31 Days of Hospitality: Day 6 - Overnight guests

 Most of us have overnight guests once in a while.  And most of us have been an overnight guest our share of times.  When entertaining overnight guests I like to make them feel at home. To accomplish this I try to think of things that make me feel at home.  I don't get all crazy and think I need to have them feel as though they're at the Palazzo or something with robes and a mini bar but I want them to feel comfy. 

Image Coastal Living

Here's what I do:
  • Clean sheets.  I know we all think that's an obvious one.  Let me tell you a little story.  My family and I traveled to an unnamed destination to stay with unnamed people several years ago. Our hosts apparently purchased new sheets for the bed we were sleeping on - a nice gesture - but failed to wash them before putting them on the bed.  So for more than a few days we slept on these unwashed, chemically smelling sheets.  I didn't have the heart to say anything and never had an opportunity to sneak the sheets into the wash.  I will never forget that.  My dad always says 'clean clothes are dirty clothes'.  That goes for sheets (& towels) as well.
  • Clean towels. I generally offer one bath, one hand and one wash cloth.  Just like at a hotel!  But I know people have different towel requirements so I will let the guests know where the other towels are if they'd like to help themselves to them.  If someone stays for a few days I'll usually wash towels after the 3rd day unless there's a reason to do it sooner.
  • Extra Blankets.  Only in the winter since we're in Arizona.  In a colder climate I would offer one all year round.  I will place this at the end of the bed.
  • Toiletries. I will put a small basket out with shampoo conditioner, soap, bath gel, lotion.  We have oodles of these small size from travelling (yes, I am one of those who takes those things home.  I know some people call this stealing.  I don't.)  I also have small toothpaste tubes available.  I picked up a few of these after an unnamed guest took home one of our large tubes when they forgot their own toothpaste at home.  And while I don't put them out, I have a nice supply of toothbrushes.

Before our guests arrive I ask them about any dietary requirements, allergies, etc.  I also ask about drinks since we have very little to drink here besides milk,coffee, tea, wine and water.  We don't buy soda or juice as a general rule but if a guest wants it I am more than happy to oblige.  Upon their arrival I show them around the kitchen and ask them to help themselves to anything.

I think what I do is pretty basic.  Do you do anything different or more extravagant?  I'd love to hear...


I love all of your suggestions! I hate having to look for towels and toiletries when I am visiting someone overnight. It always feels like I am invading my host's personal space.

I really do want to have a welcoming home, but when my husband and I bought our house, our budget didn't allow for the extra space for a guest room. We have an inflatable bed that we put in our office room when we have overnight guests. Do you have any suggestions to make that situation seem a bit more . . . inviting?
sam said…
Great suggestions! When my guests stay, I try to add something to personalize the "toiletries" basket (like candy they like or a mini candle in the scent they like); I learned this from a hostess who did this for me. I never forgot it!

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