I love having guests – whether they are just guests for an evening meal, or are staying for a night or two, very few things give me as good a feeling as hosting friends and family.
One guest a few weeks ago remarked that my flat, and in particular my executive guest suite, was like an hotel. Too kind! They then suggested I should write a blog on how others can achieve such an accolade.
The first thing is cleanliness. If a room is not clean then it cannot even attempt to be luxury. Cleanliness and hygiene are not a luxury – they are a necessity for any guest room, well – indeed – any room in the house. But I always take even greater care when cleaning my guest bed & bathroom as there’s very little worse for guests (in hotels or private houses) then being aware of traces of previous guests.
Bedding White bedding, for guest and master bedrooms, works best as it can go with any colour scheme and looks inviting. It is my personal choice for white as I find it the most soothing and relaxing – and that is the primary purpose of a bedroom: to soothe and relax. Whatever colour, make sure it’s ironed. You can’t be luxury with a creased duvet. Even if you don’t iron your own bedding, iron the guests’!
Storage Make sure the guests have plenty of storage space – keep bedside tables, chests of drawers and wardrobes empty. If you have limited storage space in your home then have a big box that you can empty the contents of drawers etc. in guest bedroom before your visitors arrive, meaning you can stow that away somewhere else and then replace once they’ve left.
Water A really nice touch is a carafe of water and some glasses, or failing the carafe – some bottles (although bottles of Evian can make it look more like an hotel than a private residence). I fill my carafe just before the guest is due to arrive, and I fill it from my Brita jug so they don’t just have to have un-filtered tap water.
Wardrobe Ensure there is plenty of space to hang clothes in the wardrobe and offer a range of hangers. I suggest a selection of padded hangers for ladies’ dresses, standard hangers (wood and/or plastic – but no wire ones) and a jacket hanger.
Reading materials I prefer to have a selection of books (of varying topics and sizes) rather than magazines, as again the latter can make it seem more like an hotel than a private house.
Tissues Displaying them in a tissue box and with a slight flourish on top (achieved by using two tissues) will make your Kleenex box look far superior. Check the tissue box is not verging on empty before each new guest arrives.
Wastepaper basket A bin for ‘dry’ things is useful.
Storage space Guests will arrive with sponge bags they wish to unpack and put their toothpaste, makeup, hair products and the like somewhere. Ensure you have a clear shelf or two for their possessions to live.
Loo paper A full, new loo roll should await your guests, with several spare rolls nearby. I do allow myself one hotel-esque feature, and this is an OTT loo paper fold: it always gets the guests talking and they all seem to enjoy it.
Spare toiletries Some disorganised guests arrive having forgotten some toiletries, or – worse – not having packed any at all! I don’t have spare toothbrushes, toothpaste and the like on display – I have them in my bathroom cabinet should I get asked – but I do put out some miniature Molton Brown shampoo, shower gel, and body lotion. Once these get to less than half full they are replaced.
Towels As with bedding, white is my colour of choice, as it makes the towels look so much more inviting. They do need to be kept spotlessly clean and brilliantly white, and I use a Dr. Beckmann GloWhite sachet when washing bedding or towels to help maintain whiteness. There is a trend in hotels, and now houses, to put the towels on the bed… when there is a perfectly good towel rail in the bathroom. Most bizarre.
Bathroom door hook Somewhere to hang their dressing gowns, or clothes when showering.
What luxuries do you like to see, or do you have for your guests?