Tips for Being a Great Host or Hostess

June 3, 2015
Tips for Being a Great Hostess

Spring is here and summer is on the horizon. Many people start taking trips and visiting family during these months. There are baby showers, weddings and everyone is making the most of the beautiful weekends.

I think it is really important to make guests feel welcome and comfortable in your home.  Being a good hostess is a skill I strive to improve on all the time.  It is nice to have a guest room designated in your home that is always ready to go for people to stay.  That way you don’t feel stressed if family is passing through or a friend who had too good of a time at your house needs to stay over.  I know that many people do not live in homes or apartments that have room to have a full time guest room set up.  In that case you can have all the fixings consolidated in a closet or plastic bin so you know where it all is and it is ready to go.

Families live so far apart these days it is nice to be somewhere that people want to visit and enjoy their time with you.  But, also that you and your guests have much needed down time so having a relaxing guest room for them allows for a much more productive visit.

How to make your guests feel welcome

As I am always trying to improve my guest experience I asked two pros their thoughts on the topic.

Here is what, Cecelia Otto; my mother had to say on important things to remember for guests:

  • Fresh towels
  • Fresh flowers
  • A nice soap
  • Bake scones & have seasonal fruit and local coffee for breakfast

My mom is from Seattle so local coffee is easy to come by – but having good coffee in general is a good idea as well as a selection of teas.

My mother-in-law, Mari Shorter, had wonderful input as well:

  • Comfy bed
  • Fluffy towels
  • Hangers
  • Luggage rack or someplace to put your clothes
  • Reading light or battery operated book light
  • Table or desk and chair for writing or putting on makeup
  • Nice soap
  • If you want to do extra a box or basket with travel size toothpaste, shaving cream, etc. and maybe a hairdryer.

Other helpful tips for making your guest feel welcome:

One thing I like to do is ask my guests ahead of time via text what they like to make their stay more comfortable.  That way you can pick up their creamer or special kind of coffee to make them feel at home.  It also helps to find out what they like for breakfast.  I also like to have some new magazines or reading material in their room – so my guests can decompress.

Ryan and I also like to meet at dinner before guests come and make a list of what things we would like to do with them.  That way it makes for a much more fun stay.  Even if you don’t do all the items you are never looking at each other trying to come up with a plan.  Also, if your guests express interest in needing or wanting to do an activity or get something done try and work it into the plan.

If you are the guest who is being hosted it is always nice to give a gift or help the host get something done they need help with.  Also, being sure to buy dinner for your host is always appreciated.  Always, remember you are saving money staying with them so be sure to invest in your relationship with the hosts as it is a great time to build a stronger bond.

Cheers to guests and hostess this season!  Make it fun, relaxed and be sure to enjoy your time together – don’t get weighed down with stress.  Grandpa Shorter’s has beautiful soaps and other specialty items to make your house more “guest friendly” or to give as a hostess gift that is sure to impress.

Avatar for Alex Shorter