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Home LATEST NEWS How To Be A Good Host: Overnight Guest Checklist

How To Be A Good Host: Overnight Guest Checklist

Catching up with friends or family over drinks and snacks is great fun, but inviting them over to your home allows for even more quality time without distractions. And when out-of-town guests choose to stay with you over a hotel, it can lead to an even better connection. If you have a spare room and feel like a host, that’s all the preparation you need, right? Up your overnight hosting game with a few additions to your home—your guests will thank you (with gifts and future visits).

In order to find the must-haves for every host, we talked to a few pros to find out how to properly host your guests for the night. “Put yourself in your guest’s shoes and try to anticipate what they might need, even before they ask for it,” explain Matthew Powell and George Trinovitch, who run The Pentagoet bed and breakfast in Castin, Maine. “Little touches go a long way: extra toiletries, chargers, maybe a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail waiting for you when you arrive.”

$299 in CB2

Clutter can be the enemy of relaxation. A luggage rack or bench for unpacking bags and purses helps guests stay organized, rather than cluttering their stay, says Bella Manicini of Design by Bella Manciniwho designs homes in New York City and the Hamptons and has hosted many guests at his home over the years.

$60 $50.51 at Amazon

lovely luggage rack

A more affordable version that you can fold up and leave in a closet or throw in the trunk of a car for your own travels.

From $80 on Food52

“Remember to leave your guests with empty drawers and an empty closet with lots of hangers,” says Mancini, who loves these handcrafted beech wood hangers that elevate a closet to a real experience.

$20.24 $17.99 at Amazon

Amazon Basics Slim Clothes Hangers

However, even basic skinny hangers will save your guests from having to put their things away during your time away from home.

$119.99 at fair way

Evan Desk

Particularly in a work-from-anywhere age, Mancini recommends a small desk for light work or to use as a vanity. This one is a bargain and folds up for easy storage in smaller rooms.

$18.99 $12.61 at Amazon

W-Lite 6W USB Clip-on LED Lamp

Not only does this clip-on light ensure your Zoom calls are well lit, it’s also handy for reading late at night.

Starting at $39.99 at fair way

Kenton Studio Wrought 1 Drawer Tall Nightstand

Although it may seem obvious, Mancini recommends making sure you have a proper nightstand to ensure your guests have a place for their phones, chargers, and more during the night.

From $4.99 on Amazon

'We should all be feminists' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Mancini also leaves some recommended light reading on the nightstand for guests. Some favorites of hers include “We should all be feminists”, “how to relax“Y”bike diaries.”

$59.99 at Amazon

NeuType Full Length Mirror

Guests may want to make sure their weekend look is on point with a full-length mirror.

Toiletries and bedding

From $25.20 at front door

Frontgate Resort Cotton Bath Towel

“Get clean, fluffy, good-sized towels,” says Trinovitch. “You want people to feel like they’re wrapped in a cloud, not like they’re struggling to dry off their bodies.” We named these the best plush bath towels on the market.

$9 in Goal

Target Threshold Performance Bath Towel

Fill your linen closet with extra affordable a la carte towels, like these, which we call our favorite affordable bath towels.

$10 in Goal

Threshold High Performance Textured Wipes Set of 4

Extra cloths are always handy for quick touch-ups of any kind. The affordable ones ensure that you will not be bothered when they remove their makeup with them.

$34 in Amazon

Malin + Goetz Starter Kit

“When we think of room must-haves, our minds immediately go to Malin + Goetz soaps, shampoos, conditioners and body lotions,” says Powell. “They’re a little more luxurious, but they immediately tell their guest that she’s here for a spa-like experience, albeit in a small way. Get ready for luxury!”

$32.99 $28.99 at Amazon

Toiletries Travel Kit

“Don’t forget extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss,” adds Trinovitch. “From experience, there is nothing worse than being in an unfamiliar environment and having corn stuck in your teeth… no floss! The stuff of nightmares.”

From $140 on Bloomingdale’s

Frette Hotel Classic Sheets

“Our dream brand for bedding has always been Frette,” Maine B&B owners and accomplished hosts share. “It’s the ultimate in luxury bedding. It makes a world of difference, especially on that first day after traveling, when you get into bed and feel the sheets, and your thought is, ‘OMG, these SHEETS!’ And then you slip into a dreamland of dream wonderland.”

From $119 on LL Bean

LLBean 280 Thread Count Pima Cotton Percale Sheet Set

We call these sheets the best cotton sheets on the market. They’re breathable and cool, great for temperature regulation throughout the night, and the grommet hem along the top sheet and pillowcases made these sheets feel like something out of a hotel.

From $189 on parachute

Parachute Linen Sheet Set

If you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, linen sheets are the answer. We call them the best linen sheets thanks to the ultra-luxurious feel and wide range of color options.

