Little Luxuries for Guest Bedrooms

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.

The bedroom

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.


The bathroom

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?

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11 Responses to “Little Luxuries for Guest Bedrooms”

  1. Right, I’m coming to stay..for the loo paper fold alone ; )
    Miss Sue Flay

  2. Anne B says:

    Lovely room and very thoughtful preparations. May I ask about the cushions on the bed? These look attractive but, as a guest, I always find them a nuisance when retiring. What to do with them? They clutter up the place and do I have to replace them in the morning?

  3. William says:

    An excellent question, Anne!

    They should be removed before bed, obviously, and placed on a chair (of which there is one in my guest room) or on a surface – not the floor as they could pick up dirt that will then transfer to the bed the next morning – if replaced. Totally up to the guest as to whether they put them back or not – but they should make the rest of the bed.

    Hope this helps?

    I do enjoy your spots on BBC Manchester!

  4. William,
    I have enjoyed the above information…Would you consider it vulgar to have a bedside clock ?

    Very Best Wishes,


  5. William says:

    No, not at all! Indeed, a must. I normally have one but it’s in use in my room at the moment as mine is playing up.

  6. James says:

    One thing I noticed when I visited home after a short weekend break from my university halls was the placement of a small bible on the chest of drawers in the room. As it turns out it was accidental, but even as an agnostic I think it makes a nice touch to leave one in the room, perhaps even in a bedside drawer. Your thoughts William?

  7. Rachel says:

    With regards to the clock I would have to say that it should not make a ticking noise and nor should it be lit up. There are few things more infuriating to me that a ticking clock when I’m trying to sleep. On more than one occasion when staying as a guest in someone’s house I’ve had to resort to removing the batteries.

    This is a great article. I love having guests to stay and I’m always looking out for tips on how to make the guest room more relaxing. 🙂

  8. Mark Ribbands says:

    @ James: I’d say a Bible is perfectly acceptable, but only if you also leave a Koran, a Bhagavad-Gita, etc, and a copy of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion as well.

    @ William: Folded loo roll ends? Aargh! I now need to lie down in a darkened room.
    I’ll kindly assume that, being English, you’re a master of irony? 🙂

  9. Serena says:

    Love the loo roll folded. How do you do the fan effect?
    I always find my guests and students fascinated by my folded loo paper and they often remark on the attention to detail.

  10. Lorna says:

    Horrified by the plastic hangers.

  11. […] year I wrote about little luxuries for guest bedrooms.  Almost the moment I published the blog I thought of more touches that I could have included, so […]

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