Updated March 2023
One way to make your guests feel special is by leaving a welcome gift for them. It doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive, but it will certainly make your guests feel welcome and create a great first impression. A small investment can lead to return visits, excellent reviews, and friends telling friends about your hospitality!
A handwritten note welcoming your guests into your home is a nice personal touch. We have partnered with local artist Gail O’Leary, who has custom-created for us some beautiful note cards reproduced from her original works of art: Greeting Cards by Gail
Some ideas for welcome gifts
Sweet treats – Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth? With a multitude of bakeries and candy shops on the Cape and Islands, you are bound to find various sweet items that will certainly please your guests. Sure bets are the Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans, Chequessett Chocolate in Truro, Little Miss Cupcape in Hyannis, Murdick’s Fudge on the Vineyard, and Aunt Leah’s Fudge on Nantucket.
Snacks, snacks, snacks – Vacationers will appreciate snack food that they can eat at home or take to the beach. So, fill a basket, tote, or pail with chips, pretzels, nuts, popcorn, bottled water, or juice.
Farmers Markets – If you are local, choose a few items from a local farmers market. Who wouldn’t love to be welcomed with fresh fruit, flowers, local honey, jams or jellies?
Breakfast items – Coffee, pastries, hot chocolate, and assorted teas are popular welcome gifts. Visit our friends at Nantucket Coffee Roasters, Cape Cod Coffee, Nirvana Coffee Company, or Snowy Owl.
Wine and Cheese – Choose a nice bottle of wine, and include some cheese and crackers to go with it. Not sure what wine goes with what cheese? Any number of markets can help you create a nice pairing. For local wine, try Truro Vineyards, Cape Cod Winery in Falmouth, or First Crush in Harwich.
Non-food items – Sunscreen, coupons, or gift cards to local shops or restaurants, a local guide book, or perhaps a copy of the most recent local magazine or newspaper are always a nice touch.
Don’t forget Fido and kids
Should your vacation rental home accept pets, be sure to include some dog biscuits or a dog toy from your local pet store. For young guests, be sure to include some bubbles, puzzles, crayons and paper, or perhaps a few sand toys.
The presentation of your welcome gift can range from simple to elaborate. You could put all the items in a basket, tote, or beach pail. Or, simply arrange the gifts neatly on the kitchen counter, dining table or in the entryway, wherever your guests will be most likely to see them upon their arrival. And don’t forget the handwritten welcome note!
If you don’t live near your rental home and are unable to be present during turnovers, you will have to rely on your cleaners or property manager to leave the gift and note for the incoming guests.
I store my gifts in a locked cabinet in the basement. The gifts are lined up in order, along with a note card with the name of the guests and their arrival date on the envelope (so there will be no mix-ups). This process has worked well for us for 26 summers! Of course, if you are leaving gifts for the entire season, you’ll have to select something non-perishable.
Whatever you choose to welcome your guests with, it will most certainly be appreciated and make a positive and lasting impression.
Read our other related blog posts:
- When Welcoming Your Vacation Rental Tenants, Go Above and Beyond
- Those Special Touches
- Are vacationers your tenants or your guests?