Welcome to Chez Moi! Give your Guests a Hotel Experience

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All of us have been guests in less-than-ideal accommodations. Whether it was the lumpy bed and flat pillows at a motel or sleeping among your Aunt Ruby's overly-friendly cats, sometimes we are stuck toughing it out when we travel. Remembering these experiences makes us hope to never subject our loved ones to the same kind of treatment!

The next time you are hosting company, consider giving your guests the royal treatment. In addition to providing them with a fantastic room to sleep in, make them feel as though they are truly on vacation. A few simple, inexpensive ideas can make your loved ones feel as though they are staying in a luxury hotel, transforming their experience from houseguest to honored guest.

Part of being a good host is giving your guests everything they need, and we aren't just talking about a spare bed here! As guests, we hate to pester our hosts by asking them for this and that. So, when you are hosting, try to look ahead. A little thought goes a long way!

The Basics
First, start by getting your house ready for guests with our 10 quick fixes you can do in a pinch. Then, work on the toiletries. It's all too common for travelers to forget vital tools needed for basic hygiene. (How many times have we realized that we forgot our toothbrush while in mid-flight?) Make up a small basket of essentials: soap, shampoo, moisturizers, toothpaste, toothbrush and such and place it in the bathroom. (Sample sizes or hotel souvenirs of shampoo and conditioner work great, too!) While you are in the bathroom, take stock of what you have on hand. Make sure there is enough tissue and toilet paper, and don't forget to provide clean towels, washcloths and if you happen to have them, robes. Not many people bring their robes on vacation, but a lot of people love to wear them. Spritz them with a light linen spray for added pomp!

The Comforts
Once the bathroom is done, turn your attention to your guests' sleeping quarters. Besides seeing that it is clutter-free and clean, make sure the room is extra cozy and comfortable. Invest in sheets and comforters with a high thread count. Designer sheets can be found at discount stores for more than half off the regular retail price. If you outfit your bed with duvet covers, remember that some people are allergic to down. Faux down comforters are widely available, and cheaper than the real stuff. (And cruelty free!)

While your guest room closets may also serve as storage for seasonal clothing, your guests will greatly appreciate some empty closet space (and hangers) as well as an empty drawer or two. Unpacking is a treat if there is room to put your stuff (and living out of a suitcase is never fun.) If you are feeling more ambitious, you can easily create a three day stay closet for your favored guests.

Think back to your best hotel experiences: how did the room feel when you first walked in? What niceties were on the table and in the bathroom? A television, DVD player and a few movies are always appreciated, though not completely necessary. If you can't pull off the visual aids, definitely provide a sound system, whether it's a CD player and a stack of relaxing music, or a MP3 player. If your unit doesn't have an alarm clock feature, provide one on the bedside table. Don't forget reading materials! Stack a few magazines somewhere in the room, along with a few books you have already read. Encourage your guests to leaf through them and take them home, if they want. If you happen to live in a city or area that's been written about, by all means keep copies of those books or articles around for your guests' enjoyment; ditto any movies that may have been set or shot nearby.

The Extras
It's the added, thoughtful touches that will really wow your guests and make them feel welcome. Display bottles of water and a bowl of healthy snacks, such as fruit and energy bars in a basket in their room. Let them know they can take these munchies with them when they leave. Remember, food on airplanes these days is pretty scarce! Provide a fragrant, seasonal candle or two for relaxation and for fun, a mint on the pillow, just to make them smile.

While you want to spend as much time with your guests, chances are there will be an afternoon or two where you both need or want your space. Arm your visitors with maps of the area and guidebooks for them to browse through. Accompany that with a list of local movies, plays and restaurants so that if they want to get out of your hair, they will have a host of things to choose from!

Hosting guests is one of the best things about having a home, and we all want our loved ones to feel as though they are completely welcome. Maybe they aren't staying in a fancy hotel, but there is no way you can't make them feel as if they are! Even better, they can have all of the amenities that people pay a lot of money for, but with the comfort of home. Lavishing your guests is easy and inexpensive, and what's more, they will always look forward to visits with their thoughtful host. And they may be able to return the favor when you are traveling to their part of the world.

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