With Christmas just days away I thought readers might be interested in some wonderful Holiday Hosting Tips by Hampton Hotels.
Stay tuned after the tips to learn how you can win a FREE NIGHT STAY right here on this blog. 🙂
There’s so much about the holiday season that is exciting, but if you’re hosting guests for the holidays, it can be stressful and overwhelming…even for the most seasoned hosts!
For that reason, Hampton has partnered with entertaining expert, Jenny Steffens Hobick, to celebrate little holiday moment makers by providing “Hamptonality” to travelers this holiday season. Whether staying at the local Hampton or with family and friends, Hampton and Jenny are here to help hosts create those lasting moments that everyone looks forward to around the holidays – reuniting with family, reminiscing about the past, and partaking in general holiday merriment!
Here are just a few of Jenny’s holiday hosting tips for this holiday season, which will help hosts create lasting memories for their guests and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
Tip 1: Be the best OFF-SITE host ever…
Let’s be honest. You love your friends and family, but cramming everyone into your house for days at a time can be stressful and add to your already lengthy holiday host to-do list! If you simply don’t have enough room to host all of your holiday guests or you just think everyone would be happier with their own, comfortable space, consider booking them at your local Hampton. With more than 1,900 locations, Hampton is the perfect place to stay no matter where your guests may be traveling from.
Tip 2: Surprise your guests with welcome treats
I always like to make sure my guests know how excited we are to have them for a visit by surprising them with a little treat when they arrive. One of my favorite ways to greet them is with something personalized with their name on it, like a decorated sugar cookie or a festive welcome sign. I love staying at Hampton Hotels because they take a similar approach. They often add a personal touch for a guest’s stay by offering a favorite local snack or fun local item when guests check in.
Tip 3:Be prepared with lots of snacks
We all get a little grouchy when we’re hungry – adults and kids alike! Anticipate those moments by having snacks planned for afternoons and before dinner to keep everyone happy. Be sure to include fresh options like fruit and crunchy veggies, along with filling cheeses and more decadent treats so you have something for everyone!
Tip 4: Post the plan
I post a schedule for everyone to see so they’ll know what to expect during their stay. Don’t overbook your guests, schedule plenty of free time for them to do their own exploring or relaxing. Channel your local Hampton front desk concierges and be your guest’s hometown concierge by providing them with a list of activities to do in the area.
Tip 5: Make time for exercise and fresh air
We all feel better with some fresh air in our lungs. I’d be lost without my daily exercise to clear my head and invigorate my spirit. Invite your guests on a walk with hot coffee (or hot cocoa!) and everyone will feel refreshed! Suggest an evening stroll through your local neighborhood to check out the holiday decorations. Guests at Hampton can also get energized and make time for a workout as most locations boast fitness centers and swimming pools.
Tip 6: Make time for resting
The holidays can be very exhausting – especially for your guests who have traveled near and far. Make sure to schedule down time for resting in the afternoons or early evenings. An afternoon nap can feel like an indulgent treat for exhausted guests.
Tip 7: Plan a daily ritual
I like our guests to feel like they’re on vacation, so after our big breakfast, I let them explore during the day, then invite everyone to meet up for an “at home happy hour.” I play holiday music, have a game for the kids, and the adults can enjoy some nice wine and cheese while everyone swaps stories from the day.
Tip 8: Plan one special night for the adults
The holidays are really all about the kids, but it can be really nice for the adults to get some time for themselves, too. Hire a babysitter for the night for the children (or let the grandparents take over), so the parents can enjoy a special night out on the town. Everyone (even the kids!) will appreciate a night of freedom.
Tip 9: Big breakfasts
Serving a big breakfast in the morning seems to make everyone happy! When we host guests, I prepare big bowls of fresh fruit for nibbling on in the morning, and then make some fresh waffles because really, who doesn’t love waffles?!? Hampton offers a free, hot breakfast every morning with fresh-baked waffles – the perfect thing to get your day started!
Tip 10: Stock up on extras
Don’t forget to stock up on extra necessities like shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, contact solution, and other toiletries that guests tend to forget! Take a cue from your local Hampton and anticipate everything that your guests may need and put a basket chock full of products right in their bathroom or bedroom.
Tip 11: Make your home “help yourself” friendly
Guests oftentimes feel like they are “in the way,” so make sure that your home is “guest-friendly” before they arrive. Set up a refreshment center that is available to them daily – coffee in the mornings, bottles of water to take for the day, portable snacks to have at home or on the road, etc. Make a list of local area “hot spots” with their phone numbers and websites that they can easily reference and tack it on the refrigerator. Make a few sets of spare keys, so that people can easily come and go as they please. Basically, be their “at home” concierge.
