Sunday, July 27, 2014

On hospitality and offering up your bed

I just found a new blog and there was a post about having guests staying over with some tips on how to make their stay as comfortable as possible, which of course got me thinking....

Apparently it's a thing in some cultures to always offer the most comfortable bed (usually the one in the main bedroom) to the guests.

I'd never heard about this before.

BUT.... on our trip to England in 2008, not one, not two but THREE sets of friends all insisted we take their bed. 

At the time I didn't even properly connect the dots but I do remember feeling that our friends were all so LOVELY. They are.

I personally have never ever offered up my bed.

(I may have some issues because I'm very fond of my bed and love it dearly!)

Do you know which cultures these are?
Also, do you have people to stay over? Do you offer up your bed?

You could always find waterloo hotels for your guests to stay in.

I can tell you a few things people have done that have made me feel particularly loved and welcome:
  1. handwritten notes each morning of our visit, and sometimes at night too (I have them all saved!) on top of our cereal bowls... handwritten notes in general (I have them all!)
  2. asking if we eat anything in particular so they could get it for us
  3. giving REALLY good directions (ask the man at the Spar for our keys!)
(my mother and sister always cook my favourite foods - my acts of service love language)

What kind of things have made you feel very welcome when you've stayed over at someone's house?

PS I won't tell you about a stay that really did not go great at all! Or should I?


  1. Now you know we want to hear about that visit!

    I can do most things to make guests welcome in my home but I draw the line at offering my matrimonial bed! I never had any issues with it but Y feels strongly about it and now it's rubbed off on me.

    My SIL drove me around each time she was off work to get shopping done and on the days she couldn't she arranged with someone else because she didn't want me taking public transport. And made sure the fridge was stocked with fish.

    1. Ps: when we have guests over they stay in the guest room and I make sure there is fresh linens, towels, fridge and pantry stocked with things they like to eat and show them where things are to help feel at home and take a day or two off if convenient to take them around the city, and if they need to stay longer give them a set of keys so they don't have to feel restrained

  2. We definitely offer up our beds/bedrooms for guests... We will all sleep in one bedroom so that our guests can have the other... and we almost always give them the one with the bathroom right there. We will even sleep in the lounge if two families stay over. I thought everyone did!!! And you have seen how massive our house is and so well laid out for guests... NOT!!! But folks that come for a night or two often stay a week or return and visit again and again. I do always have this idea that our home is so much bigger than most folks' homes all over the world and that we have so much... that it is only right to share it, and that has rubbed off on our kids thinking as well. I have to say I have never ever written a note for any of our guests or thought to place it in the cereal bowls... really it never ever occurred to me!!! And now you have to tell us about that mystery stay...

  3. Well now, of course, you have to tell! ;)

    I have never offered my bed...and I can't really image doing so. I'm a bit of a germophobe, and I'd rather have a really nice guest room to offer at our house. (That's one of the things we made sure to have at the new house, a guest room with its own bath...I don't like to share!) ;)

    I like to make a hotel-like experience...fresh towels every day, extra toiletries in case they're needed, and plenty of room for the guests' things...and I think that's harder to do if they're coming into a space that is typically occupied by others.

    We did stay with Hubby's BFF in Chicago one time, just after we got married, and they gave us their bedroom. It was kind, but I really would have felt better sleeping on the couch. It just felt like we were all out of place,, away from home, and them, away from their beds.

    [As I type this, I'm feeling like a bit of a weirdo! Hahaha! I try to be hospitable in every way, but I guess I have my limits.] ;)

  4. Oh, and that picture of K is majestic!

  5. My parents used to when I was at home. We do but only if the other bedrooms are occupied and it is older guests.

  6. We will try to make everyone as comfortable as possible but I really do not want to take over the mainbedroom. When we were at my BIL and SIL in Cape Town in December we however did as it was the only room we could fit matresses for the boys in too - and I did not want them to share a room with my boys. It makes practical sense.

    Our boys always give up their room when we have visitors and they then share ours that have enough space.

    1. Oh and my MIL always has a special gift - mostly a magazine on your bed that you may not regularly buy. Great for a holiday. I in turn always have nice bath oil for her (she does not shower) and I always bake my FIL's favorite cookies for him. When we get friends over I always leave a little something on the pillows and some small flowers on the table in the room

  7. I give up my bed for my parents! And would you believe my parents give up their bed for Byron and I!! :) :) I like my guests to have their own bathroom with their own special things, in which they can spread all their stuff without having to share that space with anyone else. AND GO TO THE TOILET COMFORTABLY!! (THAT is my worst part about staying at someone's house!!) Also, we have the nicest most comfiest bed in the house! Also, our spare room is just off our verandah with its own bathroom but I still feel its too far away for my parents to be when visiting.. My sis and her hubby, however, LOVE that this room is completely separate and they think they are on second honeymoon! My parents giving up their bed started when the kid were small and we had a camp cot plus a floor bed at any given time, plus all the baby paraphernalia - so we always got the biggest room, and a separate bathroom for the same reasons I mentioned above. I do fresh towels and linen and I always run my mother bubbles baths because we have a really great bath tub for this! The only people who actually ever sleep over are my Durban family, now that I think about it..

  8. We've had no one stay over at our new house come to think of it. At least not while we have been there. My in laws have stayed over to see to the kids one night but that's it. I like to have clean fresh linen and towels in the bathroom for guests and also like to put a Lindt chocolate on their pillows.

    As kids we always had to give up our room for guests and we would either sleep on the couch or on the floor in my folks room.


    PS - I now neeeeeed to know about your not so nice stay....

  9. Yes, do tell!

    The last time I had to give up my bed was in school. After I started paying rent I told my mom if she wants to offer my bed to someone staying over I would need a discount per day on rent. Haha, didn't go down well but she got it and stopped.

    I usually offer the spare bed, or worst case scenario a very comfy couch.

    When staying over at someone's house, the things that really ring my bell is offering me a towel, breakfast, a key to get out if I want to get up early and go outside. And chatting!

  10. We really don't have much space so people don't actually want to stay here :-p But my mom and Ds mom have both slept here - they have used the kids beds. Ds mom offers her bed to us when we sleep over there and I ALWAYS feel super uncomfortable and actually now decline the offer.

  11. Honestly...I could never give up my bed. Fortunately I have a very comfy queen size bed in the guest room. Sorry I haven't been around Marcia...I am totally overwhelmed with life in general at the moment. After a week in Cape Town I might just be back ;-)


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