How to Get Your House Guest-Ready: Tips from a B&B’er

Some of my best ideas come from readers, commenters and blog-surfers who somehow land on my website and use the contact message form for what it was meant to be-as opposed to the “FXGL-Hey lady, you want some Viagra?” type messages I sometimes receive. You ask me a question, send me an idea or as in the case of today’s blog post-you do both.

I recently received a contact form message from a fellow Texan I met while working at my Alma Mater. Here is what she said …


I’m getting my house ready for company this weekend and was thinking about what I could have in the guest room to make them feel more comfortable.  A chair, travel-size toiletries, snacks, etc … .

Anyway, I figured if anyone would know these things, it would be a B&B owner. So, if you’re ever looking for something to write about, I’d be interested to hear your suggestions!

And what a great idea.

While it isn’t very often someone remodels an old home and opens a bed and breakfast, many people do have overnight or weekend company on a regular basis. And you want it to be special. You want it to be memorable. You want to be a fabulous host.

Am I right?

Then, here’s what can you do get your house guest-ready.

– While this may seem obvious, it is important to give the room a thorough cleaning. Vacuum or mop, dust the window seals and clean the bathroom. A clean space is the foundation for your guest room.

– Clean out your closets and make space for them to hang or store their clothes. They’ll appreciate the gesture and it will show you really want to share your space with them.

Place an extra blanket and pillow on their bed (that you’ve made with fresh, clean sheets) or store them in the closet.

Stock the guest bathroom with soft, fluffy towels and plenty of toilet paper.

Place a small basket of toiletries in the bathroom for them to use. This doesn’t have to be expensive-use travel sized toiletries or even sample-sized packets. The gesture is what matters.

Buy something special for them. My aunt, a non-coffee drinker, always stocks up on Dunkin Donuts coffee for my sister and me and ice cream sandwiches for my nephew. In return, we buy Diet Coke when she visits. The first time my Italian husband visited me in the states, I bought a collection of Italian-language magazines so he could easily escape into his language when he needed to. Think about what your guests enjoy and buy something just for them.

– Before they arrive, light a candle, place fresh flowers or spray a soft scented air freshener in their room and adjust the lighting to create a homey, romantic atmosphere.

Fill a welcome basket for your guests with a personalized note. Here are some ideas for your welcome basket …

* For someone who knows the area well, consider including a collection of their favorite snacks, magazines, napkins and bottled water.

* If a couple is visiting, considering offering them a bottle of wine, two wine glasses and a cork or a box of chocolates.

* For someone new to the area, include local delicacies and a souvenir from the city or state.

* If your guests will have “free time” while you are at work, include a map of the area, a list of important attractions and a bus or Metro schedule. If your budget allows, consider offering them a small gift certificate to one of the local attractions, restaurants or cafes.

What other tips do you have to transform your home into a mini B&B Guest Room? What are some of the favorite things you have done or seen?

4 Responses
  1. Marmie

    I’m thinking that I was the one who purchased the
    Italian magazine for Peppe. I’m thinking it was
    difficult to locate, but finally managed. You know, disposable cameras are still a good option (especially if one is going to the beach, etc.)
    you don’t want to get sand in your good camera.
    Don’t forget about flashlights, and maybe a telephone directory.
    True about the cameras. Remember when I ruined that great camera at the beach just after the warranty expired? Eek!

  2. Great advice! I like the special touches. My friend will be staying at my house to take care of the pooch while we are in Italy- literally spent ALL weekend cleaning like a madwomen to get the house ready for a guest.

    We will do a few special things for her since she is helping us out in a big way!! I like the flowers and toiletries idea- she is a LUSH addict- so that gives me an idea……
    Ha. I read “she is a lush.” I thought-lock your wine cabinets and put up the hard liquor! Ha ha!

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