$96 in Amazon

Coop Home Goods Eden Cushion

“A good place to rest is the most essential for a guest bedroom,” says Powell. And this one from Coop is definitely a good place to start, as we named it the best pillow on the market due to the fact that you can adjust its filling to suit your height and firmness preferences, making it the best and most versatile pillow. we tried

From $139 on LL Bean

LLBean organic cotton blanket

Extra blankets are a must for Powell and Trinovitch, especially in Maine, and it’s fun to keep your supplies local (LLBean is a long-time Maine resident).

$129.95 Starting at $119.95 at Amazon

King Koil Deluxe Air Mattress

If you don’t have an extra bed, keep a decent air mattress in a closet to elevate the floor sleeper. We named this the best air mattress of the year thanks to its built-in pump for quick and convenient inflation, and an elevated pillow that helps mimic the feel of a real bed.

$7.90 $6.92 in Amazon

3M disposable earplugs

Keep earplugs and disposable eye masks (obtained from business class flights or from Amazon) in the drawer next to the guest bed to ensure an uninterrupted night’s rest, Mancini says.

$19.99 $9.98 at Amazon

Mavogel sleep mask

Our pick for the best sleep mask, the Mavogel cotton sleep mask features a cool nosewire, so it blocks out all, and we mean all, light. The mask is soft on the eyes and comfortable on the head, never budgeting overnight, no matter our sleeping position.

$15 in Bed bath and beyond

Bee & Willow Home Fluted Water Pitcher

Everyone likes a little water before bed, right? Make it easy for your guests with a pitcher so they don’t have to get up in the middle of the night and stumble around your kitchen in the dark.

$35 $25.97 at Amazon

Riedel O water glasses

“Their guest rooms need glassware,” recalls Powell. For water, wine, cocktails, you name it! “It’s a perfect opportunity to show off your style with a unique find. We source much of our glassware and tea sets from vintage stores in Maine. For wine and water we love a Riedel glass, they are lighter than air”.

$7.79 at staples

Belkin 6-output power strip

So they can keep your phone/camera/headphones/laptop/everything electrical in full charge.

$149.99 $129.99 at best Buy

Ultimate Ears Boom 3 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with Waterproof/Dustproof Design

“Being able to play your own music makes you feel at home,” says Powell. “We first found them for our own home use, but they are such great speakers that we are looking at using them for guest rooms. In a dream scenario, we plan to hide Bluetooth-enabled speakers in old radio tables. A bit of the old meets a new moment.”

$12.99 at Amazon

4 Pack Aioneus iPhone Charger Cables

Spare chargers. Enough talk.

$99.99 in Amazon or $100 in stream

Courant Catch:3 Essentials

Mancini has one of these in the guest room of his house; even a guest’s cables shouldn’t be tangled up during their stay.

Starting at $15.99 at Amazon

Kind Nut Bars Favorites Variety Pack

If guests are in a rush to get out in the morning or aren’t the sit-down-to-breakfast type, Powell and Trinovitch leave a few breakfast bars in each room along with a couple of portable, easy-to-eat snacks. Think of it like a minibar that your guests won’t have to pay extra to explore.

$19.99 $16.99 at Amazon

Happy Hoos Notebook (8 Pack)

“We stayed at a B&B once and each room had its own collection of notebooks, full of past guests’ memories of what they did at the inn. He was very personal and charming and gave us ideas of what to do in the area. It inspired us to carry on the tradition.”

$1.69 in Goal

junior mints

“Everyone knows the classic mint/chocolate on a pillow when you walk into your room. But we’ve put a uniquely Maine spin on that tradition,” says Trinovitch. “We’re working with the bakers at Cape Whoopie (an artisan whoopie pie bakery in Portland) to make mini whoopettes for our guests’ pillows! It’s perfectly quirky and Maine! Having a fun twist like that gives that personality to your space and the overall experience! Your guest won’t forget it.” Choose your own little gift with a personal touch (don’t @ us, a classic is a classic).

$19.90 $18.97 at Amazon

Vita Bone Craft-Inspired Dog Biscuits

“We’ve been to inns in the past that have special treats for dogs: custom ‘pupcones,’ ice cream cones made with peanut butter and bacon bits,” say Maine B&B owners, who are dog lovers. “If your guest has a pet, try to incorporate that into the experience as well.”

$20 in Amazon

Wildsam Field Guides Coastal Maine

“We like to include a guidebook and map in our rooms,” says Trinovitch. “Whether you make a personalized hand-written guide to your favorite places in the area or buy a book, a guide to the immediate area goes a long way to really enjoying yourself! Plus, as the host, you get the inside scoop.”


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