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Use these 7 hotel secrets in your guest room

Beautifully made up bed

At this time of the year it seems that we are all bouncing from one holiday season to the next long weekend and as such, chances are you have either been someone’s house guest or even received house guests yourself recently.

And while visiting friends and family has all the benefits of getting to catch up with loved ones, not to mention the fact that it’s economical, there is something to be said for the comfort and convenience of a hotel room.

So, when I decided that it was time to turn my drab old spare bedroom into a guest room I wanted to give my house guests the best of both worlds: The fun and familiarity of staying with friends with all the luxury and convenience of a bed and breakfast.

I found that once I embarked on this little project the prospect of hosting guests became a production that excites, where in the past I simply felt inadequate and unprepared.

I took my cue from the Martha Stewarts of the world and found a few tips that can be employed regardless of whether you have a dedicated guest room or if you are temporarily re-employing your study or hobby room for the occasion.

#1 The bed

Fresh sheets on the bed

Spending a night in strange bed is, for many of us, an uncomfortable experience, so a good host takes great care in preparing a comfortable place to rest your head.

While it goes without saying that linen should be clean, I find that a spritz of linen spray or a little extra fabric softener in the wash helps to bring out that clean air-dried smell that we so often associate with comfort.

It’s also good to be mindful of all seasons and changes in the weather, so use a fitted sheet and a flat sheet and keep an extra blanket folded at the foot of the bed. In warmer months I like to leave a light throw on the bed for afternoon naps.

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However, if your guest bed is less of a bed and more of a fold-away couch or futon, consider purchasing a separate pillow top cover that will do wonders for improving the comfort of the surface.

Top tip:

Size up: To make all your beds look cozier and more inviting size up on your covers. If your have a double bed, use a queen-sized duvet.  This will give you a little extra drop on all sides of the bed and solves the problem of cover hogs.

Night frill nightmare: We all hate night frills and dust covers that don’t stay where they belong. The problem, however, is easily solved by spreading an extra deep fitted sheet over the bed base. Not only does it stay in place, but it is a far cheaper alternative.

#2 Coffee cart

Coffee station

I am one of those people who needs my caffeine fix the moment my eyes open and I know that I am not the exception to the rule.

I wanted to spare my guests the effort of navigating security doors and alarm codes to an unfamiliar kitchen for their morning cuppa, so I set up a coffee station in the room. A small kettle and a selection of coffee and tea with a rusk or two means that guests can get their coffee and go straight back to bed without the exasperation of trying to find a teaspoon in someone else’s kitchen.

Top tip: You can purchase small boxes of creamer, cappuccino, sugar and sweetener sachets from any supermarket these days, negating the need for sugar bowls and milk jugs that may attract insects.

Always remember to put fresh water in the kettle when your guests arrive and to replenish it every day when you replace the cups with clean ones.

#3 Guest amenities

Complimentary toiletries

Understand that we all forget something when we travel, so ad another star to your “best host ever” rating by placing a basket or tray of travel sized amenities in the room for your guest’s convenience.

Soap, a toothbrush, floss, and perhaps common medical necessities, such as antacids or aspirin, are the kind of things that are most often left behind when we travel.

Top tip: Pop into your local Clicks store for travel sized versions of their “Oh so heavenly” range. They are cost effective and you can get all your toiletries colour coded to your room’s décor .

#4 Entertainment

Book and cups in bedroom

One of the things that stir up anxiety in both host and guest, is that feeling that you are all obliged to spend every waking hour in each other’s company.

I found that this anxiety is easily avoided with a few subtleties, such as providing guests with your Wi-Fi password upon arrival and having a selection of magazines and books not only in the guest room but also on coffee tables and dressers throughout the house.This sends the message that it’s okay to take a little me-time.

#5 Grooming

Standing mirror

If you have ladies staying with you the addition of a full-length mirror and a spot to hang clothing is always appreciated. Frameless mirrors are cost effective and easily mounted on the inside of a wardrobe door.

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#6 The bedside table

Bedside table

Take a moment to consider your own bedside table and you will see what an important part of a bedroom it is.

Make sure that there is a reading light or bedside lamp and a two-pronged plug adapter for cell phone chargers and the like.

Top tip: Leave a small bottle or jug of water on the side table . Your guest will appreciate not stubbing their toe on the way to the nearest tap at night.

#7 Housekeeping.

turned down bed

This is where the finesse comes in; a little housekeeping goes a long way.

At mid-morning, when everybody is off doing their holiday activities, you can pop into your guest’s room to refill the kettle, collect and replace dirty coffee cups and lay out fresh towels. At night perform a mini turn down ritual by turning on bedside lamps and putting fresh cold water on the side tables, perhaps even a mint on the pillow.

As mentioned, implementing these changes in the way I prepared my guest room for my loved ones left me feeling prepared and relaxed, and ultimately, with more time to spend catching up and making memories with the special people visiting my home.

Words: Leanne Parker


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