Be Our Guest

When we lived in Chicago (the first go-round), we used to call our home the NixonPack boutique hotel. In our first year here, we had 14 separate visits. Quite literally a revolving door of family and friends. It must have been the delicious deep dish pizza, amazing architecture, donut crawls accommodations. With hosting season on the horizon, we felt it might be time to revisit the list of preparations we make to ensure our overnight guests feel right at home:

Stock the bathroom. Start by thinking about the items you pack in your suitcase when you travel; the things that take up way too much room to bring, and the little luxuries the hotel typically provides. Then, consider the special needs of your guest. Is there a certain brand of soap they love? (For my dad it was Old Spice). Do they prefer clean beauty products?  If you took a peek in the guest suite closet, you’d find:

  • Water carafe and glass
  • Tray for watches and jewelry
  • Jars of cotton – rounds, swabs and balls
  • Hair dryer, flat iron, curling iron, rollers, hairspray
  • Plush towels, washcloths, hand towels – Costco has our favorite luxe towels for less!
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, antacids, polident, DayQuil & NyQuil, allergy pills
  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss
  • Contact solution and extra case
  • Shampoo, conditioner, lotion
  • Various bath bars 
  • Makeup remover wipes
  • Extra toilet paper and tissues
  • Toilet plunger (you never want your guests to feel uncomfortable and have to ask where it is)
  • Nail polish remover, clippers, file
  • Throwaway razors and shaving cream

Hotelify the Bedroom. If you don’t have a large space, or even a separate space – you can do a lot by adding special touches to show your guests the love.

  • Welcome card. I love to jot down a sweet note and lay it on the pillow; especially if our visitors have traveled a long way, or we haven’t seen them in a while.
  • How-to’s. We print the wifi code and put it in a tiny frame next to the bed along with any other miscellaneous instructions. In one house, we had a toilet that used an unusual method to flush, so that merited its own user manual.
  • Robe, Slippers, Warm Socks. Again, Costco for the win. This time of year they have a 3 pack of these adorable slipper socks that you can gift to guests in their welcome basket. They instantly help make everyone feel more at ease, and at home!
  • Fresh bedding. I go a step on the crazy side and actually iron the sheets (I doubt anyone ever notices, but I do). You don’t have to be that OCD. If you’re hosting on a budget and can’t splurge on a high thread count, opt for jersey or linen – they feel super soft without breaking the bank! We also add an extra comforter, pillows and throw blankets in the closet just in case there’s a heat dispute. 
  • Reading materials. I like to stock the bedside table with magazines, books (bonus points if you know what genre they like to read) and a bible. Also, I am a lover of lists so I include a notepad and a pen in case they want to jot down notes to clear their mind before bed.
  • Sunglasses, umbrella, area maps and suggestions of local attractions for excursions.
  • Empty drawers or closet for hanging clothes and storing luggage.
  • Steamer or iron. If you don’t have an extra of these, a simple offer to iron their shirts before you head out for dinner will ensure a five star review. 
  • Chocolate on the pillow. Ok, maybe not on the pillow, but a sweet candy dish filled with ghiradelli squares for late-night cravings. We also stash a few mini bags of chips and pretzels in the drawer just in case.

Did we miss anything? We’re always trying to get the best Yelp rating, and would love to hear how you roll out the red carpet for your guests! Happy Thanksgiving week, friends! We are SO grateful for you!!

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