It really doesn’t take much to make a guest feel special. In fact, if we over-do it, we can make them feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. But it’s the little things that say, “you are a special person.” Think of the little things hotels do…a mint on the pillow; two water bottles waiting for the guests; sometimes, even chocolate chip cookies.
If hotels can make people feel special when they are usually dealing with complete strangers, it shouldn’t be difficult for us to make our friends and loved ones know how important they are in our eyes.
One of my favorite things to do for overnight guests is to make a basket full of travel goodies. Not only can the guests take these treats with them when they leave, but they have some nice snacks in between meals that they can partake of in the privacy of their room. Granola bars, fresh fruit, healthy chips (if there really is such a thing ) are some good “munchies” for our guests. Some people leave baskets of toiletries, and that’s a good idea too.
When it comes to meals, they need not be elaborate. But again, it’s the little things…lemon slices in the ice water, cloth napkins with rustic napkin rings for evening meals (I say rustic because we usually want to stay away from anything too formal), fresh flowers and/or lit candles. All these things are easy, yet they add a loving touch.
Before we leave the subject of simple expressions of hospitality, let me share one that you may not have thought of… being a good listener. Think about it. What makes you feel really special when you visit someone’s home? Isn’t it when you sense that when you share your thoughts and feelings people make eye contact with you, don’t interrupt your thoughts, and affirm you by giving their attention to you? As the host or hostess, even if you disagree with your guest’s point of view, this visit to your home is not the time to make an issue of it. Listening and being gracious is, I believe, the most important thing a host or hostess can do to make a guest feel special.
I’m sure you have some special things you have done for your guests to make them feel welcome. Feel free to share them in a comment if you would like!