I love when friends and family come to visit our home. It gives me the opportunity to make them feel appreciated for what is usually a brief weekend stay. However, if you have ever been on the receiving end of a negative experience staying with someone, then you know how much the minor details matter.
Little tots up at 5 am, no window treatments, the leaky faucet, bumping into furniture because there is no night light to guide you to your bathroom destination, etc. For me the worst is when the temperature on the thermostat is 15 degrees off in the direction you would like it to be. So, I have compiled a few helpful tips that I have either learned from others or have been "delicately recommended" by my own guests over the years before earning my hospitality badge.
1. The first one is easy...make them feel welcome.
Hospitality is defined as the friendly or warm reception and entertainment of guest, visitors, or strangers. That means greet them with enthusiasm and let them know that you are ready to celebrate, socialize or just spend quality time together. There is nothing worse than traveling a long distance and upon arrival facing a less than enthusiastic hostess or host. A warm smile and generous disposition in addition to a decluttered home go a long way in providing a feeling of comfort.
A famous poet once said, "People will forget about what you said, forget about what you did but never forget about how you made them feel."
2. Make the guest room reflect caring with details.
Okay, so let's talk about where they are sleeping. This is the place you want someone to feel at ease and comforted by their surroundings. This doesn't mean they should feel like they are booked at a luxury resort but that they have their own privacy and space to decompress in a comfortable manner. Aiding this agenda is to make sure you provide a room with clean linens and extra pillows. Additional blankets are appreciated as I once checked on a family member who was sleeping in a coat because I forgot to put out extra blankets...oops!
If a ceiling fan is not available, placing a small fan in the closet will appease those guests who like the setting a little lower, like myself. Keep a lamp on in the room and if possible a night light that might provide an easy journey to a nearby bathroom. Now the one that seems the hardest is to make sure all your drawers are not stuffed and hangers are in your closet so they don't have to feel forced to live out of a suitcase. Chances are they will feel flattered that you took the time and trouble to make them feel welcome.
3. Stock up the bathroom.
Placing fresh towels out with small toiletries keeps guests from desperately searching through cabinets or innocently in linen closets for them. Hand soap is also a must. Of course when we travel we always intend to have everything we need but sometimes there is a bathroom item that goes overlooked. Other toiletries not to forget are small disposables such as toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo/conditioner, soap, hygiene products, dental floss and lotion.
4. Consider the kitchen.
Before you stock up on food, make sure you know ahead of time if your guests might have any food allergies or dietary restrictions as it will again save any discomfort during their visit or unintended trips to the ER. I once made a lovely dish that was popular among family members but found it was inedible to the guest it was intended to impress. Simple communication could have avoided that mishap.
Make sure you keep a variety of beverages on hand remembering not everyone has your same palate for taste and thirst. If you know your guest likes an early morning coffee make sure that is set up for easy access prior to the next morning. Convenience is as appreciated as a good meal. Keep snacks available, sweet, salty, savory...have a little something for everyone and make them easily accessible.
Fresh fruit they can grab on the go or cereal/protein bars are also a quick alternative and spares them the awkwardness of having to ask for something if they incur hunger pangs before the scheduled meal time. As the saying goes in our home though, "One cannot think well, love well, or sleep well if one has not dined well."
5. Beyond the obvious.
If appropriate, offer to give them a spare key so they can come and go without having to coordinate with you. Offer them access to the washer and dryer, should a favorite item need to be touched up. See if transportation is a concern and offer assistance with local activities, directions and make sure they have the passcode to the Wifi. Most importantly, stay relaxed as your guest will notice if you are stressed out and you don't want them to associate it is a result of their visit whether planned or short notice arrival. Make their visit as fun and thoughtful as you can keeping mind sometime in the near future it will be you on the receiving end!
Written by Anthony Ascolese
Submitted on 5/30/2017 Posted in Raleigh
Category: The Loft