As a homeowner, you want your guests to feel at home as soon as they enter your property. An inviting entryway, cozy furnishings and well-prepared space are great places to start, but have you ever considered going above and beyond for your visitors with some welcome gifts?
Homeowners who provide thoughtful gifts for the guests staying at their rental are setting the stage for a truly special experience and are more likely to receive glowing reviews.
Your welcome gifts for guests don’t need to be expensive – in fact – they may not cost any money at all. The only thing you need to figure out is: what should you gift your guests?
We’ve compiled 6 of the most popular surprises that homeowners in our network have left for their guests – and the real reviews that they gained from going the extra mile.
Homemade Treats and Local Produce
Leaving fresh, local food for your guests is a great way to show that you care about them, especially if your vacation rental is in an area known for a certain type of fare. Offering your visitors a local or homemade gift is a great way to show them that you want your rental to be their home-away-from-home – and provide a tangible connection to the region they’re visiting.
Some great fresh-food ideas that are inexpensive and easy to supply are:
- Baked goods, pastries, or bread
- Breakfast foods such as farm fresh eggs
- A fruit basket from your local market
- Locally grown vegetables
Here’s what guests have to say when their hosts leave them some special treats upon arrival:
“The hosts were incredibly accommodating. The suite had all the essentials and some bonuses that made it extra special. With a nice kitchen and fridge, plus the surprise of farm fresh eggs, a nice breakfast was easy to put together every day. We would definitely recommend and plan to stay again!”
“Amy was so kind to us and made our stay very comfortable along with her lovely personal approach and welcome tray of fresh papaya and eggs. It was so comforting to arrive and find that, not to mention delicious and refreshing after a long travel day-trip.”
According to a study done by Rutgers University, fresh flowers have an almost immediate positive impact on happiness.
When guests walk into your rental and are greeted by a vase of fresh flowers on your kitchen counter, it’s an instant mood booster and changes the feel of the entire room. Fresh, fragrant flowers add a sense of luxury, comfort, and color to any space.
A bouquet of flowers in your rental says many things about you as a homeowner: you care about your guests and put thought into their stay, you care about the upkeep of your rental, and you want your guests to feel comfortable in your property.
The following reviews show how powerful a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers can be in creating a lasting impression of your property:
“This condo was absolutely a delight. It was beautifully decorated all the way down to the fresh flowers on the dining room table. I would definitely recommend this rental.”
“The home was immaculate with one of the best stocked kitchens I’ve ever seen and fresh flowers on the table. I highly recommend this home.”
How lovely would it be to arrive at your vacation destination after a long day of travel and find a nice bottle of wine to enjoy? What about a 6-pack of local beer to from a nearby brewery? Or a bottle of champagne to pop if you’re traveling to celebrate a special occasion?
Supplying your guests with libations lets them know that you’ve spent time thinking about their experience, and care about them having a relaxing and fun time during their stay.
Worried at about including booze because some people don’t drink? Simply provide some nice non-alcoholic beverages like sparkling water, local coffee, fresh juice, etc. It’s the thought that counts here, and guests will appreciate the effort – whether they choose to imbibe or not!
Here are some reviews from guests who were grateful to find refreshments at the end of a long day of travel:
“My wife and I (and our yellow lab) just completed our second stay at this property. Bill the owner goes out of his way to make sure everything is just the way you would want it to be. He even leaves you a bottle of wine for your arrival. You won’t be disappointed and will soon be typing your own review similar to this one.”
“Theresa was so nice! Her property is gorgeous and the area around the home is so pretty. There was champagne and two yummy cupcakes waiting for us upon arrival. Will definitely be back over staying at a hotel!”
-Kelly Christine H.
“All of the details were just right for this little apartment. The welcome bottle of wine and french press with locally roasted coffee were also a nice touch of hospitality. We would definitely stay here again if we are back in Asheville!”
If your guests are visiting for a holiday or during the holiday season, wish them a festive stay by adding some seasonal flare to your rental. From Christmas to 4th of July, providing touches of holiday spirit not only shows guests that you like to keep your rental updated, but also are considerate of the reason behind their vacations.
Seasonal flare comes in many different forms, but it’s a great idea to keep your decor and gifts neutral to respect your guests’ religious beliefs. White outdoor lights during the winter holidays, spooky surprises and treats around Halloween, fall decor and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving are all great ways to celebrate the season.
This should give you an idea of how seasonal extras make the holidays even brighter for guests:
“Everything is great. We even received a pumpkin pie and a welcome card from the owner, perfect for thanksgiving. We had a relaxed and happy thanksgiving break in this house.”
“We loved this place! When we arrived, we found the place decorated for the holidays and very inviting. The owners even left a gift basket of treats for us! We all want to come back with our families!”
Getting gifts for guests doesn’t mean you have to spend an arm and a leg trying to go the extra mile. Welcoming your travelers can be as easy as compiling a pamphlet with coupons to local destinations, a helpful welcome book with suggestions on how to take advantage of all that your area has to offer, or simply a handwritten welcome note to greet them.
The following guests arrived at their rental to find personal and customized greetings, and the small act of kindness went a long way:
“A welcome packet had all the house instructions and local recommendations. The house was great. Everything was well organized and the owners were very accommodating.”
“Thanks for the personal phone call to welcome us. The beds slept great and the linens were super cozy.”
“This home was very inviting and absolutely perfect for us. When we came into the home there was a scrabble board set up with an adorable welcome.“
Go the Extra Mile
Something as simple as a personalized note or a bottle of wine are perfect ways to gift your guests, but there are some homeowners who find joy in going above and beyond to treat the people they host.
These hosts provide guests everything they need to enjoy their trip with a fully stocked kitchen, a selection of drinks to enjoy, and hand-delivered local treats – creating a genuine feeling of staying at a home-away-from-home
And their guests really appreciate arriving at a fully-stocked home that is replete with special touches to make their stay even more enjoyable:
“The owners did a tremendous job making us feel welcome. There were complimentary snacks and beverages for us to enjoy and they also provided breakfast food. Each morning a homemade pastry was delivered and left inside the door. The homemade cinnamon rolls are absolutely DELICIOUS! Our family lives in the area and we will be back!”
“The owners made it extra special by leaving two bottles of wine, a selection of craft and domestic beer, and essential cooking ingredients. If we come to Gilbert AZ again this will be our first choice.”
Guests don’t expect gifts when they book your vacation rental, which is why starting their trips off with a prudent surprise goes such a long way. When you get gifts for guests, it doesn’t just prompt great reviews – it also enhances their experience at your rental. Whether you decide to go big and supply baked goods and local produce, or think small (but significant) and supply a handwritten welcome, your guests will most definitely be grateful for you and your rental.
Want more great tips on how to be a successful vacation rental owner? Download our Success Guide below! Looking for even more information on how to fill your calendar? Evolve is transforming vacation rental management by offering lower fees, more flexibility, and better results than traditional property managers. Click here to learn more and request your free consultation.