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Hospitality Tips: Designing a Guest Room like a Hotel Suite

From the décor to the lighting and the arrangements of both, every aspect of the guest room will be…

A good host is always ready for guests. To make sure visitors feel as comfortable and welcome as possible, the guest room should feel like a home away from home—much like a hotel. From the décor to the lighting and the arrangements of both, every aspect of the guest room will be explored in this article to provide the best experience for any who stay the night. 

The Ideal Bed Arrangement 

Cozy bedroom with wall sconce lighting.

Although guests will only be in bed a third of their stay, the time spent in bed is largely the most important, as eight hours of true relaxation has major effects on the following 16 hours. If one frequent guest is all that’s expected, one bed is enough, but if multiple guests (either each an adult or an adult and children) are a possibility consider these options: 

Matching Twin Beds

Two beds are better than one. If the space is available, having more than one bed is great for accommodating multiple house guests at a time. Matching the beds and décor gives the guest room a stylish and hotel-like feel.  

Bunk Beds

If floor space is limited but having more than one bed is necessary, then going vertical is a stylish solution. Guest bedrooms with bunk beds—or separate lofted beds, as shown above—are right on-trend. Two or more sets of bunk beds can entertain even more visitors. Built-in bunk beds are a great option as well, and any visiting children will love it. 

Add a Trundle Bed

If there is no space for two beds or a bunk bed, incorporate a trundle bed. Trundles quickly and easily slip under another bed for easy access when more company than anticipated arrives.

The Perfect Bedside Setup

Bedroom with simple endtable and clock.
SQ18 End Table by Alejandro Artigas for ARTLESS

Every guest room should have some form of bedside surface. Although planning for every eventuality is impossible, here are some universally-appealing tips: 

Provide a place for personal effects

Valet Stand in sitting area
Women’s Galan Valet Stand by Nomon

Although more storage is better (and allows guests to put their things away and feel more like at home), a minimalist look also provides ample open space which, in turn, creates a comforting touch. Consider an end table with drawers for socks and undergarments, or at least a small, single drawer for important things like wallets and keys.  

Bring a little nature indoors

Whether adding a small vase of lavender to add a nice smell, a bunch of flowers to brighten up the space with extra colors or larger house plants such as ferns, palms or succulents, being near nature has been shown to reduce stress and increase happiness. Whatever the pick, greenery can’t go wrong. 

Bedside reading light

Bed with mounted lights.
Pixo Optical LED Wall Sconce by Fernando Pardo, Pablo Pardo for Pablo Designs

Whether the guest loves to read in bed before turning out the light or simply wants to catch up on the latest on their phone, a wall sconce or table lamp is a must-have. Consider individual temperaments of the guests as well and try to provide a light with some (or all) of the following qualities: physically adjustable to get the light in just the right spot, dimming capabilities to create a warm glow and increase relaxation just before bed, a USB port for charging phones or tablets so the device is as ready for the next day as the guest themselves. 

Using layers to light the space

The most effective scheme will build up layers of lighting to create the right mood for the guest, taking into consideration various factors, such as the purpose for the light and the time of day. Starting from ground level, consider how floor uplights, skirting level marker lights, wall lights, pendant, ceiling and downlights can combine to affect the mood of the space. 

Much like in a luxurious hotel bedroom, that initial “wow” sensation is desired. It should also be possible to slowly wind down the layers to just a small directional beam from an LED reading light, allowing a guest to continue reading a book they can’t put down while their partner sleeps beside them. 

Cohesive Lighting Collection

Ravello Collection of lamps.
Ravello Collection from Astro Lighting  

A great way to create a cohesive look within the guest room is to consider a “family” of luminaires. In other words, wall, floor and table lights with a design connection between them to give a coordinated, holistic and consistent feel to the lighting scheme. 

Lighting the Bathroom

Whether the guest room either includes a bathroom, or the bathroom is a personal, reserved space down the hall for the guests, bathrooms deserve to be treated just as creatively as any other space. To enable a purposeful morning routine for your guests, practical yet flattering illumination is needed—lights on either side of the mirror, for example, to minimize the shadows on the face. After a long day, lower level lighting is needed, giving the bathroom the soothing, spa-like feel called for before a long soak in the bath—it adds so much to the guest experience. 

All the little things to consider

Like anywhere else, it’s the little things that count. Here are some things that are easily overlooked: 

Layer luxed-up linens

Whether adorning the foot of the bed with an additional cozy comforter or stacking extra blankets in a storage bin in the corner, ensure guests never want for warmth by providing plenty of layering options. Plus, there’s something about a well-edited textile pile that feels cozy and inviting. Plump towels and face cloths are also essential. Refresh these linens on a regular basis so guests have all the creature comforts of home. 

Provide storage

Setting up a guest room with plenty of places to hang a hat is important for helping out-of-towners feel settled, even if it’s just for a few days. No one wants to spend their getaway living out of a suitcase. Add a storage rack or valet to the guest room to make sure visitors can hang their clothing, collect important items and feel at home while enjoying this special time. 

Cover the Windows

Cover any windows with curtains, and if the room gets a lot of light, consider adding a blackout shade. Guests will appreciate the added privacy and the opportunity to sleep off that jetlag. 

Throw Down a Rug

If the room has wood or tile floors, throw down an area rug under the bed. It keeps bare feet off the cold floor and brings in a stylish pop. 

Make it feel like a spa retreat.

While the most spa-like this visit gets is a hot shower, a few small spa items go a long way to make guests feel pampered. A small basket filled with a loofah sponges, nail files, cotton balls and extra hand lotions all make an unexpected yet lasting impression. These are but a few examples of little oh-yeah luxuries that people universally appreciate but don’t often remember to bring. 

Keep it simple.

In a space meant to make your company feel at home, less is more. Don’t clutter up a space with personal knicknacks and poorly placed bedroom furniture. Instead, aim to provide only necessary furnishings that have their own self-contained stylistic flair. A neutral space is everyone’s place, so let the guest fill in the spaces with their belongings. 

In the end, there are many factors to consider in honing the perfect guest room, but hopefully this guide has made it more manageable. It is all too easy to overlook the lighting, furniture and arrangements of both within the room, however getting it right will have a huge effect on the guest’s comfort, mood and overall experience of their stay. 

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