When it comes to making sure your guests feel welcome and relaxed, love is in the details. The smallest gestures go a long way in making your guests feel comfortable and at-home. Here are my essentials for creating a guest experience that is warm, welcoming, and ultimately a home-away-from-home.
Make sure you give your guests a house key, Wi Fi password, TV and DVD instructions, coffee machine instructions and you may also need to advise them on where to park their car for the duration.
Guide to the Neighbourhood
I always give my guests a guide to my suburb and area, as well as a current city sites guide. I also give them advice on the train and bus services close to my home. Because let’s face it sometimes catching local public transport is often the best way to really explore and get a feel for a new city. I also give them a hand drawn mud map of how to walk to the local shops, as well as my suggestions of the best coffee spots close to my home, and also a mud map of where to go for a run or long walk.This empowers guests to live more like locals–and also avoids any awkwardness of having to ask if they want to run out by themselves.
Beach advice is also important
I let my guests know the times of high and low tide, the times of sunrise and sunset, as well as advice on the best beaches to visit.
Make sure they know where to help themselves to beach towels, sun hats, sun block, re-fillable water bottles, bicycles and perhaps a big bag for their trips to the beach and sightseeing.
Of course, you want them to be super comfortable, so I make sure I have at least 6 pillows on their bed, all of differing levels of firmness and height. Over the years I’ve heard plenty of people complain about the pillows in their hotel room. Make sure you have an extra throw rug on the end of the bed too. Water- a pitcher of chilled water next to the bed is great. There’s nothing worse than waking up parched and trying to fumble around in the dark in an unfamiliar kitchen. A docking station and phone charger is a welcome touch too, because this is something people often forget to pack. Tissues are also a must have for me and a few current magazines is always a nice touch too.
I like to ensure there is a full-set of toiletries for my guests. This includes, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, toothbrush and tooth paste, dental floss, day cream with an SPF 30+ factor, night cream, disposable razors, Panadol (in case there are any hangovers), tissues, body moisturiser, band aids, sun block and a manicure set.
I ask guests in advance what they like to eat for breakfast, even to the point of asking what brand of tea, muesli and bread they like best. I also like to stock up on their favourite wines – red or white, ‘chardy’ or sauvignon blanc and so on.
It doesn’t have to be an over-the-top bouquet, but a small bunch of fresh blooms in their room tells your guests you’re happy to see them.
And of course, I also like to surprise my girlfriends with a pair of Ankalia sandals.
Image: Guest room at my house and Ankalia Gemma tan leather sandals embellished with gold Swarovski crystals.
Have a fabulous Summer and enjoy the time you spend with friends and loved ones!
Lots of love,