best guest bathroom

Your guests might never leave.

Bathrooms can be the busiest rooms in the house. I think having a well equipped and comfortable guest bathroom is almost as important as having a fabulous guest room.

I want my overnight guests to feel as if they are in a 5-star hotel because I love my house guests and I want them to come back to visit often. Here is how I prepare my guest bathrooms for overnight visitors:

  • Make sure the bathroom is clean and welcoming. We might not go into guest bathrooms very often, so make sure it’s freshened and dusted.
  • The bathroom should be well stocked with soap, extra toilet paper, tissues, cotton balls, Q-tips, a disposable shower cap and a hair dryer.
  • Assume your guests will have forgotten something so also have toothpaste, new toothbrush, razor, shampoo and conditioner, body lotion and hand cream.
  • Depending on how much room you have, you can put out fresh flowers- in a bud vase, an arrangement in a larger vase or even a small potted plant.
  • I also like to have either a diffuser or a scented candle in the bathroom.
  • Check the condition of your shower liner, shower curtain and bathmat. If there is a tub, check the condition of the non-slip mat. Replace anything that is old or moldy.
  • Splurge on nice, soft plump cotton towels. Don’t even think of putting anything old and ratty in the guest bathroom on the theory that it isn’t used much!
  • If there is a tub, have a great sponge or loofah, inflatable bath pillow, bath salts or bath oil. I usually don’t have time to take baths, just showers, but I notice that when I travel I do take a bath and love it. I appreciate a wire bath tray across the tub to hold bath toiletries. It will also help keep reading material dry.
  • If you are having older guests to stay, they might appreciate a magnifying mirror.
  • I include two water glasses by the sink and a bottle of water.
  • Test the sink, toilet and shower if it’s a bathroom not often used. I was horrified when a guest told me that no hot water was coming out of the shower head in my guest bath. I had to replace the faucet, but couldn’t do that until after the poor (and cold) guest had left.
  • Always have a trashcan in the bathroom.
  • I put out fresh new soaps by the sink and in the shower or by the tub and donate the old ones to the laundry room for help with stains. I offer soap with my favorite scent and an unscented choice.
  • I include a bathrobe in the closet.
  • If you really want to go the extra mile you can include common medications like ibuprofen, allergy meds, Band Aids and triple antibiotic ointment in the medicine cabinet.
  • I always have a nightlight in my guest bathrooms. If it bothers anyone they can easily unplug it, but I think it’s nice to have in unfamiliar territory when it’s dark. Check the light bulbs in all the lighting fixtures before guests arrive.
  • I always appreciate a nightgown/towel hook on the back of the bathroom door.

For such a comparatively small room, it certainly is a demanding one. While I’m sure these tips will enhance your guests’ visit, I hope it doesn’t lengthen it!


See our article about hand creams.

See our article on everything needed for taking a luxurious bath.

Elizabeth W apothecary and home fragrance products are among our favorites.


ASE subscriber Lindsey E. puts out small towels with the word “Make-up” monogrammed on them. They should be white (easy to bleach) or dark (won’t show stains). Either way, they will save your large fluffy towels from permanent smudges. $27 for six towels.