There are few pleasures greater than being with the people you love most. When you host faraway friends and family at your beach house, you want to maximize the time you spend together whether you’re heading out on the boat, digging your toes in the sand, or sipping iced tea on the back porch. Whatever sorts of activities you have planned, you can guarantee that your guests will enjoy themselves even more when you’ve prepared a calm, relaxing place for them to unwind at day’s end.
Before you even get the text that your friends are interested in coming next weekend, peek inside your current guest room (or whatever space you use to host overnight guests). Start by scanning the room: does it look clean and inviting, or has it become the family catchall? Usually, most guest rooms house a collection of infrequently used items, so remove anything that can be stored elsewhere and make sure everything is in proper working order from lamps to alarm clock. Now you can focus on creating a welcoming, attractive area for your guests to kick back.
While the guest room should ideally fit in with the rest of your home décor, it can also be a fun room to decorate with whimsical nods to your locale. Help your guests relax by remembering where they are—the beach!—by incorporating a few nautical touches like charts or prints to impart a coastal vibe. Add texture with natural elements like shells, driftwood, or clear jars of collected rocks.
Now that you have a clean slate, examine the bedding. Nothing says “sit back and relax” more than a sumptuous bed dressed in freshly washed sheets, piles of fluffed-up pillows, and plenty of soft blankets. Keep the bedside table clear of clutter, and provide a basket or shelf of current magazines or short story collections nearby for leisure reading. If your guest room is near a larger living room or den, supply the room with a fan or white noise machine to help reduce noise when your guests turn in for the night. And it may seem like a given, but remember to place a small wastebasket in the guest room so your guests can avoid the awkward inconvenience of having to ask you where to throw something away.
Whether or not you have a guest bath, don’t forget to stock up on towels! It will be more convenient for both you and your guests if there’s a supply of towels at the ready in the guest room or guest bath. Keep plenty of towels on hand, and consider investing in several bath sheets that wrap around bodies of all shapes and sizes. Provide beach towels and a beach blanket, too, and to make sure your guests are ready to join you for a day at the shore, fill a basket (or sand bucket!) with sunscreen, a ball cap, protective lip balm, and some low-cost sunglasses.
Including a few extra special touches to your guest room will be an easy and relatively inexpensive way to offer hospitality to your loved ones. It’s particularly thoughtful to add an oversized robe or two on a hook on the back of your guest room door, especially if your guests will need to walk down a hallway or two to get to the nearest shower. Likewise, store a few sweatshirts in the guest dresser for those who may have forgotten that the evenings are a bit cooler on the water, as can gray days. For the ultimate guestroom goodies, present your guests with a few bottles of water, some granola bars, and your guests’ favorite snacks in the room with a welcome note upon their arrival.
When your guest are relaxed, the host or hostess can relax, and having a peaceful and enjoyable time together is what it’s all about.