Friday, September 12, 2014

How to be a good host

Filipinos pride themselves in duking out the warmest welcome, the friendliest smile, the most thoughtful consideration. It seems all but ingrained in the culture – something the country is well known for, as in the case of visiting foreign dignitaries, celebrities, and the typical tourist, even. 

It’s no different to the individual homeowner. With friends, relatives, or other guests coming over to stay, the impulse to attend to and satisfy their needs kicks into high gear. It is, after all, a reflection of your character that you maintain a good home.

If it’s your first time to entertain people staying in, look to these simple means of keeping your guests happy.

Firstly, tidy up. It’s a no-brainer: no one wants to stay where it’s messy or unclean.

Secondly, jot down a list of the things that you’ll need. It’s much easier to keep organized with a checklist in hand. Contact the guests to ask if they need you to provide them with anything. Ask them, as well, if they have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, such that you can stock your fridge with the right groceries.

Stock the bathroom they’ll be using with the basics: soap and shampoo, toothpaste, brand new toothbrushes, and a set of fresh clean towels. Throw in a scented candle for good measure. If you’re sharing one bathroom with your guests, set aside your personal items, and make sure there’s space for them to place theirs in.

A helpful tip: write down your Wi-Fi password and leave the note on the bedside table or on the dresser. Store a cache of books and magazines in their bedroom so that they might have something to pass the time with; some reading material to digest before going to bed. Likewise, stash a variety of boardgames and playing cards in the common areas - they can be a great icebreaker between you and your guests, for one.

Lay out refreshments and snacks – or a meal, if it’s the appropriate time of the day - just before your guests arrive. Once your guests have come in, show them where they can deposit their coats, their belongings, or their shoes, if you maintain a no-shoes-inside policy. (Best to have house slippers ready for your guests, in this case.) Point them to the direction of the bathroom should they need to attend to nature’s call, especially if they’ve had a long journey.

Once they’re settled, offer them refreshments and make them comfortable. Chitchat. It’s a chance to be friendly and create a relationship with your guests and likewise. Run over and confirm the details of their stay - the duration, what they might need from you, if ever, and establish the ground rules or how-to’s in your home – how to operate your entertainment system; where to leave their used dishes in the kitchen; where they can do laundry and hang their clothes. Give them a set of phone numbers: yours, of course, to contact you with when you’re away, and the emergency numbers in the area, to be safe.

Finally, take them on a tour your around your home. Mi casa su casa, goes the popular saying in Spanish – “my house is your house.” Welcome your guests with trademark open arms and make them feel at home as they could ever be.

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