It’s a wonderful feeling to host friends for a night (or more) in your home, but it takes a little advance planning to ensure that they feel comfortable and well cared for. You don’t have to go crazy cooking or anything, just follow this checklist for giving great overnight hospitality:

Make a beautiful bed. Use multiple layers–both a thin blanket and a duvet or thick quilt–to ensure your guests aren’t too hot or cold.  Everybody has a different idea of the “right” sleeping temperature, and you probably haven’t slept in your guest bedroom so might not know whether it tends to get hot or cold in there. Even if your guest bed is a pull-out sofa, you can make it feel almost five-star if you dress it up with some high-quality sheets and blankets, and pile the pillows high.

Just add water. Leave a pitcher of water (or bottled water) and a glass on the bedside table, so your guests can quench mid-night or early morning thirst without leaving the bedroom.

Stock nice amenities in the bathroom. In addition to fluffy folded towels and a wash cloth, leave a basket of travel size essentials–toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, body lotion–in the bathroom, just in case your guest has forgotten anything.

Leave some reading on the nightstand. Buy a few widely popular magazines–Vanity Fair,  a travel magazine, a fashion or food magazine—and leave them next to the bed so that your guests have bedtime reading if they need it.

Don’t make breakfast an afterthought. Of course you’ll cook a great dinner or make a reservation at a delicious restaurant for the nights a friend is staying over, but it’s easy to forget about breakfast. Breakfast is also a meal that people can be quite particular about, so stock up on a few options–seasonal fruit, some delicious bread, fresh eggs, oatmeal with lots of things to mix in.  It’s easy and inexpensive to put out a nice breakfast spread, and your guests will be grateful. Also, even if you drink your coffee black (or don’t drink it at all) be prepared to offer morning coffee with milk, sugar, Splenda, and all the usual fixings. Be sure to have a few varieties of tea on hand, including black, green and herbal.  People have strong preferences when it comes to morning beverages!

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