All the things your guests would want but may be too shy to ask for.
Nothing teaches you more about being a good host and how to stock your guest room than being a guest yourself.
One Shabbos last winter, my family stayed in a beautiful basement that belonged to complete strangers. We had been placed there by my cousins who were hosting a simcha nearby. Those guests quarters, it seemed, contained everything we needed, from lush towels to comfy linens. But there was no clock on the wall. Or on the night table. Not even in the kitchenette…I had forgotten my watch on my kitchen counter back at home. How was I going to figure out when it was time to start walking to the simcha hall?
That’s when I realized, that although I host frequently and always thought my guest rooms were stocked with everything one might need, I too, did not have a clock hanging. As soon as I got back home, I looked at my guestroom with new eyes and got to work filling in all the gaps.
Here’s a list to help ensure your guest room truly isn’t missing a thing.
Hangers in the closet
Pack and play in the closet with a clean sheet and blanket (it’s a nice touch)
Extra pillow in the closet
Shabbos lamp (make sure to turn on before Shabbos- sometimes guests forget to do so)
Empty drawers so your guests can unpack (Does that sound obvious? How many times did you start unpacking only to realize that the drawers are full of items your host stores in the guestroom?)
Assorted chargers (iPhone, USB plugs…)
In the bathroom:
Enough towels (Try to have matching towels, preferably all white. White is always the most inviting.)
Individual mouthwash (I pick these up in Target at the travel aisle)
Lens solution and new lens case
Negel Vasser cups and bowls
In the kitchenette area, or in a small corner:
Hot water urn with hot cups, coffee, sugar, sweeteners, teas, spoons, napkins and milk in the refrigerator.
Mini grape juice bottles for the women who want to make kiddush and enjoy a coffee
Milk and cereal for little kids (I like to include that for my guests. Since my guest rooms, in the basement, have a separate entrance, often I don’t see guests as they come and go as they please. I know it’s hard to wake up early in a strange home, especially when you have small children. Besides for cereal, I also like to include some other basics like yogurt.)
A few basic board games and toys like Cliks or Legos for guests with children
Books and reading material, preferably suitable for different genders and a range of ages. Biographies and such work well, as do magazines.
Did I miss anything? Suggestions welcome!