Welcome gift? Or not?

I am very new, this year I offered marshmallows and hot chocolate as a welcome gift. We were allowed to have fires all summer because we live in the fog zone, we have a small fire pit outside and provide kindling and wood. Most people didn’t eat them, some cooked them over the propane stove inside and I have 10 bags opened. I have had wine, chocolate and fruit offered as suggestions.
Thanks for any imput. Michelle

I stopped providing snacks that spoil. I also stopped making homemade muffins. I look for individually packaged items. I now offer coffee, tea, hot cocoa, granola bars, oatmeal, and oodles of noodles. I also switched from bottle water to a water pitcher with a filter.


A welcome gift is a really nice first impression, which never hurts for your overall rating. That STR makeover show “Stay Here” recommended spending about 10% of a single night’s rental fee on your welcome gift and I think that’s a good guideline.

I leave S’mores supplies and got around the multiple bags of marshmallows by putting them in an acrylic container with a good seal so they don’t get stale.

In my house rules I ask people to mention that they read them for a bottle of wine or chocolate.

I dislike food waste and prefer to have things I can stock ahead of time, so opt for small bags of chips, granola bars, and oatmeal packets over fruit.
A caveat with alcohol: some STR insurance will be invalidated by the host providing it.

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I used to leave small box of chocolates from our wonderful chocolatier in town but then I thought about it and realized it was money I was spending out of the rent they paid which seemed stupid and counter productive so I stopped. I already have a low rate and guests are getting a good deal.


I offer a small box of chocolates, a bag of coffee beans, and a small basket of fruit. The cost is less than 10% of the nightly rate.

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Thanks everyone for replying.

I have learned… do NOT give people anything that makes CRUMBS! Or is colored that stains.


Really good advice, thanks.

Yes I found out the hard way with some blueberry instant oatmeal.


I left out chocolates and then just ended up eating them while cleaning so stopped.


LOL!! Beyond my decision that I didn’t want to spend the money which felt to me like discounting my rate I found that you just never know what people will like or not or what kind of allergies they may have or alcohol issues. Best to let them take care of themselves and bring their own food rather than have something go to waste (note: I do provide coffee/tea/cocoa/creamer/sugar). And another thing - what if someone got sick from food I provided? I don’t even want to go there.

I can’t remember the last time I stayed at a hotel and had some sort of freebie left in the room. Sure they have snacks in the mini-bar but we all know what kind of crazy prices those have attached to them.

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There’s a local company here that manufactures huckleberry jams, syrups, and sauces. Since they are made locally, it gives that nice touch that seems to resonate with guests. Purchased in quantity, they range in price from $4 for a small jar of syrup, to $12 for a wooden gift box with syrup, jam, and chocolate. Broadly, I leave a gift depending on how much money the person is spending. $600 stay? Gift box. $300 stay? Jar of syrup.

Providing a welcome gift is always a great idea. The marshmallows and hot chocolate sound lovely! If you want to offer something else, local produce is good idea. Airbnb guests often want to get to know the area and would appreciate something made by the locals.


If I’m the host, I will give welcome gifts too. This is a very friendly gesture that the guest will surely appreciate. Maybe a simple delicacy in my place would be nice. This will also give them good impression and might encourage them to leave positive reviews.

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Ah… so it’s a bribe? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: