to make you comfortable. 

Make your holiday company feel extra welcome with little touches that take little effort or cost, yet say a lot. 

When you're preparing your guest room for company, think about the last hotel room you stayed in that had the amenities that you appreciated, and draw from that. 

These suggestions also will help your future guests glad that they came for a visit.

Hospitable touches such as bedside water, a fan, comfortable bedding, a clock, fresh flowers, and even a small gift will make any guest feel welcome at your home.

  • Welcome basket of essentials. Assemble a basket filled with tiny containers of shampoos, conditioners and lotions; toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, and mouthwash; aspirin; hand sanitizer; and anything else you think that particular guest might need.

  • Night light. Being in a strange home can be disorienting if you need to get up in the night and can't find the light switch.

  • Clock radio. Your guests may not want to depend on you to wake them. Plus, they may enjoy listing to music as they drift off asleep.

  • Fan. If you don't have a ceiling fan, a small fan on a dresser will keep the room temperature comfortable for those who like things a little cooler. The "white noise" from the fan also may help them sleep better.

  • Water. A bedside bottle or carafe of water is handy for guests who awaken thirsty during the night. They won't have to stumble through a dark house to get to the kitchen. It can be as simple as a bottle of water or as charming as a bedside carafe with matching glass.

  • Extra blankets. Place an extra blanket at the foot of the bed to make it easy for your guest to pull it up during the night if they get cold. Keep another one in the closet, particularly during cold times of the year or for those who tend to get chilly.

  • Several pillows in varying degrees of plumpness. We can't always take our own perfect pillow with us, so offer your guests at least a couple options. They'll sleep much better.

  • Closet/drawer space. Most of us fill up guest-room closets and drawers with out-of-season clothing, but be sure to reserve some space for your guests to hang up and put away their clothing. Living out of a suitcase is uncomfortable.

  • Lockable door. Make sure your guests can be assured their privacy will be maintained by putting a lock on the bedroom door.

  • Fresh flowers. Unless your company has allergies, a vase of flowers in the guest room provides a nice scent, color, and loveliness to the room.

  • Small gift. An inexpensive gift placed in the guest room is a thoughtful way to tell your company, "I'm glad you're here."


Carol Davis, Out Here editor, loves having holiday guests.