6 Simple Hosting Tips I Swear by to Make Guests Feel at Home


Photo by Wing Ho

Whenever I’m hosting overnight guests, there are a few simple things I always do to make sure they feel really welcome in our home. In my experience, being a really welcoming host is all about anticipating your guests’ needs beforehand and making sure they’re comfortable while they’re in your space. Here are a few simple hosting tips I swear by to help me do just that.

Simple Hosting Tips to Make Guests Feel at Home

1. Ask about their dietary preferences.

Most hosting occasions center at least in part around food, which is why I think it’s so important to gather any dietary preferences or restrictions beforehand. This way, even if you don’t plan an entire meal around one guest’s preferences, you can still ensure they have options when they sit down to eat.

2. Let them know what you need them to bring.

I think it’s really great when everyone can contribute something to a meal (or full weekend of meals). Ask them to bring a side dish for a meal, snacks for grazing, or have them bring a beloved dish they’re known for (like my mom’s pumpkin bread)!

3. Provide a schedule.

Whenever I host, I like to provide guests with some sort of timeline for how things are going to go. Even if it’s a loose, flexible schedule, this kind of information helps them know what to expect so they can plan and pack accordingly.

4. Consider their space.

Whether they’ll be in a guest room or on a couch, consider the space in which they’ll be staying. Make sure there are window treatments (to block out light while they sleep), clean towels, clean sheets, and an easy place to plug in their phone.

5. Make it cozy.

Once all of the primary things are taken care of, I like to add a little something extra to their space. It might be an extra cozy lamp or a scented candle and matchbox. These little extra touches help ensure they’ll feel truly at home in our home.

6. Point out key items once they arrive.

Make note of where they can grab water, snacks, and anything else they might want while they’re in your home. I think it’s helpful to give a quick rundown of where they can access these kinds of essentials, with a reminder to help themselves to whatever they’d like! 

BY Kate Arends - November 29, 2022

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Jessica Marston
November 29, 2022 3:12 pm

My signature hostess tip- always provide fresh flowers in the guest bathroom.

December 12, 2022 9:31 am

Absolutely. It’s easy to get a cheap bouquet and split it up into a few small vases – one for the bedroom and one for the bathroom.

November 29, 2022 9:28 pm

These are great! My only addition is to make room in your closet for their coats : ) What could be more welcoming?

December 6, 2022 2:44 am

Thank you for your article. What beautiful details you have shared, I read it with pleasure!

Patrice Townsend
December 6, 2022 4:49 pm

Every host needs to spend a night in their own guest room.

December 7, 2022 6:34 am

Very Amazing Information

December 12, 2022 9:30 am

I always make sure to have a little bowl of snacks – jerky, granola bar, fruit bar, nuts, a fancy chocolate bar, etc – in the room, plus a decanter of water with glasses.

April 6, 2023 11:54 am

All these are good ideas. But one thing I dislike about guest rooms is the bed pushed against a wall. If it isn’t absolutely necessary, it is much more pleasant to sleep in a bed that’s open on both sides…

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