Gift: Guest Perks

An apology to our overnight guests: I’ve been slacking as a host. There was a time when I topped off your stack of sheets and towels with little soaps, always arranged fresh flowers (ok, I usually still manage this) and never forgot to set out the subway maps for you. Sure, the place is tidy and you’ll have your own set of keys, but what of the little perks?

You traveled all those miles to come see us and the city where we live. It’s a big effort, and I need to remember to be more gracious about that. So, while I can’t promise everything, here is my wish list (if I had an actual guest room and unlimited budget) of things I’d like to have on hand to make your stay more comfortable.

Fresh scented fancy little soaps like these from Santa Maria Novellathe 16th century pharmacy and perfume shop in Florence.

I used to keep a basket of slippers at the door, but no one seemed to wear them. Perhaps if I upgraded to the cozy Wicked Good moccasins from L.L. Bean I’d have more takers.

Did I mention you’ll be staying on a pull-out couch? But, with a bit of imagination and this waffle kimono robe you might think you’re at a proper hotel. For a minute anyway.

This hand-thrown porcelain water carafe and cup from Pigeon Toe Ceramics would be the ultimate accessory. It’s reason enough for a guest room, preferably one with a private balcony.

I have a whole stack of useful maps, but with the advent of smartphones I forget to offer them. I love traveling with an actual map and, even more critical, a guide book providing the real scoop on a place. TheĀ Not For Tourists series is excellent for that.

Thank you to my friend Charlotte for sparking today’s topic, and guest room envy. What are the little extras that you like to have for guests when they visit?



4 thoughts on “Gift: Guest Perks

  1. Lovely post. I always leave earplugs (clean) in case visitors aren’t used to honking yellow cabs. They might be appreciated by those staying near little people not of their own making, too… On my to do list: I’d like to place a book or a collection of short stories on the nightstand with a personalized bookmark along the lines of “Laura, I hope you sleep well. Until you do, I thought you might like to read this.” One must is a decent size and //comfortable// guest bed — unless you don’t want a repeat visit. Guests will forget your bought or burnt breakfast muffins but they won’t ever forget feeling shattered all weekend — or going home with sciatica. My mother’s advice: spend a night in your own guest room.

  2. My daughter-in-law always has a wonderful basket of body cream, hand lotion, some great smelling boutique shampoo, soaps, fresh toothpaste, newest girlie mags, etc. That with a nice robe, fresh flowers and electric blanket is such a welcoming touch. Another thought: remember to unplug the phone in the guest room if you still have landlines! And a good reading light for the bedside is essential. Love your post on this, Laura!

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