When the snow begins to melt here in Northwest Montana, we not only look forward to spending more time outdoors, we also look forward to the guests who wish to escape the city life and come to our beautiful neck of the woods. Montana escapes its winter cocoon and comes alive with mountain wildflowers, the lakes begin to fill as the snow melts, and we prepare our guest rooms in anticipation of summer fun.
When preparing guest accommodations, the idea is to create an inviting environment. Whether friends or family, guests should be made to feel welcomed and pampered. First, stand in your guest room and imagine you’re the guest. Is this a room you would love to stay in, or does it need a little more help? If the room is already a “wow,” then you simply need to add the special touches. If the room is crying out for a makeover, then start with the basics.
We offer a few pointers, and questions to ask yourself, as you visit your own guest quarters.
Is the bed comfortable? Are the covers fresh along with nice cotton linens? Blended sheets aren’t comfortable to sleep on, and the idea is to give your guests a wonderful—and restful—place to sleep. Are the pillows in good condition or do they need to be replaced? Are there extra pillows, blankets, and an extra set of sheets available if needed? Always be prepared!
Special items in the room, no matter how small, let your guest know that you’ve taken the time to think of them. Perhaps a nice bed tray or a welcome basket. Don’t forget the vase of flowers along with a few great books like MK McClintock’s Montana Gallagher series, one of bestselling author B.J. Daniels’s Cardwell Ranch books, or perhaps a nice blank journal for your guest to record their vacation adventures. We also leave a few magazines out for them to enjoy, such as Cowboy’s and Indian’s and Cowgirl . . . this is Montana after all.
Think local! When it comes to ideas for small gifts, look to local artisans and shops. A scented candle or bar of homemade soap from local craftsmen give your guest something to enjoy and you're promoting your community.
Stationery, envelopes and some stamps, maybe a few postcards really make your guests feel welcome and excited to share their experiences.
Make sure the guest room is not cluttered with family pictures. Select art work and accessories that complement the theme of the room.
Whether it’s the mountains, plains, ocean, or visiting the city for the first time, preparing your home and especially the guest room is always an exciting project. Seeing your guests’ delighted expressions when they walk into their “home away from home,” even for a few days, is priceless.