The most common mistake a host makes is trying too hard. Guests can feel indebted, as though they’re supposed to say “wow” over and over again. Here’s a few tips we’ve found helpful to make our houseguests to feel truly at home…
( 1 ) Spend a night in your guest room and see how it feels. Maybe you’ll find that the room gets drafty, or the outlets are hidden behind furniture. Now that everyone has an iPad, cell phone & laptop, a power strip right next to the bed is almost mandatory.
( 2 ) The ideal guest room has plenty of easy-to-spot pillows, blankets, and towels. Extra touches that will be appreciated: an electric fan, pre-stamped local postcards, and flowers.
( 3 ) Atop each bedside table should be a lamp, an alarm clock, a carafe of water, and a notebook and pencil.
( 4 ) Encourage self-service in the kitchen. Your coffeemaker, coffee, and filters should be in plain sight. Place a basket of bagels on the counter, and keep canisters of nuts and candy out in the open. Stick cream, milk, butter, jam, and cream cheese in the front of a refrigerator shelf.
( 5 ) Liberate the contents of your liquor cabinet and set up booze, wine, mixers, and non-alcoholic beverages on a sideboard, along with glassware, a bucket of ice, and lemons and limes.
( 6 ) Stock the bathroom with necessities: spare toothbrushes, toothpaste, and shampoo. People are squeamish about used bars of soap; a bottle of liquid soap solves that problem. Also, remember to grab those little amenity bottles from the next hotel you stay at. They’re perfect for your own guest room too.
( 7 ) Never make friends ask embarrassing questions: Equip each bathroom with a plunger, extra toilet paper, tampons and pads, and condoms.
( 8 ) Avoid overstuffing the schedule. One planned meal or activity a day is plenty. Give guests a set of keys and encourage them to venture out.
( 9 ) Write down a list of local attractions, such as your favorite shops, restaurants, and museums.
( 10 ) Print out a sheet with your Wi-Fi password, as well as any of your home’s quirks (e.g. “the back door will lock automatically behind you”).