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20 Essentials for a Thoughtful Guest Room

The best guest rooms take cues from both cozy bed & breakfasts and posh resorts. If you really want to impress your guests, blend the comforts of home with vacation indulgences. Any visitor will feel welcome when you incorporate these guest room essentials!

1. Keep a list of local activities

Give out-of-town visitors the total experience of living in your area by collecting brochures from your favorite “tourist” spots nearby and playing the concierge. While you’re at it, be sure to save the latest copy of your local newspaper so guests can review other upcoming events.

2. Share your calendar

When your daily activities are going to vary, make sure your guests can easily reference your schedule. Offering a quick synopsis of your morning routine or your ETA when work is done will help them feel like they’re in the loop.

3. Make a spare key

If you know your guest will be exploring on their own, make sure they’ll have their own key. Also provide any alarm codes they might need so they can come and go as they please.

4. Stockpile bathroom samples

All those spare shampoo and lotion bottles you’ve carried home from the hotel can help emulate that vacation-vibe in your guest room. Any extra toothbrushes from the dentist are also good to have on hand.

5. Check the medicine cabinet

For pet owners especially, consider picking up some allergy meds for your guests. They might have a reaction—even with the cleanest carpets—so it’s best to be prepared.

6. Find a suitcase stand

Giving your guests a decent luggage rack really adds to that feeling of high-class style. Crafty homeowners can even make their own suitcase stand as an afternoon DIY project.

7. Add extra hangers

If your guest room closet has “accidentally” been converted to a storage space, be sure to make some room before your guests arrive. Leave the door cracked too—that way they’ll know they can use the hangers you’ve provided.

8. Hang a new mirror

A mirror is a great and easy upgrade for any space. Floor-length is ideal for bedrooms, but your guests will still appreciate a smaller mirror if you find a stylish one you love.

9. Write out TV instructions

Changing channels, adjusting volume, and turning devices on and off might not be intuitive for every guest. If you have a TV in the room, simplify the technology by writing step-by-step directions.

10. Leave pen and paper

These items are so basic they’re often forgotten, but if guests ever find themselves needing a notepad, it’s nice to have one out and ready for them. (Just think—they might even leave a Thank You Note for their visit!)

11. Prep the bedside table

If you have the time, try to find a couple magazines or books that you think your guest might enjoy. Arrange them next to the bedside lamp so they have a few more options for bedtime reading.

12. Stack blankets and towels

Allow your guests to customize their bedding by providing a variety of quilts and blankets. Once you’ve washed your bedding, stage the linens in a decorative basket or keep them neatly folded on another piece of furniture in the room.

13. Give different pillow options

A comfortable pillow is probably even more important than blankets. Invest in a few different fillings so visitors can have their pick of feather, synthetic, down, or foam.

14. Offer a fan

Everyone has different needs for comfort, so if you have a spare fan, why not store it in the guest room? It might be just what your guests need to lull them to sleep.

15. Include some light snacks

A little “Welcome” tray with granola bars, fruit, and mixed nuts lets your houseguests get a quick bite whenever they need it. Want to keep it simple? Stay classic with a piece of chocolate on the pillow.

16. Consider a coffee bar

Not even guest room will have the space for an instant coffee machine or hot pot for tea, but if yours does, you can really go the extra mile by setting up a corner for guests to indulge in a cup of joe!

17. Have water nearby

If you do nothing else by way of snacks and beverages, just place a couple water bottles on the bedside or a clean glass next to the sink so guests can easily take any vitamins or medicine.

18. Load up on toilet paper

Quickly double-check your supplies and toss another couple rolls under the sink (or conveniently display it near the toilet) to keep guests from having to awkwardly ask for more.

19. Check for other tissue

With the bathroom in order, confirm that you also have a box of tissue in the guest room—just to cover all your bases.

20. Arrange some fresh flowers

A cut flower arrangement can freshen up any room and really puts the final touch on your hard work and preparation. Tulips work particularly well because their natural droop makes for a no-hassle, yet classic bouquet.

Your thoughtfulness and a little extra planning is sure to help houseguests feel relaxed (and maybe even a little spoiled) while under your roof. It’s easy to give visitors a memorable experience when you add a few of these essentials to your guest room!


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