Gift and amenities options for my guests?

in
Cherry Log, GA
Level 10
2,317 Views

So let me say first, I'm not hosting with the thought that I'm going to get rich. I like the idea of having a bed and breakfast as I love to decorate and make a comfy experience for guests. My new set up will allow me to do a bit of hosting but not be a slave to the situation.  

I'm planning on providing small travel size shampoo, conditioner and body wash. As I've heard here, a gift with a local connection is a good thought as well, so I have been considering making my own soap from local offerings and leaving as a gift. I also thought small candles in a glass jar would be nice. Is a candle just a bad idea? This got me wondering if any hosts here ban things like candles being burned in their space? 

24 Replies

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

in
Brookline, MA
Level 10

This is a lovely idea!  I think giving some toiletries and particularly homemade soap would be great.  I know I would appreciate it.  I would not recommend a candle, although I'm sure your guests would like it.  For me, the risk of fire is too great.  Many fires start with candles.  A guest could light a candle and then leave, or go to sleep, and put him/herself, you and your preperty at great risk.  There a replenty of other nice, small gifts you could leave that are much safer.  I think a hand made soap is plenty, but other ideas could be local snacks.

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

in
Milwaukee, WI
Level 1

I make candles and would give to guest the night before they leave.  Not while staying.  Use as a parting Thank You gift.

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Annette76

 

Hi there - travel sized toiletriies are great, but they do add up and people will take them as they are for one-use. 

 

We have now found it better to have a good quality standard sized shampoo/shower gel and hand wash and just keep topping it up. That way it always looks like a brand new, unused item.

 

Candles...bad idea in my view...nice thought but it there is a fire then it could be serious. It's one of the reasons people usually don;t allow smoking in bedrooms either - people fall asleep and whoosh...

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

in
Brookline, MA
Level 10

I like your idea re: regular sized shampoo, etc.  The thought of those squillions of little plastic bottles in every hotel room everywhere is a bit of a bummer...good idea not to add to that!

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Annette76

it all depends of how much time you will have to play with home made soaps and what the price of your listing will be. We also had similar idea before we listed our places but then season started and we didn't have time and energy to even think about it 🙂 Btw, home made soaps are usually more oily/fat and leaves residue on sink and bathtub so think about cleaning too!

 

Travel sized shampoos etc... are not enviromental friendly and cost significally more than normal sized or family size bottles. We buy family size 1 L liquid soap and then put them in dispensers. Big bottles with shampoo and shower gel are also great because nobody will take them by mistake.

 

Candels are big NO NO

 

 

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

in
Cherry Log, GA
Level 10

Thanks so much, all! I will skip the candles, or possibly pack those up as a goodbye gift for certain guests. 

I'm now looking into making lotion bars as a gift instead. I can make them in little deodorant type tubes which the guests can take home, or use while out hiking or biking in the area. 

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

Level 2

Did you ever make the lotion bars in the deodorant tubes?  That’s a great idea! 

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

in
Cherry Log, GA
Level 10

I ended up making small bars and put them in tins I bought on amazon.  Guests loved them. I’m working on the scent to not have anything too strong or too feminine. I was making them for my son who is a climber and was buying something similar for his hands. He was paying around $12 for a little bar so I thought I could make something similar for much less. 

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

in
Charleston, SC
Level 10

@Annette76

I do offer small toiletries as an amenity. We get many guests who come by plane and don't or can't bring them because of airline restrictions. We have done this from the beginning. Experience tells us 270+ completed guest trips later, I can say without a doubt, people don't "just take them" with them. I often only replace 1 or 2 items back to the tray when flipping the spaces after guest departure.

