My knowledge of guest room niceties is a family legacy. For several years, my mom owned a bed-and-breakfast in the Napa Valley. When she opened the inn, she told me that it had been her lifelong dream to run her own business. But it was clear that the dream was really all about stocking the best amenities: Organic hand soaps and porcelain bedside carafes led to sprigs of lavender on turned-down bedsheets.
When it comes to setting one B&B or rental house or guest quarters apart from the rest, it's all in the details. We've created a list of six amenities—each with a high and low option—guaranteed to give an instant upgrade.
Liquid Hand Soap
Above: Restoration Hardware's white Turkish Bath Towel is currently on sale for $24 (marked down from $29).
Above: The UK's White Company offers Italian 400-count, cotton percale sheets. The Savoy Bed Linen Collection includes pillowcases from $30 and fitted and flat sheets starting at $120 each. For more options, see 10 Easy Pieces: Hotel Sheets and Editors' Picks: Favorite Luxury Bed Linens.
Above: Parachute, a Los Angeles company specializing in affordable Italian luxury linens, sells the Venice Sheet Set (a fitted sheet, duvet cover, and two pillowcases) from $199. Read more about Parachute in Eat, Pray, Love: Luxury Linens for Less, and find more Bed Linens in our Shop section.
Above: Crate & Barrel's Bedside Carafe with Glass is $24.95.
Above: Blended in the Austrian alps with lavender and orange oil, Susanne Kaufmann's Calming Pillow Spray can be used as a bed linen or room spray; $28 for 2.5 ounces at The Line. For more finds from The Line, see A Soho Dream Loft (Where Everything Is for Sale).
Above: The Laundress Linen Spray is a subtle lavender solution for use when ironing or steaming and as a room refresher; 16 ounces for $14.95 at Crate & Barrel.
Above: Muji's Portable Sewing Kit contains small quantities of the essentials; $4.95.
Now that you have the guest room covered, don't miss 7 Essentials for the Bath, Landlady Edition and the Best Summer Beach Towels. Looking for a house to rent? See Editors' Picks: 15 Favorite Vacation Rental Resources.
This post is an update; it originally ran on July 10, 2014, as part of our Summer Rentals issue.