The Art of Hospitality

What does hospitality mean to you? I know what it means to me!  My definition mirrors the webster dictionary version, which is “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers.  This definition resonates with me on so many levels. I’ve always known this to be true about myself, but it became ever clear when we opened our Airbnb last February.  It’s not just my attention to the expected details of hosting, such as a sparkling clean room, freshly laundered bedding, and extra toilet paper in the bathroom; it goes above and beyond for me.

My philosophy around hospitality comes from my expectations. Some would say, such as my family, that my standard is too high! But, when it comes to the reception of visitors and guests, I’m afraid I have to disagree with my naysayers.

When someone takes time out of their lives to visit us here at the farmhouse, whether family, friends, or Airbnb guests, I genuinely understand their commitment to clear space on their calendar and travel this far north to spend time with us, explore the area, relax and unwind.

You might argue that friends and family are coming to spend time with us and they don’t care about all those little details, and you might be right. That alone is not enough for me to abandon my need to make our home and especially sleeping areas cozy, comfortable, and stocked with necessities. 

The art of hospitality has been at the core of how I approach putting my home together.  Down to my seating arrangements, detail to cleanliness, how I launder bedding, lots of extra bath towels. Attention to seasonal needs for comfort such as extra blankets,  down comforters for winter, quilts for warmer months, extra pillows for reading and relaxing, and plenty of throw blankets to cozy up in on a cold morning or evening.  For me, the art of hospitality extends to dining when friends and family gather around my table.  The meal always takes the leading role, but other details play an essential role too. The Lighting, flickering candles, colorful linens, and even the size of the plates, all small but important details that bring it all together and make moments together memorable and magical.

My attention to detail and desire to bring comfort to our visitors has been an enormous asset for our Airbnb guest suite.  My devotion to the practice of hospitality has been even more critical in providing excellent service for our Airbnb guests that stay with us here at the farmhouse.  And this has paid off for us; check out our five-star reviews on Airbnb to see what I mean and what guests have to say!  With that, I thought it would be helpful to share my top 10 tips on my art, philosophy, or practice. However, you want to look at it, of hospitality!

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Fluffy white towels for the win!
  1. Detail to cleanliness shouldn’t have to be on a list, but I have stayed in places where this detail gets missed on even the most basic level.
  2. Plenty of good towels! Have you ever stayed somewhere and there are barely enough towels to go around, and the towel is so threadbare, thin, scratchy, and old? Fluffy white towels are the way to go.  White towels are easy to bleach and keep fresh and new-looking.
  3. Keep little essentials on hand for guests. I keep a basket in the bathrooms with extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, makeup remover, and other personal items. 
  4. I take my fresh laundered bedding next level cozy with special laundry detergents. My favorite at the moment is the Glamorous Wash Diva scent.  A little goes a long way, and the bedding smells very luxurious, adding yet another small but impactful detail to the bedrooms.
  5. In the living room, I fill a basket with blankets. Cozy, fluffy, soft blankets that guests can grab while enjoying coffee by the fire in the mornings.
  6. I set the basket by the fireplace with a basket of games and cards, inviting guests to spend quality time together, encouraging fewer digital devices, and engaging in a good old game of Scrabble!
  7. Similar to hotels, I make sure to provide soap, shampoo, and blow dryers.  Before arriving, I even encourage my guests to forgo bringing those heavy items, reminding them I have what they need right here.
  8. I keep a USB phone charger in easy reach on a table in the hallway for an easy and quick charger station. Keeping this visible and within reach makes it easy to plug in a phone rather than look for an outlet or, even worse, move furniture around to find an outlet.
  9. Plenty of light. Adequate lighting can sometimes get overlooked, but having proper lighting where guests are sitting, whether in the living room or the bedroom, makes for a better and more comfortable experience, especially for the readers in the group!
  10. On the beds, I include extra pillows; some are soft, others are firm.  Providing variety allows the guest to find a style that works best for optimal sleeping comfort.

And there you have it, my top ten most essential tips on creating a cozy, inviting, and comfortable stay for your guests!  I hope you find this helpful and are inspired to add these small touches the next time you welcome guests into your home. 

Some of my favorites to have on hand for hosting and to add that extra little touch for guests comfort and experience (click image to purchase):

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