As far as the enviro issues, we have recycling in our area and have a separate bin in each of our 2 spaces dedicated for recyclables and encourage guests to use them. The bar soap that is left over, goes into an old panty hose leg we have hanging at our planting/potting area sink out back-- so no waste.
The package I put out looks like this-- shampoo, mouthwash, shower gel and makeup remover pads. The later gets used most often and has saved my pillow cases and wash cloths from having to be constantly replaced.
I also have a drawer in each of the 2 spaces I point out during the meet and greet-- I say,  "if you forgot it, it might be in here ". It contains feminine products, Individualy wrapped tooth brushes, small tooth paste, travel size contact solution and cases, indv wrapped razors, sun burn cream and bug bite gel (We live in the coastal, sub-tropical South, USA)  We receive gracious thanks from many a husband who hasn't had to leave in the middle of the night to find an open drug store. We have also never been cleaned out of the "extras" drawer and so many have been kind enough to replace what they used. ~~~If not, then that's alright too.

Yes, these items do cost a small amount per guest stay, however, what it has returned in written positive reviews has yeilded us more business than we can handle. When a review says something like "She has thought of everything, and we felt like we were staying with friends or family."  I'm confident it has brought more bookings. We mention in the description that we provide small amenities, which in the end may make a guest feel more at ease about choosing a host that at least appears to be paying attention to the details, especially those new to the ABNB experience. These amenities below can be purchased at Pineapple Hospitality. They carry many, many lines at various price points. They also carry the lines in large sizes with the branded product line dispensers if you want to go that route. Hope this helps! Happy hosting!

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Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 5

Hi 

I put a pitcher of water with red solo cups they have to red these are the one they see in movies. Young European travelers think I'll we only drink out of red solo cups . 

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

in
Cherry Log, GA
Level 10

My European cousins always want to get pictures of 2 things. Red solo cups and big yellow school buses! Something I never thought about being so iconically American. 

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Some places sell the red cups or "American style cups", as they're usually named here, in England @Annette76 . At a premium, of course. 

 

I think the other things I'd want a snap of in America would be:

- yellow cabs

- ginormous meals 

- corndogs (I have no idea what they are)

- massive tall buildings

 

Thanks

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Some places sell the red cups or "American style cups", as they're usually named here, in England @Annette76 . At a premium, of course. 

 

I think the other things I'd want a snap of in America would be:

- yellow cabs

- ginormous meals 

- corndogs (I have no idea what they are)

- massive tall buildings

 

Thanks

Re: Gift and amenities options for my guests?

in
Vancouver, Canada
Level 7

Hi there!

 

I'm lucky that in my neighbourhood I have a company that sells bulk soap products (any everything else you can imagine).  So I purchased three average size containers that I fill with unscented shampoo, conditioner and body wash.  When it gets low, I just take the bottles to the dispensary and they top them up.  I also have their card mixed in with the other travel size toiletries that I provide in a bucket on the sink counter.  It's a nice local touch and if they want to check out the store they know where it is located.

 

In my bucket (looks nicer than it sounds) I have travel size hand cream, toothpaste, toothbrush, shaving cream, razor ect.  In the bathroom drawer there is also cotton pads, qtips and makeup remover wipes.  Most of the time they don't get touched, but on occassion if a bag gets lost in transit it's nice that the guest doesn't have to run out to the store and add to their stress level.  Most of the items (other than the soap) I get from the dollar store.  Makes replacing cheap and easy when required.

 

I also second the no candles.  I used to have one in the bathroom but when I had a host mentor do a walk through she said to take it out.  I also have put it in my house rules as no open flames.  I really don't want my apartment/building to go up in flames one night.

 

In the bedroom I have a snack basket in case the guest gets hungry (or in one case is a student on a budget) and doesn't want to come into the kitchen in the middle of the night.  I have a couple chocolate bars, granola bars, packages of nuts and a pack of gum.  Along with that is a carafe of water and a glass.  Anything that would make the guest feel comfortable without it being too difficult on me to provide is my motto.  So far it's worked, my guests enjoy all the extras and are sometime surprised at the level I have gone to.

 

Hopefully that tidbit of information is helpful to you.

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