The winter months have officially arrived, and quickly transitioning your home from trick-or-treat friendly to family feast ready can be stressful. Given that this is the time of year when you should be winding down, opening up your doors to host an event can be overwhelming. So why not open up ours?
Elevate your holidays by hosting your plans in an AvantStay vacation home – where you can leave the prep and cleanup to us, so you can focus on the personal touches that make entertaining your guests worth it! Whether you’re hosting Friendsgiving, Christmas dinner, or ringing in the New Year with your loved ones, we’ve got you covered with 15 tips that are sure to crown you the hostess with the mostest.
1. Co-host with a friend or close family member
You don’t have to do it all! Take a breather knowing that you have help from a trusted co-host who can help split and delegate tasks with you. Is one of you a better baker than the other? One has a better eye for design and decoration? There are no hard rules here, but simply knowing that someone has your back can relieve the pressure of tackling a holiday party on your own.
2. Lean on our concierge team
Our concierge team is here to cater to you. Think of a dedicated specialist there to ensure that your plans run as smoothly as possible. With options from stocking your fridge before your arrival, mid-stay cleans, itinerary planning, and even coordinating a private bartender or private chef for you, we’ve got you covered.
3. Stay organized and plan ahead
This one may seem obvious, but being proactive and maintaining a checklist minimizes surprises and helps to ensure that nothing gets forgotten. If you’re hosting a potluck, keep a running list of what everyone is bringing to avoid duplicates and/or missing pieces. Be sure to confirm your guests, reinforce dates and times, and keep a cooking schedule on hand. This is particularly true for Friendsgiving since there’s no official date for this “holiday.”
4. Designate rooms for each guest
When planning for an overnight stay, bypass the last-minute scrambling by assigning everyone rooms before check-in. Fortunately, we have a “choose your room” feature in our app where you and your added guests can effortlessly see all rooms and beds and reserve your pick. From the bookings tab, simply locate your reservation, select “choose rooms” under the Guests and Rooms section, and then swipe through each room while adding a name to each room.
5. Curate your music just right
Once you’ve happily arrived, it’s time to personalize your vacation home to your ideal vibe. One of the most important ways to set the mood is with the perfect album or playlist. Select AvantStay homes, like Chicory, are vinyl-ready with record players waiting for you. If you prefer more of a mix, create a collaborative playlist on your favorite streaming platform. And if you’re feeling especially adventurous, there are plenty of premade playlists out there eager to be set on shuffle.
6. Ambience is everything
Musical stimulation is only one piece of the puzzle which is ambience. Think of a cozily lit fireplace, perfectly dimmed mood lighting, or diversifying each and every space for a different activity. You can make your guests feel welcome by ensuring that they feel right at home. This is extremely easy to do at all of our vacation homes because they are designed by professional (award-winning!) interior designers rather than just anyone.
7. Have a game plan
As we previously mentioned, itineraries are your best friend, and we can help you build one. Our concierge team creates excellent, personalized itineraries that can have minute-to-minute schedules or loose plans to keep everything flowing if that’s more your style. They can also build unique local experiences to ensure you’re making the most of your getaway.
8. Entertainment for all
What’s your preference? Playing a game, watching a movie in a home theater, or cozying up by an outdoor firepit? No need to choose just one! Our homes are set up with all the amenities to ensure that there will never be a moment of boredom between the feast and festivities.
9. Have a signature something
Think signature party favor, activity, centerpieces, or even themes! Having an on-brand something that your guests associate with your events (and therefore get excited for) is always a win. Not sure what to do? Lean on our concierge team to help you brainstorm.
10. All the libations for a memorable celebration
What celebration is complete without a cocktail or mocktail station? Our homes allow you to easily create your own self-serve bar with features like wine coolers, beverage stations, and wet bars like Chateau Syrah’s. Take it a step further by providing a menu of go-to recipes for your guests! Put a spin on classic cocktails by creating a naming convention around the holiday theme such as ‘Cold Turkey’ or ‘Bloody Merry.’ We’ve even compiled some of our favorite tequila recipes for you.
11. Snacks, Snacks, Snacks!
As everyone gathers and mingles, it’s always a great idea to have finger foods ready to go. From a charcuterie board to the all-time favorite chip bowl, we’ve got gourmet kitchens (that can be fully stocked upon request) ready to handle whatever gets your guests’ mouths watering.
12. Clean as you cook
One of the best pieces of advice any host or home cook has passed down is “clean as you cook.” In a home like Castle Rock, with not one, but two dishwashers at your disposal, we make it easy to tackle the cleanup after a feast of any kind.
13. Create new traditions
Here’s your chance to get really creative. Is there an activity that brings you overwhelming joy? Maybe it’s taking an annual road trip, doing a white elephant gift exchange, or baking a holiday treat together. Choose something that not only sounds fun to you but will keep your guests looking forward to your hosted events in the future – the power is in your hands. Your tradition could even become experiencing the holidays in a different AvantStay home every year!
14. Document all the moments
It’s easy to get so caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle that you don’t take a minute to be present and capture the moments. Whether you provide disposable cameras to your guests, set up a photo station, or take advantage of the photo booth we already have at The Monkey Tree Hotel, don’t be afraid to pause and pose. Let the memories serve as a reminder of what an amazing time you had on your group trip.
15. Treat yourself to some self-care
Once it’s all said and done, take a pause. Don’t get so caught up in catering to your guests that you end up neglecting yourself. Our concierge team can book you an in-home massage, or you can take a moment to de-stress in an in-home sauna like Nightstar’s. Some other ways to relax in our homes include sleeping in extra late, taking a bubble bath, or curling up on the couch to binge-watch your favorite holiday sitcom episodes. Tend to your needs, because at the end of the day, it’s meant to be a vacation for you as well.