Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Hosting Tips from Hampton Hotels {"Be My Guest" 1-Night Stay Giveaway!}

Hampton logo
While the holiday season is often filled with indulgent meals, the intermixed sounds of giggles and the ripping of wrapping paper, and the wonder and beauty of light displays big and small, it doesn't lack in stress as well.

Do we have a gift for everyone on our list? Is there time to bake yet another batch of cookies? Are we properly celebrating all of our family traditions? Where in the world is Aunt Kate/Uncle Joe/Cousin Steve going to sleep??

Throughout all of the challenges and dilemmas that this season brings, at least we can rest easy knowing that our guests (and ourselves) can sleep comfortably and soundly thanks to the hospitality and quality found at our nearby Hampton Hotel.

With the knowledge that balancing family, friends, work and free time keeps all of us extremely busy (especially around the holidays) Hampton Hotels do all that they can to help make life easier. Whether that means treating your guests or yourself to a comfortable, clean, amenity-filled place to stay or simply bringing their signature "Hamptonality" into your home, it's easy to make this a season to remember.

What is Hamptonality, you ask? It involves five specific tenets of the Hampton friendly service culture that you'll find delivered by over 50,000 Team Members and supported by the 100% Hampton Guarantee:
  • Unexpected delight
  • Being anticipatory
  • Sharing a compliment
  • Providing a moment of humor
  • Showing empathy
Knowing this, Hampton Hotels want to help hosts maximize their hospitality during the holidays with tips inspired by Hamptonality. There is 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!

Jenny Steffens
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!

sugar cookie
Photos from

Tip 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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!

baked brie

Tip 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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!

banana nut pancakes

Tip 9: 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 10: 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 11: 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.

Tip 12: Prepare!
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!

beef stew

I love these tips!

While guests visiting my home might not have quite as luxurious of a stay as they would at Jenny's house or at one of the amazing Hampton Hotels, I can still do my best to bring the Hamptonality in the form of a clean and fresh bed, high-speed internet access, hot breakfast served daily, friendly, helpful service and more!


To find out much more about all of the Hampton Hotels across the globe (with over 1900 hotels, they're sure to be in the location of your next travel destination) visit and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Plus, to really get into the Holiday Hosting spirit, join Hampton Hotels and MomTrends for a fantastically fun Twitter party on December 17th at 1pm EST — stay tuned for more information!

Finally, thanks to the generosity of Hampton Hotels, one person will be even more prepared to experience world-renowned hospitality this season and beyond, because...

One lucky person will win (1) "Be My Guest" card, which entitles the bearer to (1) free night stay at any Hampton Hotel location!

Hampton Hotel giveaway

Disclaimer: 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.


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annemarie562000 said...

We always have extra snacks available for everyone!


mecarolks said...

I make sure I buy their favorite food and pops

Karrie said...

My making our guests feel at home :)

Unknown said...

I always have a clean room and clean sheets

Erica C. said...

We always have a lot of snacks.

Priscilla Benavides said...

Big Breakfasts are always welcoming!
priscillabenavides at yahoo dotcom

Unknown said...

I always have extras for them to stock up on.

Unknown said...

Good smelling pillow cases

Unknown said...

Truth be told I never have overnight guests as I do not have an extra bedroom in my house. I'm a single mom with two kids and 3 rooms. LOL!

Robin T said...

I provide snacks for my guests and a fresh clean bed.

katfam95 said...

We never host guests, since all of our family is local.

Anonymous said...

In my home I make sure the sheets are fresh and if possible, warm from the dryer right before they lay down! I then sprinkle baby powder in the sheets. It's a trick I've been using for years!

Noelle said...

We always do a special gourmet breakfast for our house guests.

Kat said...

Lots of good food, movies and games for all ages, outside activities (if weather permits) and a basket of samples of everything under the sun in their bathroom. I try to have peoples beverage of choice on hand (non-alcoholic), it is so welcoming to find your favorite soft drink, juice or tea at a friend or relatives home.

Jaclynn S. said...

Providing the comforts of home with good food, good conversation and relaxation is the way to go :)

Unknown said...

I do try to personalize the experience. I provide specific likes and try to avoid the dislikes. I also try to make the atmosphere light so I rely alot on humor. It is supposed to be a pleasant fun experience.

Tara said...

I make sure they have clean towels.

Candie L said...

We make sure they have clean linen and clean sleeping areas. Thank you


Sndrdee said...

I like to stick up on extras. I have a wicker laundry basket where I roll up towels, and leave travel size shampoo, soaps, etc. It adds a nice touch to the room and makes anything they need handy.

lilyk said...

I try to serve tasty and nourishing food.

Sandra VanHoey said...

I enjoy these good suggestions. I also love Hampton Inn. I stay there whenever I can when I travel

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