5 Ways to Create a Guest Room that Belongs in a Luxe Hotel

published Nov 12, 2019
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There’s nothing like having your whole family together under one roof. But if it’s your turn to host this year, now’s the time to get ahead of the game. It can be a stressful task making everyone feel at home—cue the scene from “Christmas Vacation” where Audrey and Rusty have to share a bed. But thankfully, there are some easy touches that can turn your guest room, or even a blow-up mattress in the den, into a hotel-inspired oasis. We tapped designers for their genius tips for creating comfortable, thoughtful spaces, and here are the five things they always do when hosting overnight guests.

Elevate Your Linens

“You can’t deny the power of a great set of sheets,” says New York City–based interior designer Phillip Thomas. “Getting into a comfy bed can make you feel like royalty. Even when guest rooms are full and guests are relegated to a makeshift bed on a couch, I think sheets can make all the difference.” Best to invest in at least one set of quality sheets—something breathable and soft to the touch. They don’t have to cost a fortune. Comfort is the most important thing, so try sleeping on them yourself first.

From there, layering is key, especially if you don’t know whether your guests sleep hot or cold. “Every guest room needs a couple of cozy bedding options like a quilt and a duvet,” suggests Ashley Moore, founder of Texas-based Moore House Interiors. “You never know which your guests might prefer. Plus, it adds an elevated touch to the room.” Keep an extra throw or two at the foot of the bed just in case guests get cold, and if you can add a fan nearby, that may be helpful too.

Create a Signature Scent

Follow the lead of luxury hotels like the W, The Ritz-Carlton, and Hotel Bel-Air and create your own signature scent, suggests JL Rocks jewelry designer Jamie Camche. “I love to burn my favorite Diptyque candle, but you can also diffuse essential oils, put potpourri sashes in the nightstand drawer, or lightly spray linens with a nice room spray,” says Camche. “Your home will be a breath of fresh air, literally, after long travels.”

For Thomas, consistency is key. “In addition to using lavender when pressing my sheets, I also love to have a scented candle with elements of lavender in my guest rooms,” he says. “The relaxing power of lavender is undeniable.”

Clear Space for Guests’ Belongings

Whether you have a dedicated guest room or are setting up a sleeper sofa, space for your guests’ things is a must. “Try to replicate a bedroom setting as much as possible,” explains Melissa Lindsay, designer for Connecticut’s Pimlico Interiors. “Think about where your guests can use closet space for hanging clothes and designate a spot for luggage.” Clear a drawer in a piece of nearby furniture, if possible, and consider buying a foldable luggage rack for suitcases.

Stock Up on Necessities

Extra phone chargers are a nice touch, Lindsay says. Another hotel tip? Think of how the concierge can provide that forgotten toothbrush. “Assemble a small kit with common toiletries, so your guests don’t even need to ask for them,” suggests New York-based designer Allison Babcock

“I also like to have some late-night snack options available and bottled water on hand so guests can help themselves,” says Moore. Don’t forget bathroom linens either. Have a stack of fresh towels ready for each guest that will be staying with you.

Add Cozy Touches

If you invest in a few cozy extras, your guests will be super appreciative. “Who doesn’t love a plush bathrobe in the morning or after emerging from the shower?” Babcock says. “And a mattress topper will make convertible beds as comfortable as possible.”

For Moore, slippers are a great treat for guests in colder months. She also likes to bring faux flowers and/or greenery into the space (in case guests have allergies). “The last little comfort I add is a sound machine,” she notes. “It’s nice to have one set up to help buffer early morning noise for late risers.”