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Costwise, there's no denying that hosting your loved ones in your own home beats sending them off to a hotel or bed and breakfast. But can your humble abode live up to the standards of rooms designed exclusively to accommodate guests? Of course it can -- and you don't even need to supply those tiny shampoo bottles or an overpriced minibar to ensure a comfortable stay. Try these hotel-inspired tricks to make your guest room its very own coveted destination.
A welcome card with important info, like Wi-Fi passwords and security codes, will keep guests from needing to badger (though we’re sure you’re happy to help).
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The only thing worse than waking up parched in a strange room is stubbing a toe on the way to the sink. A bedside pitcher and mini flashlight eliminate both possibilities.
Go the extra mile by scattering a few tea bags and filling a large ice bucket with juice, seltzer, and even Champagne. Anything not consumed on arrival can move to the fridge for whenever the urge strikes.
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For better or worse, heat and air-conditioning can reverse the seasons indoors. Since your guests may not come prepared for a drastic temperature change, extra blankets and a small electric fan (if there’s not one overhead) will ensure that they sleep easy.
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Take a page from Martha’s book and keep breakfast a casual, self-serve affair. Show guests how to work your coffeemaker, and stock up on morning staples like toast, cereal, yogurt, and fruit. Leaving them out on a pretty tray adds polish with next to no effort. (Of course, if you’re up and want to play short-order cook or make a doughnut run, we doubt you’ll hear complaints.)
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If you’ve got Netflix, post a note to let guests know they’ve got your blessing to use it -- plus a list of your DVDs with a hand-scribbled, “Movie night? Say the word!” (If you’re gunning for host of the year, an in-room bar cart and TV stand should seal the deal.)
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Time Well Spent
These days, we’ve conditioned ourselves to pass any spare time on our phones -- but while we may reach there first, we can still enjoy low-tech forms of fun. Remind guests young and old that magazines, board games, and crafts can make for a grand old time (and even a DIY souvenir).
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Whether your guests are traveling on wheels or on foot, a list of nearby parks, shops, and cafes will steer them toward the good stuff when both of you need space.