During the festive season and for our summer holidays, we are increasingly choosing to stay in private properties instead of hotels for that unbeatable home-away-from-home feeling.

There’s something about returning to a familiar environment after a day out that gives us a sense of comfort, similar to the feeling of relaxation in our own homes. While hotel stays are undoubtedly luxurious, they can sometimes feel a little impersonal.

Many of us will be looking to replicate that comforting yet luxury environment for our guests this Christmas. As the owner of two beautiful cottage retreats in rural Sussex, we asked local business owner Liz Pearce what she does to give her guests the royal treatment.

Read on to discover her top tips for guest bedroom styling, so you can wow your guests this season!

1. Give The Gift of Blissful Sleep With A Luxury Mattress

“I use king or super king beds, always with a high quality mattress. A luxury mattress makes such a difference to the quality of a guests’ sleep, not to mention their physical comfort.”

2. Have A Supply Of Fresh Towels Ready

A selection of clean towels is a must when welcoming guests. Try to keep extra bed linen and towels to hand that are ready to use, in case of any special requests!

“Other thoughtful touches can be a dressing gown for each guest, a pair of slippers, or a well-timed hot water bottle under the covers if it’s chilly outside.”

3. Accessorise Your French Bed

Whether you have a rattan bed, an upholstered bed or a statement emperor bed, make it look irresistibly inviting with a careful selection of boudoir and square shaped bedroom cushions, topped off with a gorgeous, quilted bedspread. Not only will your guests be toasty warm, they’ll feel like royalty.

4. Keep A Stash of Mini Must-Haves

It’s easy to forget little essentials when you’re travelling. Liz advises to keep a supply of miniature branded toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo, and body wash so you don’t end up emptying the master bedroom’s ensuite!

5. Create A Hotel Feel with High Thread Count Bed Linen

We recently looked at whether a high thread count always means better quality bed linen, and the answer is… more often than not! For single-ply bed linen, a thread count of 500 or more means a luxuriously soft feel and undeniable quality.  Liz’s top tip is to get your linen professionally laundered to recreate that hotel feel for your special guests.

6. Bring The Outside In With Fresh Cut Flowers

I like to leave a simple bouquet of flowers from the cottage garden, says Liz. “They’re a delight for the senses; vibrant or pastel, their colours brighten up a room; freshly cut, their scent will linger for days; not to mention the mental lift we all get from a beautiful display of flowers!”

7. Sweeten Up The Foodies With A Welcome Hamper

Ok, this may be going above and beyond for guests at home this Christmas, but Liz says her tip can be easily adapted – it’s just a question of simplifying.

“I like to provide a small hamper with examples of local products. It’s a touch that guests really appreciate – especially the foodies! When these products are more difficult to come by (some are seasonal) I simply try to choose some nice things most people will like.”

8. Create An Atmosphere With Luxury Scented Candles

Scent can be a powerful thing.  It can influence mood, evoke memories, and stir emotions. A fresh and airy perfume can wake up and rejuvenate, whereas a richer, spiced scent can help us unwind and relax in the evening. Add a beautifully scented candle or a delicate diffuser to wrap your guests in a feeling that is heaven-scent!

9. Set The Scene With A Statement Mirror

A well-lit large mirror makes a real impact in a room. Sometimes in modern homes, there are corners of downstairs reception rooms and bedrooms that just don’t get enough light during the day. But with the help of a well-positioned mirror, you can make sure that even the darkest of corners appears light and airy.

10. Don’t Forget The Simple Touches

“One of the simplest but most effective ways of making a guest feel welcome is to provide bottled water; especially if someone is arriving after a long journey”, says Liz.

We hope you've enjoyed these 10 Top Tips, direct from an AirBnB owner! For more inspiration, check out our articles on How To Style An Upholstered Patterned Headboard, and How To Make A Small Bedroom Look Bigger.