A genuine invitation to stay in someone's home must be the fondest form of flattery. While hotels offer many amenities, they can be limiting. Indeed, some of our favorite trips were to locations that had no hotels. Hotels can also be less comfortable - sometimes the only way to truly feel at home is to stay in someone's actual home.
We were already excited to be invited to Cyprus as guests at a dear friend's wedding, and beyond grateful when she offered her family's Latchi villa for our weekend accommodations. Expertly designed, the villa was spacious and welcoming. We spent most of our time on its balconies, enjoying local fruit and drinking Cypriot wine.
The anxiety-inducing part of being a houseguest is ensuring you're a good houseguest. Homes are so personal and house rules vary. Universally, the modern houseguest rules I've adopted are:
1. Always make the bed, and generally leave a room as it was before stepping foot into it.
2. Follow the host's lead as much as possible. If they take their shoes off at the door, I do the same. If they wake up early, I do the same. I model my schedule off of their schedule and try not to be too much of a disruption to their daily life.
3. Be gracious, grateful and appreciative. Complain about nothing. Send a thank you note.
We had the time of our lives in Cyprus. The invitation to stay at a family home made our trip more comfortable and easier to plan, so we are eternally grateful. I look forward to returning the favor and inviting her to New York as my guest.