Essentials for a Five-Star Guest Room
By: Elisheva Blumberg, Lubicom Staff
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Ask around and you’ll find that pretty much everyone has a guest room disaster story.
The smoke alarm battery was beeping the entire Friday night… the attic where we stayed was sweltering hot… there was no lock on the door and the hosts’ kids kept barging into our guest room….
The truth is, we all want our guests to feel majorly comfortable in the accommodations we provide. But since we never actually hunker down for the weekend inside our own guest rooms, we can sometimes forget some very important essentials that can be enough to make — or break — the experience your guests have in your home.
So, just in time for the holidays, we put together a list of guest room essentials. Some of these items are basic, some a little more ritzy — but all are sure to be appreciated by your guests!
1. Helpful details
Giving your guests a welcome book, a community directory, or even a simple laminated list of basics will help them to get easily acquainted with their new surroundings.
Your welcome list can include helpful info about your home (Wi-Fi password, where to find extra toiletries, how to help themselves to a coffee in your kitchen), or your neighborhood (a list of minyan times, addresses of local kosher restaurants).
2. Space for their stuff
If your guests are coming for the long haul (or even just a two-day yom tov), consider gracing your guest room with a luggage rack.
You’ll also want to give ample closet space for guests to hang their clothing (don’t forget the extra hangers!). If you have a chest of drawers in the guest room, clear some space out so they can use that area as well.
3. Fresh flowers
While not an absolute must, putting a vase of fresh flowers in your guest bedroom or bathroom is a pretty and hospitable touch. (Skip this if your guests are coming with young kids! Disaster waiting to happen...)
4. Something to snack on
While you don’t need to feel compelled to offer an entire in-room breakfast, setting out a few water bottles and snacks is a considerate idea.
Rivki Rabinowitz’s in-kitchen Hostess Station is a fantastic way to encourage your guests to feel welcome grabbing a bite to eat in your kitchen.
5. Temperature control
The hardest thing about staying away from home is not being in control of your environment. Stock your guest room with all the things your guests will need to keep warm/cool/comfortable.
Keep a store of extra pillows and blankets in your guest room (don’t forget to let your guests know where they can find these).
6. Spa Slippers
7. A way to check the time
Especially when you’re hosting on Shabbat or holidays, a digital clock is a must. And to prevent any rude awakenings, inspect the clock before your guests come to ensure that the right time is displayed and that there are no alarms set on the clock.
8. Shabbos lamp
9. Extra box of tissues
11. Utter silence
Okay, so you may not be able to guarantee complete silence for your guests, but you can still do your best to provide some peace and quiet.
Supply your guests with a white noise machine they can set before Shabbos or yom tov. And don’t forget to test the batteries in the guest room smoke alarm to make certain your guests won’t be disturbed by any inopportune (and very loud!) low-battery warnings.
12. Blackout curtains
13. A door that locks
14. Garbage can in the bedroom
Line the can with a plastic bag so your guests can clean up after themselves if they wish. And for guests with babies, a diaper genie wouldn’t be a bad idea.
A pretty wicker basket stocked with mini toiletries can go a long way. Fill it up with unused toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, a new contact lens case and bottle of lens solution, feminine products, Tylenol/Advil, ponytail holders, body wash, lotion, and shampoo/conditioner.
16. Plunger in the bathroom
17. Wig head
18. Reading material
19. Pack ‘n Play
Don’t forget to supply a package of baby wipes and some diaper bag refills (detach and open before Shabbos or yom tov).
20. Toys/books for kids
It’s a universal law that kids wake up appallingly early when away from home. To help your guests get some extra shut-eye, furnish your guest room with engrossing toys like Magnatiles, a dollhouse, some puzzles, and board books. You’ll score hostess points from both the kids and the parents.
While not every guest room has the space to supply all of these things, keeping this list in mind will help you equip your home as best you can.
And as with all things in life, it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. Believe us, your guests will be endlessly grateful!