Offering a 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 in staying in the property.
Here are a few suggestions, and a few practical tips to inspire you.
Can the contents of the 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 a beautifully presented baskets of local cheese, honey, jam, wine, apple juice etc from 30€ upwards. Your local manager will probably be able to suggest some solutions.
How and when will the welcome basket to your guest 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, clothes wash product 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.
Do you suggest 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. What could be lovelier than tickets for a boat trip around Lake Annecy in the summertime? The Welcome basket is a lovely way to share local customs and traditions.
Do you advise 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.
How much do Welcome gifts 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 managers 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 a bottle. A craft workshop, entry to an Ice Hockey game, a day long donkey trek, etc etc. If there is an usual local event taking place offer tickets.
We highly recommend a company called Activ’Annecy – Sarah will happily recommend activities to suit every interest, age level and budget and make an attractive package for your guests. For an example of activities on offer and prices please visit our Activ’ Annecy page.
Some popular suggestions for a welcome basket…
- A bottle of local wine
- A reblochon cheese and some bread
- A fruit tart and organic fruit juice so that the kids can have a gouter on arrival
- 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
- A local charcuterie plancha/ cheese board to serve at apero time
- Order a bespoke celebration cake
- 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
- Branded keyrings, pens, shopping bags, umbrellas etc 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
- A homemade cake
- 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
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 etc on the map. We really appreciated the time she spent with us, and some of the suggestions were fabulous. It was amazing, a great start to our holiday!
Important! We don’t insist that our owners provide Welcome Baskets, many do, but at the end of the day they are provided at the discretion of the property owner.