Trend report: Guestrooms feeling like hotel suites
For the Steamboat Pilot & Today
Let’s face it … we live in a ski town, which means our guestrooms see plenty of visitors. Naturally, you want the bedspread to work with the wall color, and the throw pillows to provide a bright contribution. But the ultimate goal is to make your guests feel welcome and comfortable. Here are some touches that will have them thinking they’re staying in a fancy bed and breakfast — without a rate card tacked to the door.
A belt, an overstuffed purse, bathrobes you have provided. These are the kinds of items that make wall hooks a welcome addition to any guestroom. For extra strength, use a wooden hook rail, which often comes with the hooks pre-mounted. The rail is screwed into the wall studs, located with a stud locater.
Storage, storage, storage
Naturally, you may find yourself using a guestroom’s closets and drawers to store your own things. But make sure you leave ample space in both for your guest’s clothing. Be generous, too, with extra hangers. And to make guests feel really welcome, use quality hangers, not the wire ones from the dry cleaners.
WiFi password card
Sure, your guests are eager to get caught up on all the family news. But the first thing they really want to know, without being too obvious about it, is your WiFi password. Print it on a card you design yourself, or download one from a template offered online. Framed and hung on a guestroom wall, it will become a favorite piece of art.
As simple as it is, a fold-up luggage stand goes a long way toward making a guestroom comfortably livable. When a guest tosses a bag on top of one, they have taken possession of the room, no matter how long it takes to get clothing and other items transferred to closets and drawers. And if they never do get around to it? They won’t run the risk of being halfway home when they get a text from you saying they forgot to empty out a bottom drawer, prompting a return visit.
For that perfect Steamboat touch of how to decorate your guestroom, we went to longtime interior designer Boatie Ward of Interiors with Boatie, who shares the following secrets.
Oftentimes, a guestroom is used by out-of-town family members so it’s nice to include a family photo or heirloom piece of furniture in the décor that will speak to them. These items will also help make the space feel more like home, rather than a hotel. Also, always include a chair so balance-challenged guests have a safe spot to assist in dressing. For sleeping, window treatments that fully block out the light are nice for those who are bothered by moon, sun or streetlights. And always consider the mattress comfort; you want something that’s comfortable so your guests feel cared and pampered, but not so comfortable that they decide to overstay their welcome.
Keep in mind that suitcases and travel bags take space, especially if the visit isn’t long enough for unpacking. Make sure the room isn’t crammed with furniture or knickknacks that don’t allow for traveling bags.
Twin beds or double?
If you know all your guests are going to be singles or couples, then one bed, as big as will comfortably fit, makes sense. But the thing is, you don’t know. The most practical choice is twins, which is no great hardship for any but some newlyweds, and has you covered once kids and grandkids start showing up from school with friends. And of course, if the newlyweds are too cramped, it’s always possible to push two twins together and get out the king sheets.
Nothing says, “Don’t worry about what the TSA confiscates” like an amenities basket containing such basic toiletries as toothpaste, shampoo and lotion. For a happy surprise, you could even include a sleeping mask, a pair of disposable slippers, and, for middle of the night nibbles, a few packaged snacks.
Anyone who has had to reach behind a guestroom dresser or headboard in the hope of finding enough outlets for their electronic devices will appreciate a prominently placed multi-plug outlet adapter that will let guests charge everything all at once. The adapter, available at any office supply or home improvement store, should include several AC outlets and USB ports, and, for increased peace of mind, also function as a surge protector.
It’s nice to have guests stay over. But after a certain amount of time, which varies widely depending on the guests, you are ready to take a breather by sending them off to explore on their own. One way to encourage their participation is to display a basket of brochures, perhaps on a bedside table, that describe local attractions. Stock the basket with an occasional raiding party to one of the visitor-information racks often found at airports, restaurants, hotel lobbies and the local Chamber office.
If there’s space, a useful piece of guestroom furniture is a small desk. It allows guests who are having trouble getting their body clock reset the chance to work on jigsaw puzzles at night, and means that the room can serve a dual purpose as guestroom and office.
Pure pleasure is a bedside table with: A reading lamp for when your guests aren’t as tired as they thought they were. (Around 60 watts is best, with a shade that keeps the light directly out of your eyes.) An LED digital alarm clock. A water glass with a screw-on lid. A few books, selected because they’re an enjoyable bedtime read or hint at an intellect visitors might be unaware you possess. If there’s enough room, two tables are best. But if there’s only room for one, make sure everything is placed conveniently for both beds.
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