5 Helpful Tips on How to Give Your Guests a Warm Welcome

5 Helpful Tips on How to Give Your Guests a Warm Welcome

Giving your guests a warm welcome is key to creating an unforgettable stay. We absolutely love sharing our lake house with our friends and family, and here are the five main things we do to ensure everyone feels comfortable and has a wonderful time when they take time out of their busy schedules to come relax with us.

The five tips we have for giving your guests a warm welcome are: 1) duh - provide a warm welcome the minute they arrive, 2) a comfortable stay, 3) a customized itinerary, 4) a customized menu, and last but not least, 5) a heartfelt departure.

1. A Warm Welcome

Anticipate their arrival and be ready to greet your guests to provide an extra hand getting their luggage into the house. Our lake house guest parking is at the top of a hill, so meeting our guests to help carry in their belongings is one thing we can do to help take a load off from the beginning. If it is the first time for guests to visit our little piece of paradise, we provide a quick tour to help them get the lay of the land.

Welcome Tray

One tip to help ensure a warm welcome is to provide a welcome tray on the bed in the guest room. On the tray, we include a couple of bottles of water, a notecard telling them how glad we are to have them, wi-fi connection instructions, our guest log book, and of course, chocolate. :) And, lastly, we insist that they make themselves at home. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so greet your guests with a warm welcome.

2. A Comfortable Stay

Our little two bedroom cabin does not have much space, but we get creative to accommodate as many people as we can. We have a king size bed in each bedroom, a queen sleeper sofa in the living room, and two queen size elevated inflatable beds which allow us to accommodate 10 people. Here are specific things we do to ensure guests are comfortable during their stay:

  • Fine Linens - one thing we have come to appreciate are really nice linens. Our favorite sheets are these Member's Mark Sheet Sets sold at Sam's Club. We love that they are Egyptian cotton and wrinkle free. We have these for both of the bedrooms, as well as the inflatable and sleeper sofa beds.
Fine Linens and Pillows

  • Comfortable Beds - we have a Serta iComfort firm mattress in both bedrooms. The queen sleeper sofa in the living room was purchased at Sam's Club a few years ago. Truth: it is not real comfortable, but we try to overcome that with cute sheets and soft fuzzy blankets and typically assign it to the kids/grandkids. For the inflatable beds, you have to check out these EZ Beds that we purchased from Grandin Road. Literally, the legs unfold like a spider. You plug the bed into the wall, they auto-inflate, and it is elevated off the ground. All of our guests that have slept on it say it is very comfortable. And the best part is ... you plug it back in to suck the air out, it folds back up for compact storage in the closet. They are currently 30% off for a limited time, so again ... the best time to buy is now!
EZ Inflatable Bed
  • Pillow Selection - we have some picky pillow people in our own family, so we like to give our guests options. Ashley and Kim both tend to struggle with neck issues and have tested our way through numerous pillows to get to what we think is the perfect one. Can you believe that there actually is a perfect pillow made for us side sleeping neck pain challenged people? It is the Malouf Shoulder Dough Memory Foam pillow. Megan prefers a My Pillow Classic Series. For the guys and the kids in the family that don't have a special pillow need, these Nautica Resort Edition two-pack of pillows are a great economical option.
  • Fresh Smelling Linens - We talked about our love for Diva Wash laundry soap in our lake house spring cleaning made easy article. We use Tyler Glamourous Wash in the Diva scent for washing all of our bedding and bath towels because we truly feel a warm welcome should touch on all five senses. This chemical free, all-natural hi-efficiency laundry detergent smells so luxurious and leaves a lasting impression. TIP: to make the detergent go further, we just use a small amount of Diva Wash in the detergent tray, and then we throw in a scent-free Tide Pod into the washer.
  • Fans - In addition to providing a remote controlled ceiling fan in each bedroom, we keep a couple of Honeywell portable fans on hand that can be used beside the bed for extra breeze or for those that need it for the noise.
  • Towels - We show our guests to the linen cabinet in the bathroom, so they are familiar with accessing them for their bathing needs. So that our guests do not have to pack beach towels back and forth, we provide a wide assortment of Sand Cloud Turkish towels (the set below is currently on sale for 35% off + you can stack code SC20 for an extra 20% off - no better time to buy than right now!) as well as fine plush towels. In addition to stocking the linen closet with beach towels, we keep a conveniently located supply of them in a decorative basket by the lake side door.
  • Toiletries - Before the guests arrive, I ensure there is a full roll of toilet paper on the roll, and that the supply of air fresher is easily accessible. If you have not tried Poo-Pourri Be-You-Go Toilet Spray, it is worth it to lighten the situation with guests. Toward evening, setting a basket of extra toiletries on the bathroom vanity provides potentially forgotten amenities at your guests fingertips. Include items such as lotion, sunscreen, make-up wipes, Advil, feminine products, toothpaste, and new toothbrushes.

