Suggestions please for the best welcome basket items as a post-construction peace offering

I’m looking for the most appreciated welcome gift/basket ideas for guests. We have guests staying in our cottage starting one day after water damage is fixed. Budget $20-$30.

For sure the cottage will smell of fresh paint and it may have construction dust still floating in the air. There may be one missing accent light. These folks are staying for a week and will get maid service mid-week as usual.

I studied the other thread about welcome baskets but my question is a bit different. (I did note the fresh squeezed orange juice idea though!)

I want to know what items you find impresses or pleases your guests the most. My plan is to leave an extra nice welcome with a note acknowledging the obvious.
I provide store bought croissants, snacks, coffee/tea and soft drinks normally.

Do guests drink wine when you leave wine? We have a locally made sparkling wine that is nationally famous.

For those wondering, I have decided not to cancel these guests but if they want to leave I will give them a full refund for unused nights.

I do think the place will be fine except for the paint smell.

I wonder if an ozone generator would get rid of that paint smell.

On the welcome basket, would it make sense to ask the guest? For example, you might say something like

As you know the cottage has just been painted after recent water damage. We’re doing all we can to lessen any paint smell. If it becomes too much for you we will of course refund any unused nights.

Though we always provide a basket of store-bought croissants, coffee/tea and soft drinks, we’d like to put something a little extra special for you in your welcome basket. We’d love to surprise you but we don’t want to give you something that you wouldn’t like.

So could you give us a little input please?

  • We have a locally made sparkling wine that is nationally famous. Interested?
  • Is gluten-free a preference?
  • Do you like fresh-squeezed orange juice?
  • Are there certain breakfast breads, foods or fruits that you like/don’t like?
  • Do you have a favorite type of chocolate?
  • A favorite coffee or tea?

Maybe we can surprise you yet, and in a good way!


About 50% of the time. But I also leave San Pelligrino water (two of the larger size) and a decent quality orange juice in the fridge so that teetotal guests have something to drink on their first evening.

I pondered for a long time whether to leave the guests red wine or white. I suspect that more people drink white (I’ve never looked it up) but I decided on red because I prefer it.


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I’m surprised at this comment. Paints these days have very low VOC levels, and ‘smell’ usually dissipates in a few hours max. What brand did you use?


If I arrived at a place to find it smelled of fresh paint with construction dust floating around, I would be pissed that I hadn’t been warned and offered the chance to cancel with a full refund, and no welcome basket would soften that.

But good luck with having the guests not mind.

A bottle of the locally made sparkling wine would be very nice. Even if they don’t drink it, they’ll take it and perhaps re-gift it. I always leave a bottle of wine and many times I don’t see it in the recycle bin so I assume many take it home, which is okay.

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I’ve never looked it up either, and personally don’t like white at all. Anecdotally, just from knowing the preferences of family and friends, white seems to be more popular with people in hot season, as it is served chilled, and also preferred more by females.

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I always leave red because it goes better with chocolate : ) I include chocolate in the welcome basket.


If a host left red wine and chocolate when I’m a guest, that’s a guaranteed great review. :slight_smile:


@HostAirbnbVRBO This is a great idea and list, thank you!

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Back when I traveled for work, I checked into a fine hotel in New Orleans and was greeted with flowers, chocolate and champagne in a bucket. I was quite surprised by all this until I realized there was construction on my floor a few rooms down the hall. Well the gifts worked for me :slight_smile:

To tell guests in advance or not to tell in advance, that is the question.

I’ve decided to send them a short message of warning today and then if they want to cancel in advance, they can. I will tell them I will gift them a welcome basket too.

We use Benjamin Moore paint which is low VOC but I can smell the paint for a few days.

OK so I’m definitely doing local chocolate, red wine, flowers and fresh squeezed OJ in the fridge.

Thanks everyone!


we do rosé or bubbles.

  1. i am not a fan of rosé so I’ll never be tempted to pilfer a bottle!
  2. a lot of people who aren’t really into wine will drink rosé (or pinot for red). It’s kind of a bland, non offensive wine whereas savvy or chardy tends to be either Team S or Team C.
  3. even if you don’t like bubbles you can take the bottle and re-gift, there’s so many occasions where a bottle of bubbles is welcome.

I’ve never understood this notion, and have tested it out a lot over the years, I don’t really see how sweet/bitter pairs well with red wine. I’m aware it’s “a thing” but for me it’s just a big flop, and yes I’m aware of pairing raspberry and dark chocolate so there’s some similarities there, but it’s in the context of a broader dessert with other flavours. you know what goes well with wine: cheese. every time, tested thoroughly :smiley:

I would still tell the guests prior to their arrival, and leave a tag on the wine or basket with “thanks for your understanding”.


For inconvenience we are big on gift cards to local restaurants. It will give them a respite from the paint smell. We’ve used that for AC repair or pool repair to get them a reason to be out of the house.


This is a great idea I hadn’t thought of (we don’t eat out much).

Guests wrote back and told me they’ve painted plenty of rooms themselves, they don’t mind a freshly painted space!

I’m glad I warned the guests though.