How Will I Know My Guest Enjoyed Their Stay?
It's always a pleasure to be able to entertain a guest. Besides the obvious wonderful feeling that a visit from an old friend or family member brings, there is also a chance to show off our hosting skills and make sure that our visitor is comfortable and happy. But our guests, being grateful for our hospitality, are often hesitant to make what might be perceived as critical comments regarding their stay. They save our feelings, but don't let us know about things we could improve on in our guest room. So how can we know for sure if our guests enjoyed their stay, were comfortable, and had everything they needed? Well, we might never know for sure unless we can convince them to talk, but there are some things we can do to spruce up the guest bedroom and make the chances higher that they will be very comfortable.
1. Make sure your guest doesn't have to roam around your unfamiliar house at night, in the dark, if they get hungry or thirsty. Leave a bowl of fresh fruit or other snacks such as granola bars or individually wrapped cookies nearby, and make sure to leave a pitcher of water and a glass as well, so they don't have to leave their room to get a midnight snack. Or, if you really want to make the room high-class, include a small refrigerator stocked with a couple of different drink options and maybe even the ingredients to make sandwiches. Your guests will appreciate the easy access to something to nosh on without having to bother you or risking waking up the whole house.
2. Leave small lights near the bed. Include either a lamp or nightlight within reach from the bed where your guest will be sleeping. Once they turn out the overhead or main light, they don't know where they're going! Leaving a lamp or night light on will help avoid the incredible pain of stubbed toes or knocked knees.
3. Avoid large bouquets in the guest room. While they're very pretty and atmospheric, sometimes it's difficult to know if your guest will have allergies, plus such bouquets take up space that your guest might want for things like their cell phone, car keys, wallet, and other odds and ends. Go for a small bud vase, or even silk flowers to avoid allergy issues, and make sure your guest has plenty of surface space to leave small valuables within easy reach.
4. Make sure your guest can get to the bathroom easily. This is especially important if there is not a bathroom attached to the guest room. If the bathroom is attached, make sure to leave a night light on inside so your guest can get there even in the dead of night. If they have to travel the hallways to get there, make sure to show them where the nearest bathroom is and line the walkway to it with nightlights so they can get there if they need to.
5. Let your guest control when they wake up. Including blackout curtains in the guest room will make sure that the sun's first light doesn't disturb your guest, and providing an easily programmed alarm clock will make sure they can get up exactly when they want to, and not a moment before.
6. Make sure your guest can control the temperature of the room or the bed. Provide bedding that allows for being cool or being warm. This can be easily achieved by providing a good set of sheets, a thin coverlet, and a down comforter. This way, your guest can add or remove blankets as they see fit. It's also a good idea to provide a small fan near the bed. Guests can turn it on or off as they please for the temperature, and many people also find the noise soothing at night.
7. Make sure there are plenty of outlets. These days you can be sure that your guest will have a cell phone, at the very least. They may also bring along their laptop, their electric razor, their toothbrush charger, and any number of other things that they're going to need to plug in. Make sure there is a clearly visible outlet in the guest room, and put a power strip in it. This way, your guest is sure to have plenty of outlets, and they won't have to crawl around the floor to find them.
8. Unless your guest expressly informs you that they would just love to have your enormous German Shepherd share the bed with them, keep your pets out of the guest room. Crate them for the evening, put them in a separate part of the house, or even send them to the kennel until your guest is leaving. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more maddening to a guest than having to deal with your dog's barking or your cat's desire to make a bed out of your guest's head at 3:00 AM. The pet behaviors that you think are cute, or that you are just used to, can make staying with you a nightmare if your guests are not as pet friendly as you - and even if they are.
9. Ask your guest ahead of time what kind of foods they like; this is particularly important if your guest is staying for a long duration or if they have any special dietary needs. While you might not be providing every meal your guest eats, it is reasonable to expect that they will be eating with you during their stay more often than not. Make sure there are things they can cook and snack on that fit with their needs and that they will enjoy. The same goes for drinks. You might love soda, but your guest might be a hard-core tea-lover. Don't drink coffee in the mornings? Your guest might (and they might be a bear without that first cup in the morning), make sure they have the things they would have at home to get their day running smoothly and keep it that way.
These simple tips will go a long way to making sure your guest can make things as much like home as possible while they stay with you. They may be small details, and may not even be noticed - as long as things run smoothly - but without them, your guest's aggravation and irritation may become apparent.
Do you have other Guest Pleasing Tips or experiences you’d like share? Or do you have a request for something you’d like to read about? Leave a comment below, and you might find your comment or suggestion presented in an upcoming blog. Keep reading for more about gardening, home décor and design, and outdoor living.