Hosting Houseguests: The Ultimate SL Guide

August 8, 2015 | By | Comments (8)

Roses in vase on bedside table with books and alarm clock

Are you a charming and thoughtful hostess? We’re working on a guide to hosting holiday houseguests and are talking to our favorite hostesses about bedside tables, luggage racks, and remembering to give people the wi-fi passwords, but I want to hear from you!

After all, as one clever staffer noted, “Now’s the time to hide the Prozac and break out your fancy hand towels.”


What unexpected little things do you do for holiday houseguests when you set up your guest room and bath?


How do you keep things on the rails—and have fun—when you have a full house?


What’s on your Southern holiday playlist?


And finally, what’s your most creative go-to hostess gift?


Please leave your comments and ideas in the comments. The best answer will get a fancy hostess gift from us.


  1. clark

    Nice post here

    February 17, 2016 at 3:53 am
  2. Liz

    We live abroad (London), and keep extra travel cards on hand, so guests have something to start touring with. Along with a collection of books and travel guides, we have books on local flora and fauna so people can explore. We keep plenty of adapters on hand as well as extra hair styling tools with the right power source.

    My favorite thing to do is keep all of the samples I get from the cosmetics counter (or things I didn’t use from Birchbox) in the bathroom. That way guests can pick something up if they forgot shampoo, face wash etc. and try a new high end product.

    We always leave out pitchers of water for guests, as well as display snacks and drinks so people can grab what they like without feeling the need to ask!

    August 10, 2015 at 10:47 am
  3. Martha Rabaduex

    A vase of fresh flowers, as any well brought up Southern lady is taught. I also have a luggage rack and travel brochures.

    August 9, 2015 at 4:17 pm
  4. Lizana

    After making the guest room as comfy as I can, I put one or two small framed photos of the guest(s) in the room on the dresser. It’s a reminder that they’re part of our circle of family and friends. At holiday time I hang string lights in the bathroom over the vanity (easy to turn off), and I decorate a little tree in the bedroom. Diets allowing, I leave fancy candies on the dresser, as well.
    The holiday playlist is a large collection of old and new Christmas music. The mix keeps it interesting. We also subscribe to Pandora, so if guests want to suggest a genre that they’re fond of it’s at their fingertips.
    My current go-to hostess gift is a homemade burlap table runner with a Merry Christmas stencil at one end. It’s very easy to make, sure doesn’t break the bank, and it’s useful anywhere in the house. White (off-white) burlap with black or hunter green paint is most versatile.

    August 9, 2015 at 12:26 pm
  5. Lenora Kimball

    We love having house guests! Our guest rooms have wonderful bedding & an assortment of pillow types, from down to alternative fillers. Along with the standard luggage racks I keep one size fits all men’s & woman’s robes in the closet & slipper scuffs that can be washed after use. Good reading lamps on the bedside tables & locally authored short stories. The drawers contain a pad of paper, pen, tissues, throat lozenges & a small sewing kit. Each room has a chest of drawers & a dressing table with a large mirror. It’s very uncomfortable to be in a room without a mirror when you’re getting dressed ~ Right?! I always place a few good chocolates, water carafe, scentless votive candle, beautifully packaged matches & a vase of fresh flowers or greens on the dressing table. The guest bathroom has a tall, glass doored linen press containing fluffy white bath sheets, wash cloths, shower mats, hand towels, an assortment of hotel soaps, lotions, shampoos & conditioners (collected from my travels), individual deodorants, extra tooth brushes & tooth paste, along blow dryers. Having wished I had a couple cleaning products at hand, when I’ve been someones guest, I now have a scouring powder, bowl cleaner & paper towels stored in each guest bath. Finally, I always am sure to have a vase on fresh flowers or simple greens in each bathroom & I leave a little note on the bed, telling our guest how happy we are to have them.

    August 8, 2015 at 5:13 pm
  6. Betsy Lee

    We live in a tourist town, so I stock up on brochures of local attractions in case anyone wants to get out and see the sights. I stock the guest room and bath with lots of fluffy white towels, scented candles, all the travel sized toiletries I can think of (in case they forgot something). I also put my single cup Kureig coffee maker, mugs and a nice selection of K-cups for the guests to use! That way, they can get their caffeine fix without having to face the rest of the world. My sister commented on their last visit that coming here is just like going to a bed and breakfast.

    August 8, 2015 at 2:47 pm
  7. Lucinda

    We are the keepers of all the old family photos on my husbands side of the family. So when one of his siblings visit I always try to have an old childhood picture in their room. I keep travel sized amenities in the guest bath with fresh washcloths. We love having visitors.

    August 8, 2015 at 12:01 pm
  8. Beth Gilreath

    Local Maps and brochures, an alarm clock, luggage rack, extra quilts and a dish of candies.

    August 8, 2015 at 12:00 pm

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