Offering a guest welcome basket gets the holiday off to a very good start. Some owners plan for guests to leave with their gifts, a reminder of their wonderful holiday once they are home. Other owners offer gifts to be used while guests are staying in the property.
Here are a few suggestions, and a few practical tips to inspire you.
Can the contents of the guest welcome basket be prepared or delivered easily?
Whatever you choose, decide if the gift will be organised in advance, managed week in week out.
Fresh produce can be paid for in advance, then collected and presented by managers.
Products with longer shelf lives can be purchased in advance if storage and presentation is not an issue.
Many local delicatessens or specialist food shops make up beautifully presented baskets of local cheese, honey, jam, wine, apple juice etc from 30€ upwards.
How and when will the guest welcome basket be presented?
Take a photo of the Welcome basket in situ and send it to your manager, to use as a model.
Some owners leave bathroom products to last throughout the holiday. Others focus on the kitchen and offer starter packs of tea, coffee, sugar, olive oil, vinegar etc along with cleaning products, bin liners, laundry products etc.
Guests appreciate not having to spend money buying basic products they need, but will not be able to take home with them such as clothes wash, bin liners etc. This level of attention to detail really pays dividends.
Can you provide different gifts at different times of year?
YES! Many owners offer traditional cultural or local specialities such as the Bouche de Noel, Gallettes des Roi, Papilottes, Chocolate fish and bells at Easter time, etc. The Welcome basket is a lovely way to share local customs and traditions.
Should you provide different gifts for different groups?
You may want to tailor gifts accordingly or find a gift that can work for all. A group of male cyclists midsummer usually has a different agenda to a multi generational family arriving for February half term ski lessons.
Remember that if you’re leaving products such as wine for the adults, don’t forget to also include something like a tart or some nice juice for the kids.
How much do guest welcome baskets cost?
The budget is up to the individual owners but the appreciation of the guests normally offsets the cost.
Guests like that they are being considered in advance of arrival. Managers enjoy presenting the basket too.
(As a rule of thumb a reblochon, a saucisson, some bread and a bottle of fresh fruit juice normally costs around 20€. Fruit tarts normally cost between 12 and 22 € depending on the number of portions and the boulangerie).
What about loyal repeat guests?
Repeat guests already know exactly what to expect from the property, and they have already enjoyed the local area enough to want to come back! They are normally “easy” guests in that sense. Show your appreciation for their loyalty!
Think outside the box, use your and your manager’s local knowledge and contacts to organise activities and events for repeat guests – share guilty pleasures or secret corners you enjoy with your own family and friends. Make the welcome special and enhance their holiday experience even more!
Instead of offering another superb local cheese, offer a tour of the farm where the cheese is produced, as well as the cheese.
Offer a visit to a brewery rather than gifting a bottle. A craft workshop, entry to an Ice Hockey game, a day-long donkey trek – the opportunities are endless!
If there is an unusual local event taking place, why not offer tickets?
We highly recommend a company called Activ’Annecy to owners in the Aravis region- Sarah will happily recommend activities to suit every interest, age level and budget and make an attractive package for your guests.
But, wherever you’re based, it’s good to build strong relationships with local activity providers who can provide a truly memorable experience.
Some popular suggestions for a welcome basket…
- Branded keyrings, pens, shopping bags or umbrellas with the name and images of the property
- A basket of local seasonal products or fresh fruit and vegetables
- Locally made pottery/ deco or craft items
- The recipe for and the makings of “vin chaud” (hot wine)
- A sampler of local organic beers, Poire William or Genepi
- A vase of wildflowers, or a bouquet of flowers from the local florists
- Local honey/ locally made jams and bread
- Speciality macarons or chocolates from one of the many local master chocolate makers/ boulangeries
- A bottle of local wine
- Local cheese and some bread
- A fruit tart and organic fruit juice for kids
- A bottle of Champagne, chocolates and flowers if you know one of the group will celebrate a big birthday or special event while on holiday. Or even order a bespoke celebration cake!
- A local charcuterie platter/ cheese board to serve at apero time
- Basic kitchen survival kit: olive oil, balsamic, tea, coffee, sugar, salt and pepper
- Bathroom products
- Slippers to take home at the end of the stay
Does sharing information count as a gift?
One of the best gifts we received personally, was when the owner of the property we rented arrived with cake and a map of the area. She then spent 40 minutes with us writing names of recommended restaurants, beaches she thought we might like, day trips, things to see and do on the map.
We really appreciated the time she spent with us, and some of the suggestions were fabulous. It was amazing, and a great start to our holiday!
Important! We don’t insist that our owners provide guest welcome baskets. Many do, but at the end of the day, they are provided at the discretion of the property owner.
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