Re: Question about Guest Rooms
From: Patricia Lautner (
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2020 11:00:18 -0800 (PST)
At JPCohousing in Boston MA our guest rooms get a lot of use.

Number of units: 30
Number of guest rooms:  We have 1 guest room suite with two bedrooms, a
sitting area with enough room for a full size pull out futon, and one
shared bathroom with bathtub.

1) Make sure the bedroom(s) have queen size beds not full sized.  Many
people and couples are uncomfortable in a full - their feet hang off the
end for example
2) The suite model doesn't work for some.  Sometimes we have members who
need to reserve both bedrooms just because their guests wouldn't feel
comfortable sharing a suite with strangers.
3) Look at your community values, especially around aging in place.  As we
age, we may need caretakers visit for long periods of time.  Do you have
enough guest rooms to accommodate a daughter visiting for 4 weeks?  Or
grandma staying for 6 weeks to help with a newborn?
4) Do you expect babies to be born?  We had 5 kids born in 5 years and the
guest rooms were in high demand.  It was difficult - many folks were
frustrated that their guests couldn't be accommodated.  We set up a
frequent use policy that helps make it fair, but doesn't quite meet the

If I were to do it again, I would keep the guest suite but add one or two
more rooms with en suite bathrooms.   I would also build an accessible
shower for reasons mentioned by others.

Good luck, it's an exciting time for you!


On Sun, Feb 2, 2020 at 11:26 AM fergyb2 via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

>      At Swans Market in Oakland CA we have 20 units and 1 guest room.
> It’s an adequate but not generous size  with a queen sized bed and has a
> disability accessible bathroom with shower next door which has proved very
> useful not only in accommodating disabled guests but residents have
> sometimes used it post knee surgery when stepping over the edge of the
> bathtub was a challenge at first. The guest room is in use maybe half the
> time overall, more heavily around holidays.  I think we don’t need more.
> It is rarely used for other purposes except by naughty teens (we have
> learned to keep it locked when teens are in residence or even visiting as
> an empty guest room is too much of a temptation).  Grandparents and other
> relatives and friends visiting from out of town, friends who are being
> support people for residents post surgery, and guests from other cohousing
> communities are the most common users although sometimes residents who are
> painting or otherwise remodeling their unit have used it as well.  One of
> the unexpected benefits of cohousing is the ability to stay cheaply all
> over the country and sometimes the world in other cohousing communities.  A
> benefit we have happily used and extended to others.  It helps to have one
> resident act as guest room concierge to make sure there is a host resident
> to orient guests and someone responsible for collecting fees and making
> sure cleaning happens promptly.  Our rule is that no guest can stay unless
> there is a resident who agrees to be their host available.  We also found
> that some residents never use the guest room and others use it a lot so we
> have instituted rules limiting the length of stay any one resident can sign
> up for in the interest of fairness.  Good luck and happy hosting.
>     Bonnie Fergusson
>    Swans Market Cohousing
>    Oakland, CA
> Sent from my iPad
> > On Feb 1, 2020, at 7:16 PM, Ellis Cohen <e.cohen [at]> wrote:
> >
> > Appreciate it if any of you could answer some questions that will help
> us as we're finalizing the # of guest rooms we will have at Bay State
> Commons.
> >
> > How many units do you have?
> > How many guest rooms do you have?ab
> > How big are they?
> > How well are they used?
> > Do you wish you had a different # of rooms, or that they were a
> different size?
> > When guests aren't using them, do you reuse the space in other ways?
> > Anything else it would be useful to know?
> >
> > Thanks
> >   -- Ellis Cohen
> >       Bay State Commons
> >       Malden, MA
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
> >
> >
> >
> >
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