Created in partnership with The Towel Shop

We’re well and truly on the countdown to Christmas. With no time to dwell on how fast the year has gone, we’re springing into planning mode to ensure this is the best year yet. Especially as the last few were a little hampered (to say the least). If you’re hoping for that big family Christmas this year, you’re no doubt planning to make space for your guests. Here, we look at how you can make their stay extra special.

A place for privacy

A dedicated space for your guests is as important for you as it is for them. If they have somewhere they can retreat to, you can ensure a little breathing space as and when you, or they, need it. After all, Christmas can be quite an overwhelming occasion and tensions can run a little high when we’re forced to be together all of the time.

If the space permits, this could be a bedroom you’ve dedicated to them for the week or weekend. It could be mapping an itinerary suited to their interests, such as walking routes or highlighting local tea rooms that they can visit during their stay. Or, it could be marking the lounge or dining room as a retreat during certain hours. Whatever is best for you, be sure to communicate this sanctuary to your guests so they know where they can rest and recoup.

Fresh bedding

Bedding is one of those things where pillowcases mysteriously go missing and you end up with odds, or when it wears in colour, or gets a little tear or loose thread, it won’t matter, because, who will see it? But when you have guests coming to stay, these details are sure to be noticed. If your bedding is looking a little sad, why not give it a refresh. After all, you’ll get to benefit from nice new sheets and covers once your guests leave and it’ll certainly be more comfortable and make your guests feel more special- we guarantee they’ll notice.

If you are going to update your bedding, look for cotton bedding, around 180-300 thread count, which is often deemed the best and will certainly offer the best comfort for your guests; it’ll be breathable, comfortable and easy-to-care for.

Additionally, be sure to check your guest bed for any signs of damage and that the pillows are adequately plump, you wouldn’t want them to have a painful or uncomfortable nights sleep. It’ll also give you plenty of time to source any replacement items you need, whether it’s a puncture repair kit for the blow-up, or organising a replacement mattress.

Finally, in preparation for their arrival, consider turning the mattress before their stay, and washing or replacing the mattress protector.

Dedicated towels

Just like your bedding, your towels may need a little update. They’re probably fine for you to use day to day, but when was the last time you bought new ones? Experts recommend replacing towels every 2 years as the fibres wear and they become quite ineffective, but also because they harbour bacteria. Not ideal for your guests.  

If you are going to update anything, we’d highly recommend its your towels. We would recommend getting a bundle of towels, specifically for your guests, that includes face cloths, hand towels and a few bath towels. Not only will this be thinking of their health and comfort but also convenience. Providing some dedicated towels will save them having to bring their own- which as we know is quite a bulky item to pack.

Like with bedding, paying special attention to the numbers matters! It may seem obvious but the higher the weight, the more luxurious the towel. As a minimum, towels should be 400-600 GSM; this would be considered a good weight for a bath towel that will offer high absorbency and be lovely and soft.

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The little touches for your guests

Comfortable bedding and clean dry towels are the basics for preparing for your guests. However, if you’d like them to feel extra special, there are some little touches you can prepare to make them feel even more welcome…

Guest robes

One of the joys of Christmas is sitting in your PJs and opening presents with loved ones. But when you’re staying at someone else’s house, you may not think to bring a dressing gown, or simply don’t want to carry one. Instead, your guests could be the only ones dressed for the day ahead.

Help your guests to relax and feel part of the moment by providing guest robes. This is certainly luxury hotel level of care and comfort, and will help your guests to feel cosy as well as welcome.

Additionally, at this time of year when we’re dealing with cold nights and mornings, they’ll have something to wrap up in until the heating kicks in. After all, you may not all have the same rhythms and your heating may be turned on at different times to what they’re use to.

If you’re feeling generous, you could provide these as a Christmas gift for your guests!  

We’ve partnered with The Towel Shop to giveaway one of their Pure Cotton Towelling Dressing Gowns! Be sure to head to our competitions page to find out more!

The things they may have forgot

Getting in a few of the things that are commonly forgot when traveling, or because you want to save them having to lug everything over but the kitchen sink, is sure to be a welcome treat. Consider stocking up on the following items:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Bubble bath 
  • Make up remover wipes

The beauty of course with these items, is they’ll never go to waste and can always be made use of. You could even present these items as a little welcome hamper if you wanted. If so, be sure to add in a few tasty treats and some magazines or other entertainment that they can enjoy during their stay.

Their favourite things

In addition to the necessities, consider stocking up on some of their favourite foods and drinks. It may be a particular brand of coffee, or chocolate they like, some special biscuits you can enjoy together, or even preparing some lovely breakfasts. Having those relaxed and lazy mornings together after a good night’s sleep is certainly what Christmas memories are made of.

The day itself

Don’t forget the table décor! Cloth napkins are also a very special touch and they needn’t be something used only for a special occasion. With many of us more conscious about waste, cloth napkins are far better than relying on disposable napkins or kitchen towel and should be made use of daily. Plus, they’re made just for this purpose so if you’re concerned about staining and wear, you needn’t be.

Want to style them for your place settings? Check out this video for 7 different ways to folder your napkins with a Christmas theme:

A table cloth is also always a good idea for a special occasion, not just when you’ve got guests over. Not only can it help to create a festive ambience, but will help to protect your table from staining, scratches and other marks.

You’ll have your pick of colours so if you’re looking for something for the season, linens in red, or green is very Christmassy. Or, if you want something you can use year-round, you can’t go wrong with a classic white. Alternatively, think about the room and the colours used within, you could even find linen to match this and make it more themed.

For the finishing touch, add in a centrepiece; this could be votive candles or a candelabra, a Christmas wreath, or a small floral arrangement, for example. You don’t need anything more to create a stunning and spectacular table for Christmas, and its sure to wow your guests.

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