Around here, especially around the holidays. we love hosting guests and want to help them feel especially welcome by preparing a guest room to make it comfortable when anyone pops in for a visit. Consider what you’d expect to find in a 5-star hotel and create a guest room that measures up to that standard, as our inimitably chic entertaining expert, Alexandra Del Lago does.  

Four in for the weekend? An overnight guest who is your hubby’s fraternity brother staying while in town for a tech conference? Of course, we will be here and of course we’d love you to stay…. Seem familiar? Whether they are planned, or last minute arrangements have to be made, it is a comfort to host guests knowing your comfortable guest room is already set up for your visitors. If you create it once, it will always be in place and all it will need is refreshing touch for each new visitor. Here is what I recommend doing.

Linens & Things

Don’t give your guest a cast-off mattress you have and instead, find a great one that will provide a comfortable night’s sleep. Add high thread count, wonderful bed linens and comfort items along with a featherbed mattress topper, a choice of pillows, a cozy down comforter, extra blankets, and freshly ironed pillowcases. Keep an extra set of bed and bath linens on hand for your guests. Accidents happen. Or, you may have one of those wonderful guests who insists on changing the sheets when they leave.

Baggage Claim

Set aside space to place a foldable luggage rack or a small table or bench to set down a suitcase. No one loves to stooping over to the floor to pull out a clean pair of socks.

Clear The Decks

In a guest room, less is more: more space, more comfort, and more welcoming. Get rid of anything that you would not find in the room of a better hotel. Keep only the most useful items in the room, like an alarm clock.

Take A Seat

Some people absolutely do not sit on a bed, so your guests shouldn’t have to. Place an upholstered armchair, or two, in the room with a table and lamp close by.

Hang Loose

Clear at least a foot or two of pole space in the closet with six to eight good hangers. Or, buy an over-the-door hook that can accommodate some hanging clothes. Don’t forget a supply of 6 or 8 hangers.

Top Drawer

If your guestroom has an extra dresser, be sure to clear out one or two drawers for small items for odds and ends best left out of sight.

Really Simple

If you provide a notepad and pens, scissors, tissue, and a hair dryer then you have all the bases covered. Let guests know where the iron and ironing board are to find.

Privacy, Please

A large shade tree just outside the window may shield everything going on, but your guest won’t know that, so select window coverings that privacy and light control, as well.

Lock & Key

If your guests are come and go during their stay, share an extra set of keys to your home (and car if your guests will be using it) and color-code the sets to confirm their return to your possession.

Inside Scoop

Provide instructions for your guests for your security system, as well as your Internet connection information. Also, if you live in a gated community or neighborhood that has limited access to driveways, swimming pool, walking paths, parking regulations, or emergency evacuation rules, guests will want to know that.

Tourist Attraction

If your guests will be scooting around town without you, they might appreciate area maps, brochures on the hot spots, and directions to your home. Make a list of the best shopping areas, museums, parks, and your favorite restaurants. The Chamber of Commerce in your city can also supply that. Then, place all the items in a box or basket that you keep in the guest room so you will not have to re-gather everything when another guest arrives.

Snack Time

Wrapped snacks, fresh fruit or cookies and a bottle of water in the guest room provides a tasty snack without sneaking down to your kitchen in the middle of the night.

Book Worm

Short mysteries, travel books, or an assortment of magazines (I recommend current and past issues of The Society Diaries, creates quiet-time activities for your guest. 

Entertainment’s Center

Supplying a TV in the guest room is a nice touch. Add a DVD or CD player and some of your favorite movies.

Goodie Goodie

What really shows you care is a simple goodie bag with tissue and a bright bow, with only snacks and local interest information, but also some inexpensive items like grooming or beauty products in a travel size so they can take them home with them, too. They’ll wonder what you haven’t thought of for their five-star hotel-like visit with you.