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Guest Room Paradise

There’s no doubt about it, a happy guest is a happy host. Creating a personal paradise for friends and visitors to retreat to while they’re staying in your space will keep the love flowing throughout a visit, no matter how long it is. The key is to let friends know you’re happily expecting them, and that means being ready before they arrive and including a few special touches when you arrange their room.  

Welcoming Guests

After you’ve hugged your hellos, tell your guests you’ll show them around, starting with their room and the bathroom, so they can drop off their luggage and use the restroom before you see the rest of the place.  In the first few minutes of being at your pad, people will be grateful for directives, as they tend to dissolve any awkwardness and let you address logistics right away.  Then, a complete tour of your place will help guests feel welcome while they shack up with you.  A tour is also a handy time to let them know how things work and what they should feel free to do (or not do) in your home.  Talk about pets, temperature (windows, A/C, heat), where to find extra toilet paper, and how the lights, computer, and TV work.  Even for repeat guests, hearing these things is reassuring and will help them make themselves comfortable.

Guest Room Basics

It’s likely that anyone you host in your home will be ready to collapse into bed or freshen up in the shower after a quick tour.  Give them plenty of space to do what they need to do, and assure them verbally that their linens are fresh so they can wrap up in towels or sheets without wondering. That, of course, means beds should be made up and towels should be folded and set out before friends arrive.  Remember, you want them to know you’ve anticipated their arrival.

Just a quick word about multi-purpose guest rooms: there’s no need to apologize if you’re scant on space and are housing guests in a guest room/office/darkroom/evil spy lair.  It’s understood by most savvy folk that crashing with someone means being grateful for whatever free lodging they are offering you.  And while we’re on the topic, unless you’re hosting your spouse’s parents (which probably isn’t a good idea anyway) or any grandparents, there’s no need to give up your room; it’s better that you shoulder the guilt of keeping it than your guests bear the guilt of taking it.

Making a Room a Relaxing Refuge

Now it’s time for the fun part, the above and beyond.  We’re talking an excuse to buy fancy bottled water.  Spring for Voss or Fiji to make your friends feel like visiting dignitaries, and arrange it in a basket with some granola bars, bananas, and packs of gum or mints.  Roll up a couple magazines and toss in a bottle of inexpensive linen spray and you’ve got yourself a nice welcome caddy. Because you’re just that thoughtful.

A hairdryer and a display of mini toiletries are additional nice touches for visitors.  Snag some beauty products from your next hotel trip without guilt; executives at Sheraton hotels say they and all hotels provide mini shampoos and lotions with the expectation that guests will keep and use them at home. Whew!

Finish off your guest room with fresh flowers, and don’t forget to treat yourself to the same love every once in awhile.  A happy host is a happy guest, too; it works both ways!

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