One of the lovely things about Christmas is spending quality time with friends and family. If that quality time is going to be at your place this year, go the extra mile in setting up an extra special guest room. Whist I have talked about how to set up luxe guest bedroom before (link to story from August), you can take this one step further for Christmas and add a little bit of magic to your guest’s stay.
Work with a hotel analogy in mind – think how a luxurious hotel room would look and the extra special items they might add that makes your stay so memorable. Sometimes it’s the smallest attention to detail that makes the difference between a nice stay and an extraordinary one.
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Here are my top 7 tips to an extra welcoming guest room these Christmas holidays.
1. De-clutter, clean and organise.
This is a basic point but worth repeating. No one wants to stay in a room that feels like a dumping ground. Clutter is usually tripled at Christmas, especially if you have children, and spare rooms often become the hiding place for gifts before they go under the tree. Find somewhere else for them before your guests arrive. That includes spare wrap, excess decorations and the like. Part of the joy of staying with people is to arrive knowing that a bit of effort has been put in. And don’t leave it until the night before your guests arrive to get started!
2. Allow your guests the pleasure of privacy and self sufficiency.
No-one wants to be running around the house looking for bath towels at 6am on Christmas Day, New Years Day or any other day.. depending on how much Christmas Cheer is indulged. Provide clean, luxurious towels and face washers. Being Summer, If you have a pool or live near the beach it’s a nice idea to provide beach towels for each guest, as most people don’t travel with towels. Set the bathroom up like a well-styled hotel room. Up the ante on your product choice and select a luxury brand for the toiletries so the experience is elevated. Include hand soap or wash, body wash, a loofah, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and spare toothbrushes as well as a hair dryer if you have one. Unless there is a large mirror in the adjoining bathroom, ensure you have a full length mirror in the bedroom. This is an absolute must for Christmas Party preparation.
3. Take extra care with the bedding.
Use the best linen you have, make sure the pillows are fluffy and clean – or replace them. We all need a good nights sleep at Christmas. Remove excess throw cushions that will probably have no-where to go once luggage and your guest’s clothes are out in the room.
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4. Set up a refreshments station just like you would find in a hotel.
Include a water jug, glassware, coffee machine and associated items which could include a few Christmas cookies. If your guests are staying for a while, consider putting a small bar fridge in the room but only if its in good condition and hidden under a bench or table, so it doesn’t look like a dorm room. Include a lovely tray on the bed and a vessel next to the bed for jewellery and watches. A few nice books or your guest’s favourite magazines stacked beside the bed will let them know you have thought specifically about them.
5. Replace flowers with something seasonal.
Switch the flowers that you may have otherwise put in the room with a stem of Fir in an interesting vessel for a twist on a modern Christmas tree.Alternatively make a simple wreath and hang it in the room.
6. Go easy on the decorations.
Of course, decorate the house (link to decoration story) but don’t feel the need to overload the guest room with decorations as a welcoming signal. Keep them to either one focal piece or a few small things that work with the décor. Think stylish hotel not crazy Christmas warehouse. You want to create a wow when they enter but have it still feel clean and uncluttered. Fairy lights or string lights (warm white please, no coloured flashing numbers) are a great way to make a space feel festive and still stylish and habitable.
7. Make it fun.
And leave a little something special by the bed. If kids are staying, what about a little Christmas Stocking and for adults, a quirky little gift that replaces hotel chocolates.