By Anna Liesemeyer
If you are expecting guests (or even if you're not), here are six easy ways to give your home a comfortable and luxurious feel.
1. Set out welcome items.
The hotels that leave the biggest impression always have a welcome gift waiting in the room. From the moment your guest arrives, you can make them feel comfortable and surprise them with a thoughtful "welcome pack" of toiletry essentials they may need for the weekend and even a few postcards for them to take home or send while they are staying. A map of your city with your favorite spot recommendations is a personal and helpful touch. And include those emergency items they may have forgotten to pack, like Advil, a Tide pen, toothpaste, and a mini sewing kit. (Pictured: Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner, coconut water, travel-sized toothpaste, cucumber eye pads)
2. Provide clean, brightly-colored towels.
After a long day of travel, you might crave a shower to wash off the day. When a hotel offers a clean bathroom with fresh folded towels, you immediately feel like you can relax. It only takes a few minutes to drape some bath towels over the tub and have them waiting for your guests' use. There are several ways you can fancy up your towels for your guests--catch a few ideas on YouTube to put a creative spin on your display.
3. Make the bathroom feel like a spa.
Luxury hotels often provide spa items to up the relaxation factor. Take this concept into your own home, and have a basket on hand for your guests to use. Washcloths, facial cleanser, shampoo, bubble bath, sea salt spray, candles, and bath crystals are just a few ways to make your guests feel royal. Take it up a notch and set out a plush robe and slippers, or an iPod dock with a few relaxing playlist options. The only downside: it might be so relaxing there's no need to go out sightseeing.
You can almost guarantee moments of downtime here or there when you are traveling, and having some reading entertainment at hand always makes for a welcome break. If you know your guests' favorites, place a few magazines on their bedside table with a candle or two in case they want a little mental break. They might not have time to finish a novel, but short story and essay collections are more manageable.
5. End the day with a nightcap.
Coming back to the hotel after a long day of walking and exploring, you look forward to the fluffy pillows, cable, and a nightcap (after all, there word "night" is in there for a reason). There's nothing better than chocolates and wine to wind down with. Offer this extra detail to guests in your own home for an added element of surprise and enjoyment, and you can snack on them together as you catch up. (Pictured: Avant Wine, Lindt Chocolates, and Fig Bars.)
6. Bring the outdoors in.
Nothing makes a room come to life quite like flowers or greenery. When a fine hotel has even a simple plant on the patio or coffee table, you immediately feel like the room has been recently refreshed. In your own home, add a little vibrancy to your guest's room with a small houseplant, succulent, or floral arrangement. It's a way to get a little dose of nature without going to the tropics.
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