  • Wi-fi Connection Info - We keep framed instructions of how to connect to wi-fi in the middle of the kitchen table. This allows guests to not only receive the instructions on their warm welcome tray, it is available in a high traffic area for easy reconnection needs.

  • Easy Electronics Charging Access - Being tech heavy users ourselves, it is important that we provide easy and sufficient charging access. In the guest bedroom, we have this nightstand that has two USB charging ports and a storage drawer. In addition we have these special outlet adaptors to allow for more plug-ins than we typically even need.
  • Music - One last comfortable stay tip to ensure a warm welcome and to make your guests feel that they matter is to have a playlist ready or tune to a Spotify/Pandora station that plays their favorite artists music. If you know you have an Eagles or Jimmy Buffet enthusiast coming to stay, but all means, play their favorite tunes!

    3. A Customized Itinerary

    Knowing your guests likes and dislikes can help you to develop a weekend itinerary that is sure to provide not only a warm welcome, but an unforgettable stay. Some guests love adventure and some like a total chill type weekend. If you know you have water sport adventurous guests coming, make sure all the SUPs, tubes, skis, wakeboards and ropes are ready for action and that the boat is full of fuel. If you have someone that does not love swimming in the lake or the lake water is too cold to enjoy floating on a raft, there are still many things you can do to entertain your guests. Here are a few dry activity examples:

    • Pontoon Rides: Obviously! Even those that don't love to swim enjoy a laid back ride around the lake to see the beauty of the place.
    • ATV, Golf Cart, Side-By-Side Rides: Taking rides around the lake and down the many narrow paths can provide hours of entertainment, wild life viewings, and the opportunity to visit with other lake neighbors.
    • Lawn Games: Cornhole and horseshoes along the waterfront are fun activities you can pull out to create a little fun competition. And bonus, you still get to observe all the other lake lovers enjoying time on the water.
    • Relax on the Dock: One of our favorite chill things to do is just sitting on the dock all laid back in a chaise lounge. We have four chaise lounges like these available on our dock, as well as a two person bench. This is great for those wanting to get some sun without getting in the water.
    • Sunset Cruises: We keep an eye on what time the sun will set each day, and we schedule dinner around that time. One can never see too many sunsets, so we always include that in our itinerary to ensure our guests the opportunity to take photos an create an unforgettable stay memory to look back on.

    golf cart ride sunset at the lake 

    4. A Customized Menu

    There is no hiding that we love food and we love to entertain with great food. We take it upon ourselves to invest a bit of planning and creativity into what we will serve for our guests that come to visit. We take into account whether or not the guests are adventurous or risk-adverse with their taste preferences. Serving good items you know are suited to your guests helps to extend a warm welcome all the way throughout their stay.

    If you sign up to be a member of The Anchor Crew here, we will send you our favorite lake weekend menu, complete with recipes and a grocery shopping list (don't worry ... it is totally free and something we want to share with you to help take the stress out of planning for your weekend getaway).

    5. A Heartfelt Departure

    Assisting guests with getting their items back up the hill and loaded into the car is another kind gesture we can provide to help split the load. We always offer up a few bottles of water for the road trip home as well. While it is often said that "all good things must come to an end", we like to think that it is not really "the end" but a "push of the pause button" until next time!

    Hosting guests is a blessing to us, and there is nothing more important to us than our family and our friends (aside from Jesus ... want to ensure you all know we have our priorities in order). Anytime someone takes the time to come stay with us, we want them to feel comfortable and right at home while they are there. We want them to feel a warm welcome from the time they arrive until the time they leave. As they pull away, we hope they can look back and say, "that was an unforgettable stay." Do you like to host guests in your home? What are some of your tips for providing your guests with a warm welcome?

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