hospitality trays

Hospitality Trays: Creatively Showing Guests You Care

Phyllis Inspiration, Lifestyle 12 Comments

I love hospitality trays, especially when I am the guest! Does that sound selfish? I hope not because I love seeing people use their creativity to prepare for guests. I have been in homes of friends where a tray is always ready to go and so creative.

My friend Dell has a tray on every bed in her home. She has lovely antiques that she showcases and always includes magazines for her guests to read. On the day they arrive, she adds fresh flowers, a snack plate, and beautiful linens.

I was speaking in Dallas when my book, Honey, It’s all in the Shoes, was released, and in my hotel room were several hospitality trays. One of my favorites was the Texas tray, where my hostess had presented Texas items for me to take home consisting of Lone Star stationery, Texas soap trays, and wonderful leather journals.

In Natchez,Mississippi, I was treated to a lovely weekend at the tea celebrations at Monmouth Historic Inn. At the time, Lani Riches and her husband owned the inn, and she gifted me with a hospitality tray in my room that included a collection of antique handkerchiefs from the 1950s. I still have them and think of my special time there.

When I have a special guest, I might select a beautiful pen and paper to present. I want it to be something that I would love to receive. It doesn’t have to be expensive but just a token of remembrance.

What types of hospitality gifts do you give? I would love to hear your creative ideas.

September 2015 Southern Lady Cover


Comments 12

  1. Lovely, lovely Idea for sure- and as I read along the crafter in me started to think & the creative juices began to flow. I was picturing how I can ” construct” my own breakfast trays for each guest room . We are remodeling each child’s room to become an adult room with new paint, king size beds, new window treatments & new bedding etc. I wonder if you can find wooden trays unfinished and maybe paint or decoupage them with vintage postcards, family photos, vintage sheet music and whatever your interests are. I like the expression the reader posted about “bed day” – my grandchildren call it ” pajama day” and I love it especially in the winter time when you can snuggle back down under the electric blanket and read or watch movies all day !!

  2. I have a nice tray and a tea set that I keep in my own bedroom. I often take one of your lovely magazines or a good book and hide out on a rainy day or Sunday afternoon. I remember doing it with my mother. We had the best talks. My mother use to say surround yourself with lovely but simple things. They create the most beautiful memories and are best cherished. I just wish she was here today. How I miss our teatime together.

  3. Thank you for the inspiration!! My son, daughter in law and their five children are coming to visit for the week end….always do a little gift of some kind for the grandkids…..this time I will check out my gift closet for some special treats for my son and his wife.

  4. How perfect you sent this today. My darling husband and I are in the process of purchasing a 1907 farmhouse and 33 acres in lovely Tylertown, Mississippi as our “get away” retreat. The home needs a good deal of renovation to remove some prior remodeling efforts and dubious color choices. I’ve naturally been reviewing all my Southern Lady and Victoria magazines for decorating ideas and have settled on a blue and white pallette with an occasional pop of red. Now I just have to make sure to have a lovely guest tray in the blue toile guest room. Thanks as always.

  5. When you think of a pretty tray don’t forget yourself. Days get so hectic that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. Every once in a while I declare what I call a “bed day.” I spend the day in my new bed reading my tea magazines that I keep just for that day. My husband brings me breakfast in bed and also brings me lunch. I haven’t got to the point that I let him make my tea (maybe someday.) I have a pretty tray with strawberries on it that holds everything that is served. I-pad, kindle and paper and pen round out all that is stacked on my bed. I do get up when he tells me dinner is ready but I am well rested and I have finished reading all of my tea magazines. You should all try declaring a “bed day” once in a while.

    1. You are such a Blessed woman to have this luxury. My husband is wonderful but has his limits. I think this is such a great idea even if one has to make it happen herself. Thanks for the idea and I have just to tray in mind for the occasion.

  6. Hospitality trays are such a simple, elegant way to your guests how excited you are to have them stay. I love putting them together, and equally, being a guest who has one arranged for me! Lovely ideas!

  7. What helpful ideas and for me timely, since I will be having house guests at the beginning of September. I like to include some treats, bottled water, maybe a nice hand lotion. Thank you to everyone for all the other wonderful ideas.

  8. ooh, thanks for the lovely ideas! I always try to make a room as cozy as I can and if I can add “enchanting” too
    I will! such fun having guests 🙂

  9. Current magazines, local postcards and stamps, and I always have a bottle of lavender pillow spray for the guest to use and take for future travel use.
    I love the tray on the bed idea. Haven’t done that.

  10. I enjoyed reading this article. Although my two bedroom is overcrowded now , I keep a basket full of new towels, bar of soap, and small shampoo and foaming gels. Then I have a glass pitcher with a matching glass to fill with chilled water . All this is left in the guest room along with my library of reading material. My ideas excite me but my town home is small and limit the availability of entertaining often.

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