When having overnight guests for the weekend or longer, the pressures of playing host, resident chef and all-around hospitality hero can make you want to run for the hills. But before you take off, take a little advice from those who play host and hostess for a living.
Innkeepers at some of America’s top bed and breakfasts have shared their delectable recipes and top-secret tips that are guaranteed to make your guests’ stay unforgettable.
- The Addison on Amelia, Amelia Island, FL Prepare! Prepare! Prepare! This is the mantra of The Addison owners Shannon and Bob. They have made their picturesque island inn a success by planning out their menus and buying supplies before guests even arrive. Shannon encourages homeowners to do the same and to prepare meals that can be made the night before so you will be out of the kitchen and spending time with your guests during their visit.
- Chestnut Street Inn, Sheffield, IL Keep food original and fresh and know your guests’ culinary preferences. Jeff and Monika of The Chestnut Street Inn—a favorite of foodies—know that changing up the menu and taking good care of gluten-free and vegetarian guests makes all the difference. Take the time to ask your guests ahead of time what they like and if they have allergies or dietary restrictions you should be aware of.
- The Captain Jefferds Inn, Kennebunkport, ME The little touches matter to Erik and Sarah Lindblom of the historic Captain Jefferds Inn. In fact, these innkeepers cater not only to their guests, but to their guests' furry four-legged companions as well. So if your guest has a dog with them, take a cue from the Linbloms and upon arrival, provide the pup with a personalized dog treat with its name piped in icing on top.
- Old World Inn, Napa, CA Get to know your guests on a personal level and listen to their needs. This might sound like a no brainer, but connecting with guests will make them feel right at home. Rus and Sharon, the innkeepers of Old World Inn, will ask their weeklong guests for their favorite breakfast from childhood and then have it served by weeks end. Rus suggests doing this at home, and if possible, keeping your cooking plans a surprise by calling guests’ mothers or family members to get the breakfast scoop.
—By Emily Arno