8 Guest Room Essentials For The Discerning Host

8 Guest Room Essentials For The Discerning Host

Interior Design
Additions and Remodels
By Mateos Glen Hayes December 07, 2021

While a fancy hotel is usually a cool spot to hang out in when visiting a new place, it can be a bit difficult to feel connected to a destination from the twentieth floor of a building. In our increasingly connected world, hotels tend to feel a lot like each other and can generally feel like worlds of their own.

It’s no surprise then that an increasing number of travelers opt for a more interpersonal option: guest rooms. Guest rooms allow you to stay at a local's home in a part of the city where “real people” live. This means you can get more exposure to a place’s culture than if you lived in a business district filled with office towers and malls.

Guest rooms have also become more popular thanks to services such as Airbnb, with more and more hosts joining such networks and opening up their homes to visitors from around the world. If you’re thinking about turning your old storage room into a modern guest room, there are certain essentials that every discerning host should get to make sure that the experience of their visitors is as pleasant as possible.

1. Toiletries 

Well Stocked Toiletries Are the Mark of Good Hospitality

Well Stocked Toiletries Are the Mark of Good Hospitality

This one might seem rather obvious, but it can be easily overlooked especially if you’ve got a lot of stuff going on and hosting is your “side hustle”. A toiletry kit with items such as soap, toilet paper, a soft toothbrush, and other such supplies tends to get used up quickly especially if you’ve got a lot of guests coming through.

Because of this, it’s important to make sure that everything is well stocked so your guests don’t find themselves struggling without toilet paper. These kinds of minor errors can really dampen any visitor's experience and make even a cozy guest room seem less hospitable. On that same note, cleanliness is another important detail.

Things get dirty fast, especially in bathrooms that are being used regularly. So make sure that you are cleaning regularly as well so that your guests don’t have to confront unpleasant sights or smells. You should also make sure that all bedding, carpets, and floors are free of dust.

2. Basic Amenities

Clean Towels and Bedsheets Keep Guests Comfy

Clean Towels and Bedsheets Keep Guests Comfy

By this, we mean items like fresh bath towels, bedsheets, and a mirror. You never know when a guest might need a new towel or new bedsheets, so make sure to keep a few on hand and within reach of your guests. Paying attention to little details like this can really increase the satisfaction of guests by promoting an atmosphere of hospitality.

In our increasingly digital world, amenities like free internet are an essential detail that simply cannot be overlooked, so be sure you have a network set up that is easy for your guests to access.

Temperature is another important part of a guest’s comfort, so be sure that you include relevant amenities for that as well. If you live in a cold place, check that your guest room is equipped with a fan and/or air conditioning and that these systems are working. If you live in a colder place, make sure any heating system you have works and is easy for your guests to use.

3. Storage Space 

Storage Space Is Key for a Good Guest Room Experience

Storage Space Is Key for a Good Guest Room Experience

It’s tempting to shove all the stuff you can’t find a place for into a guest room closet. However, you should avoid doing this as much as possible because placing all your stuff into a guest room robs your guests of any storage space for their stuff. Guests, after all, have their own clothes and other items that they need a place for when they arrive, so setting aside some space for their stuff is a great way to make their stay more convenient.

You also don’t want random strangers to have access to all your belongings, especially not personal items. Ideally, the only stuff you should store in your guest room storage is that which can be used by your guests, such as bed sheets, pillows, toiletries, and the like.

4. An Ambiance 

A Cozy Ambiance Makes for a Comfy Stay

A Cozy Ambiance Makes for a Comfy Stay

This is a more abstract concept but no less an important one for ensuring hospitality. The atmosphere of your modern guest room is a crucial detail for any successful hosting. You want your cozy guest room to look good, smell nice, and work well. Nobody likes that musty hotel smell, dirty furniture, or broken appliances.

It is important to make sure these details are taken care of and that every effort is made to make guests feel welcome. To achieve this, try adding a few personal touches in the form of scented candles, nicely arranged table covers, well-folded bed sheets, and other such small elements.

This can be as intricate or as simple a process as you want it to be. It is not mandatory that you make towel swans, or set up beautifully arranged china and silverware. More often than not, the simplest and smallest touches are the ones that make the most impact on a guest’s stay.

5. Creature Comforts 

Weary Guests Appreciate the Comforts of Home

Weary Guests Appreciate the Comforts of Home

It’s safe to say that we all like being comfortable, and travelers are no different. Upon arrival, many guests will have been exhausted by hours or even days of travel in cramped airplanes, lengthy layovers, and wearing masks for hours on end. So, they’ll be very appreciative to have comfy places to sit down, sleep, and/or rest. To ensure that they can enjoy some comfort after a long journey, consider setting up a cozy sitting area with comfy armchairs or even a sofa for your beleaguered guests to crash on.

You can give them somewhere easy to leave their heavy bags until they can unpack them later. Your less sleepy guests will appreciate a cozy spot where they can stretch out and read a book while they recuperate. If you accept pets, consider setting up a place for your guest’s pet so that Fido can rest too.

6. Little Extras

It’s the Little Things That Count

It’s the Little Things That Count

There are extra little measures that can also improve your guest’s stay. Although they are optional, they are certainly worth considering. Little things, such as a basket with snacks and drinks are an excellent amenity especially since your guests will almost certainly be peckish and parched after a long journey.

Your guests might need a little time to unwind after navigating international airports in the time of a global pandemic, so minor elements such as a small bookshelf, phone chargers, and even television can be welcome extras for any traveler. If you choose to include chargers, it's a good idea to ensure that there are plenty of easily reachable places to plug them in. Many older homes are rather limited when it comes to power outlets so adding some in or moving the ones you have to more convenient places might not be a bad idea.

Practical extras are also welcome. A nice alarm clock will be well-appreciated by any business guests, and appliances like coffee machines, toasters, and microwaves are always crowd favorites, assuming you have enough space for them. If you want to go one step further, consider getting a mini bar fridge to keep snacks fresh and keep those drinks chilled.

7. Work Spot

A Guest Room Should Be a Place for Work and Play

A Guest Room Should Be a Place for Work and Play

Of course, life isn’t all about play, and some of your guests might be coming for work as well. For those travelers, a work spot is always a very nice touch for any modern guest room. This can be as simple as a good-sized desk with a stable wifi connection and easy access to power outlets for computers. But if you want to go the extra mile, consider adding additional items like a printer, a few stationery supplies, and a desk lamp or two. Atmospheric additions such as large windows for natural sunlight wouldn’t be amiss either, since this will keep any working guests from getting sleepy or feeling isolated as they work.

8. Consider a Theme

A Theme Works Wonders for Making a Welcoming Guest Room

A Theme Works Wonders for Making a Welcoming Guest Room

It almost goes without saying that it is important to remove any personal items from a guest room. This helps keep the space impersonal and welcoming to all guests. However, this doesn’t mean that your guest room should be a blank slate. In fact, it is recommended that any host puts some thought into what the design style of a cozy guest room should be. Blank space with dreary colors will hardly feel welcoming to anyone, but a themed space will do the trick.

One easy way to do this is to base the guest room interior design on the local style of your region. For example, a guest room in the New England area could take on a coastal design style with light shades of blue, grey, and white. Rustic touches such as wood furniture, cast iron light fixtures, and even exposed wooden beams could complete this look, and it could be further complemented with nautical DIY decor touches such as a miniature ship, fishing hook, and the like. These touches give a space character and make it much more welcoming than any generic hotel room.

MG

Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes

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