Hospitality: Overnight Guests
By astrangerinthisland on September 06, 2010
Hospitality is something that is close to my heart and a quality I strive to cultivate. I don't know about you, but I enjoy opening up my home to people who need a place to stay for the night. I have been blessed with the opportunity to host overnight guests on several occasions due to the fact I live close to the airport and because I live in a "big" city to which many people travel.
Here are a few ideas for making your home more inviting to your guests:
Guests always feel more comfortable if they have a space that is theirs for the duration of their stay. If possible, create a guest bedroom. Often times this can be double-duty room, such as a office/guest room. This is what Mi Amor and I have in our small, 2-bedroom apartment. Our second bedroom is more of a office/library/storage room/guest room, but it is a clean (and hopefully comfortable!) area for the guest to stay. If creating a guest bedroom is not an option, I know some people use a child's room as a "guest room" and move the child in another room during the guest's stay. This is what my host family in Mexico did for me when I stayed with them for a few weeks during a study abroad trip. If nothing else, a comfortable couch or blow up mattress can suffice.
Linens, Towels and Accessories
Don't forget to put fresh, clean sheets on the bed! Nobody wants to sleep on sheets that may smell like the last guest... I always have an extra blanket on the end of the bed in case the guest becomes chilled. Mi Amor likes it quite cool at night and my last guest was quite thankful for the extra blanket! Also, when I can, I try to provide toiletries that may be needed. I stock up on travel-size items (I can often get them for free with a coupon!) or collect hotel items when traveling (Yes, I'm one of those people!).
If you have more than one bathroom, designate one for the guest's use only. Be sure it is clean and fully stocked with toilet paper, tissues, etc. before their arrival. Mi Amor and I live in an apartment with one bathroom, so we just try to keep it available for the guest's needs. Work around their schedule-not yours-as much as possible.
Refreshments are always appreciate and can often put your guest more at ease. I like to try and have something dessert-ish to serve our guests. Depending on the time the guest arrives, the treat can eaten upon their arrival, for dessert after dinner, or for breakfast the next morning. I like to make my Quick Cobbler because it such an easy and versatile recipe. If the guest is staying for an extended period. It would behoove both of you to tell them that they are welcome to be "at home" in the kitchen and help themselves to drinks and such. This will keep you from worrying if you are serving them often enough and allows them to feel more at ease.
Aside from all these details, the main thing is the smile, serve with a good attitude, and enjoy their company!