Make it Work....for your guests!
The most enjoyable aspect of staying at a hotel (for me) is knowing that regardless of how I'm feeling at any given moment, my needs and wants can be met without feeling as though I'm putting anyone out. There is no reason why your house guests should feel any differently and in fact this is the number one point of focus you should have when attempting to make your guest's stay enjoyable...not to worry this is easier to do than you might think.
During an overnight stay a guest will require certain things, and anything beyond those things is merely icing on the cake. Focus first on the basics so they are sure to be comfortable, then if you like, pull out the red carpet and go crazy...just don't forget these basics or your red carpet will be a major flop.
Sleep: This is the number one task your guests will do at your home so make this portion as flexible for as many people as possible. You should always consider the sleeping arrangements for maximum rest and minimum disturbance regardless of sleeping preferences.
- Bedding and Climate Control - Since you won't be able to please everyone with ease on this front, having convertible options for bed coverings is crucial. That way those who are cold can cover up and snuggle in and those who get warm at night can remove coverings with ease. This might mean a sheet, blanket, down comforter, and bed spread all within arms reach while your guests are slumbering. I promise your guests will care more for their temperature than whether or not these items are all color coordinated and expensive, so don't stress...just layer. Be sure to have at least 2 pillows per person for the greatest flexibility and comfort. Guests can use them both or remove one if preferred.
- Lighting - Be sure it's easy for your guests to read in bed if they like, or dig through their luggage to find what they need. This means you need to have easy access to lighting for them and this can easily be accomplished with table lamps or overhead lighting depending on the layout of your space. Also be sure that any windows can be adequately covered for maximum darkness if your guests are sensitive to that morning sun. A grumpy guest who didn't sleep well, doesn't work out the best for anyone.
- Leisure - Consider that many peole enjoy a little bedtime tv watching before they hit the sack and allow them this option if you can.
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Eating: Aside from sleeping and bathing this is perhaps the other major task a guest may do at your home. Make sure you provide adequate and quick options for even the pickiest of eaters. Before your guests head to bed, be sure to show them their eating and drinking options for the morning, so they can feel comfortable getting up before you, should they still be functioning on a different time zone.
- Continental Breakfast - one of the best aspects of a hotel stay (for many) is the dining options and snack choices available throughout the day. You can accomplish the same thing in your home by purchasing just a few basics. Water, juice and milk will satisfy most daytime and morning needs for most people of the non-adult variety. Coffee in the morning is a must for 90% of your potential guests and you can create a special experience for them by simply offering some special additives like flavored creamers. Everyone loves a personalized experience. Before you head to bed yourself, be sure to set the timer on your coffee pot for a fairly early hour and lay out cups and creamers where they are easy to access. Don't make your guests hunt and gather to find what they need. Mini muffins or breakfast pastries in a variety of flavors, bagels and cream cheese, and mini cereal boxes are a fabulous way to provide some eating basics that don't require a full out cooking experience. This will fill empty tummies regardless of the hour they wake.
- Snacks and Convertible Lunches - Have plenty of single serving snacks available for midday snacks and easy prep for day trips. Lunch meat, bread, and veg can essentially do the trick with some easy snack packs like chips, pretzels, string cheese or cookies to go along with those items. Easy peasy...
- Dine for dinner - dining out or food prep in is a bit more tricky but should definitely be something a bit more in depth for your dinner meal. Everyone will likely be awake and gathered for this particular meal and so this is your chance to make it special...
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Bathing: A crucial ingredient to a decent stay, if I do say so myself!
- Be sure to provide plenty of towels of every variety for your guest's bathing needs. Some people like two towels while others like one smaller one... be sure to have several of each already out in plain sight for them. Have wash cloths and hand towels near sinks and a variety of bathing products for them as well... You can purchase single serving bathing products at almost every grocery store so go crazy and get them everything they may have forgotten in addition to shampoo and conditioner (toothpaste, mouthwash, shaving cream, lotion etc.). It can be mini bottle heaven friends... and will give them a little take home treat too!
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