5 ways to make houseguests feel more welcome

August 22, 2015

house guest welcomeWhen someone comes to visit, I love going the extra mile to make them feel welcome. This past year, sister-in-love did the same thing for us, with all sorts of little touches that made us feel special. We loved the house guest welcome she laid out for us.

If you’d like to make your next houseguest feel special I’ve got 5 tips for you. Not three, not four, but five!

Cheese and Wine resized 1) Few things are as welcoming after a long trip as a bottle of wine with fruit and cheese, especially if they are accompanied by a handwritten welcome note. How fun to sit down with a glass of wine and catch up with your friends.  As a fun treat, I like to put out a chilled bottle of sparkling wine–the bubbles make it more festive. Don’t drink? A sparkling beverage of any kind is refreshing and thoughtful.

2) A little bit of planning goes a long way toward making a guest feel at home. I always ask my guests to tell me their coffee, tea and breakfast preferences in advance of their visit so I’m prepared.  I lay out a little coffee or tea service in the morning, complete with a tiny pitcher of cream and bowl of various sweeteners.

guest-room-hospitality-1 resized

3) Since we travel so much, we usually have a good supply of small, nice toiletries. Yes, it’s true: I take the small kits hotels provide their guests–the ones with a few cotton swabs, a nail file and other things, as well as small shampoos and conditions I don’t use. They have a handy repurpose for our house guests.  I’ve also donated extras to our troops.

4) When I see them around town, I pick up copies of local tourist magazines from nearby cities we might visit with our guests. Magazines about the wine country, San Francisco or the Monterey peninsula are in my collection and I update them when possible.  I stack a few by the guest’s bedside so they can read up a bit if they like. Sometimes, I mark favorite things to do.

5)  Alas, all too soon it’s time for my guest to leave. Why not give them a little goodbye memento of their trip? Nothing too cumbersome to carry back–maybe a small box of chocolates, saltwater taffy, a little pad–at this age, I’m all about consumables and so are my guests.

None of these are super-expensive and they all help make your home theirs during a visit.

I’d love to know some of your ideas for making your own house guests feel welcome. Add them below in the Comments if you’re inclined.


17 comments on “5 ways to make houseguests feel more welcome
  1. Wow! You are a really thoughtful hostess. Your guest are lucky!

  2. Laurel Regan says:

    These are lovely ideas, Carol! One of the things I’ve always loved about visiting my parents is the little basket of toiletries Mom sets out in the guest room – so generous and welcoming. We don’t have very many overnight guests ourselves, but will remember these for the next time we do.

  3. Carol Graham says:

    I never thought about the “going home” gift — great idea

  4. We do the same thing. I think it gets the visit off on a good note, and they remember the kindness when they leave.

  5. Estelle says:

    Wow. I want to stay with you. You are so nice to house guests. Mine would get an early (6:30 am) wakeup call/visit from my six-year-old daughter.

  6. Mary says:

    All wonderful tips, Carol! I especially love the idea of having the local tourist magazines for the guests, I’m going to be adding a few to my guest room. Thanks.

  7. Sandy Nelson says:

    Wow! I’ll be right over!

  8. Great ideas! I do a couple of those, but I must get better about making morning coffee easier. My Bunn Coffee Machine is quite intimidating (just ask Ruth) so I should probably set out a Mr. Coffee maker of some sort (timed to brew in the morning).

  9. michelle says:

    Wonderful ideas. The magazines…brilliant..

  10. These are some great tips. I would not have thought to put tourist magazines in my home for guests, but it’s a perfect idea because it allows them to choose places of interest to them. Then they can be in control of where they go with you.

  11. Hil says:

    Too cute. Very sweet and thoughtful.

  12. Sarah Cox says:

    This could not have come at a better time. I have my dad arriving from the UK in 7 weeks time with his partner and have been thinking I want to do a little something special for them. I now have the perfect ideas. Thank you very much xx

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