Living up here on the ranch, we do a lot of traveling. Any time we need to get to a big box store, we face a 2+ hour drive. This leaves us staying as overnight guests quite often (hence my many hostess gift ideas). Usually we stay at my Mother-In-Law's which is great (we consider it a second home), but a lot of the time we find ourselves at the home's of friends and family. I am always amazed by how comfortable our host/hostess makes us feel. Over the course of the past few years, I've picked up on some great ideas from those who were gracious enough to open their homes to me.
11 WAYS TO GIVE YOUR OVERNIGHT GUESTS A FIVE STAR EXPERIENCE
Give Them the Best Towels: Two words: plush towels. Close your eyes and think about that for a second. Yep, it's heavenly. It's not something we absolutely need every day, but it's something we appreciate. That's why you should always give your guests the best towels. When they step out of the shower, you want them to feel invigorated. I suggest buying all white towels, that way you can bulk wash them with some non-chlorine bleach (it's less damaging than regular bleach), to keep them looking brand new.
Give Them a Robe & Slippers: If we are talking luxury, then you better believe your guests will appreciate some plush slippers and a soft robe. I have a collection of robes, and my day isn't the same without using one of them, they make every morning or evening that much more cozy.
Mix Up the Bedding: Are you the type of person who prefers a firm pillow? Soft? Chances are your guest has a preference too! So, make sure you've got both soft and firm pillows on the bed. You don't want your guest to wake up with a kinked neck! Leaving an extra blanket at the end of the bed, is also a great tip!
Give Them the Essentials: Dental basics, q-tips, lotion, soap, shampoo and conditioner (if it's monogrammed you get bonus points!). These staples are considered staples for a reason! I once stayed at a beautiful hotel, but they neglected to leave me any lotion. I was an itchy mess all night long, and it's one of the only memories I have from the hotel. Your guests will be incredibly grateful to not have to ask for toothpaste or shampoo in the case that they forgot to bring any. I also suggest tucking away a few feminine hygiene products, face wash, contact solution, deodorant, hair basics (dryer, styling cream, spray, brush), and even a nail file. These things are somewhat embarrassing to ask for, but will almost always come in handy for guests.
Share the Wifi Password: This day in age, this is a must. From experience, it's very awkward to ask for the wifi password. In fact, leaving a piece of paper with the connection instructions is an excellent idea to let your guest know: it's okay to browse!
Let Them Know How to Work the TV (and Thermostat): If you plan on printing out the wifi instructions, consider including the steps to working the TV and thermostat. These are things that come naturally to you, but as you well know, every TV is different!
Quench Their Thirst (and Appetitie): I am the type of person who keeps a glass of water by my bed at night. I always seem to wake up thirsty! This is obviously a common problem, and probably a great source of income for hotels, who charge $4.00 for a bottle of water (and get away with it!). Help your guest feel at home by leaving out a bottle of still and sparkling water, plus a few snacks for those late night hunger pangs.
Leave Out Some Reading Material: This is one of my favorites! Whenever I have a guest coming over, I make sure to leave out the latest issue of People and Better Homes and Gardens (hey, those are my kind of people!). Know your audience though! If you've got your in laws coming, they might prefer a copy of The Times.
Have Somewhere for Them to put Their Luggage: I absolutely hate leaving my luggage on the floor! Not only because it's dirty, but also because it causes me to have to bend over and rifle through my luggage, and in the process unfolding everything (plus it's no fun to have a giant suitcase lying in the middle of the room). Invest in a luggage rack - chances are, you can find one at a local thrift shop - and it won't go to waste! Leaving a few high quality hangers and an ironing set in the closet is always a nice touch too!
Fresh Flowers Never Hurt Anyone: Ever. Even a single bud in a vase will stand out to your guest. I guarantee it! Fresh flowers show them that you put time, energy, and effort into their arrival, and will make them feel more than welcome!
Make Mornings Easy: It might be hard to peel yourself out of bed before your guest, but you wouldn't want them to have to figure out the coffee pot by themselves would you? Set your alarm a bit early to prepare a welcoming wake-up for them. A tray with an empty mug, different kinds of milk and sugar, and perhaps a scone will do the trick!