Tip 12: Plan fun games
The best memories over the holidays are when everyone is relaxing, laughing and having a great time. You can help orchestrate these moments by planning fun games in which everyone can participate. You can host an Ugly Sweater Contest, A Christmas Carol Sing-Off, or Gingerbread House Competition during one of your “at home happy hours.”
Tip 13: Celebrate past holidays
Another sure way to have everyone in stitches is to get out old home videos and pictures. Everyone will love reminiscing about past holidays… the bad clothes and questionable hair styles always make for great holiday conversation and laughs. Perhaps dig up some old holiday photos of your guests and use that as their “personal touch” when they arrive at your home for their stay.
Tip 14: Make your guests do some work
Make your guests feel useful by asking them to help with tasks you know they’ll enjoy. Give your mother-in-law the ultimate compliment by asking her to help you make her famous chocolate pie for dessert. If you’re hosting young nieces, ask them to help make the table decorations because they’re such great crafters. It’s a great compliment to your guests to make them feel like they are PART of the activities, rather than just spectating.
Do as much preparation in advance as you can. Plan menus around recipes that can be made ahead of time – freezer-friendly, one-dish meals like lasagna, or a hearty-braised beef stew are great options when serving a crowd. Run a supermarket sweep a few days before for toiletries. Do your own laundry before guests arrive, so that the washer and dryer can be available for them, if necessary. The ultimate holiday hosts know that being prepared is the absolute best way to make your guests feel welcome in your home because you can actually enjoy them while they are there!
These are AWESOME tips! I actually printed this list out and tacked it on our corkboard in the kitchen. I might not use all the tips every time, but I will utilize a lot of them.
I’ve stayed at a Hampton Hotel several years ago. I was very pleased with my stay. Not only was the room clean and comfortable, but the price was nice too. They are usually mid-priced hotels.
There are over 1,900 Hampton Hotels including Hampton Inn & Suites and Hampton by Hilton. Hampton Hotels are also found in 14 countries and territories, so you can have the same comfort even when you are far from home.
During my stay (I stayed for two nights) I found the Hampton employees to be very accommodating. They were happy to answer my questions and attend to my needs (like more bath towels when I needed them after I used my bath towels for the pool). Their friendly service and clean, comfortable surroundings is what the Hampton Hotels refers to as “Hamptonality”. Hamptonality is all about “celebrating the little moments that make a big difference”.
Hamtonality is based upon these five tenets:
Sharing a compliment
Providing a moment of humor
That means the brand cares about their guests and sees them as more than just bodies occupying their rooms.
Hampton’s 50,000+ Team Members are committed to make your stay enjoyable and providing guests with excellent customer service.
Aside from excellent customer service, Hampton Hotels offer guests great amenities such as FREE Wi-Fi, a delicious hot breakfast (fresh made waffles!), multi-unit Power Cubes and their signature Clean and Fresh Hampton Bed®.
If you are hosting out of town guests this holiday season I’m sure that it lends it’s self to added stress. Let’s face it, the holidays can be stressful enough without having to worry about who is going to sleep where and how you are going to fit everyone comfortably in your home. Not to mention you will want to make sure your home is clean, warm and inviting for your guests.
Rather than worry about making your out of town guests comfortable, why not consider setting them up at one of the many Hampton Hotels properties? Your guests will feel welcome and comfortable – just like they would in your home. It’s a great way to ensure that everyone has a comfortable place to sleep (who wants to sleep on a sofa bed, air mattress or cot?). Plus your guests will enjoy the freedom of being able to come and go without worrying about waking you up at night or in the morning.
If you plan on visiting out of state family and friends this holiday season, why not consider staying at a Hampton Hotel instead of your family or friend’s home? That way you don’t have to worry about them having to find comfortable places for you to sleep. Instead of worrying about that you can simply enjoy each others company. After all, that is the whole reason why you are visiting them in the first place.
If you would like to learn more about Hampton Hotels and/or find a location near you or where you plan on visiting, visit www.Hampton.com.
Mom Trends is hosting a Twitter party on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM (PST) / 1:00 PM (EST). The hashtag is #HamptonHoliday. They will be giving away free night’s stays at Hampton Hotels. You must be 18+ to win. For more information and to RSVP visit – http://www.momtrends.com/tag/twitter-party/.
A night (or two) stay at a Hampton Hotel would make a great gift too – especially for a couple who would like to go on a romantic getaway. 🙂
Hampton Hotels would like to give a lucky reader a FREE NIGHT STAY! Hampton will send the lucky winner a “Be My Guest” card which entitles the bearer to (1) free night stay at a Hampton location.
This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on December 22, 2013 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.
To enter please comment on this post and me how you would use the free night stay? Would you use it for yourself (where do you plan on going?) or would you give it to a friend or family member?
For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.
*Compensation was provided by Hampton Hotel via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hampton or Momtrends.