Do you put flowers in guest room, or chocolates on their pillow? Pros and cons of gifts to guests

Level 10
California, United States

Do you put flowers in guest room, or chocolates on their pillow? Pros and cons of gifts to guests

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I was wondering whether you give any type of "gift" to your guests, such as putting fresh cut flowers in their room, setting chocolates on their pillow, leaving a bottle of nice wine for them in the kitchen.  


I have read about some hosts doing things like this, but I am also concerned about the possibility of leading guests to expect to get presents.  


For instance, if I put flowers in one guests' room, and they write about that in their review, then if another guest reads that a previous guest got flowers, and they don't get flowers, they may feel slighted, or rate me down because they didn't get "full service."    


Do others have views on or experience with giving "presents" to guests?  

1 Best Answer
Level 10
Mintraching, Germany

I took part in the discussion @Till-and-Jutta0 mentioned. And my concerns where the same as @Deborah0's: Would this arise expecations in general on Airbnb (I don't want to be pressured) and for the following guests if mentionend in a review?


We do the chocolate-pillow-thing since starting hosting. The fresh fruits turned into old fruits so we stopped this. We have orchids and some plants which don't need much water in the apartments so no fresh flowers needed. Coffee powder and tea bags belong to our basic equipment. After the discussion in the german-swiss-austrian-group we started a little "service" station in the staircase with a candy glass and a basket with samples from shampoo, conditioner, soap, perfume and so on.

A while after the discussion I stumbled over a nice little regional present (bavarian snack napkins made of cotton) and now our guests get them as a parting gift and seem to like it. And I don't feel like corrupting the guests for a goor review. It's just a little gift.


But I also think that it is a question of the price of an accomodation. If you have "five star"-accomodation with "five star"-price maybe it should be more a standard than in a normal accomodation. If you offer a normal nice accomodation it should be something little, nice and individual.

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42 Replies 42
Host Advisory Board Alumni
Stuttgart, Germany

In our German peer group we had a long thread about this subject (

Summarized: We (Till & Jutta) provide in the private guest room as "Welcome" a bottle of mineral water plus a small bottle of local wine, plus a thermos flask with hot water and instant coffee and tea bags, plus small samples of a famour local chocolate manufacturer.

Others have a basket with cosmetics or with fresh fruit, fresh flowers, ...There seems to be a difference between hosts with a private room and hosts with an entire apartment.

While others think that it's more important to provide a perfect clean room with new equipment, rather than to tranquilize the guests with useless gimmicks, which have to been thrown away later anyway, as the guests don't use them.

The purpose is that the guests feel welcomed and comfortable, all are happy - and the host gets a good review!

Level 3
New York, United States

upon departure i leave a thank you note and granola bars (Kind Bars brand, for the name) for my guests.  it is just a little acknowledgment.  sometimes it is mentioned in the review but usually not.  unless my guests announce in advance that they are coming for special ocassion or if it is a major holiday in US, i don't go out of my way to get them anything.  but of course as a guest i love to receive unexpected little something.  

Level 10
Quimper, France

I hand out candy to everyone: neighbors kids, old men on the bar and guests. Sometimes the parrot flies up and exchanges one candy against a peanut - he prefers Nougat de Montelimar over peanuts. 😉

Level 10
California, United States

That's funny, Helga:  you give a gift to the guest, and then the parrot steals it away again, leaving a peanut in its place!  Well, at least he has the manners to leave something in exchange -- though I suppose the guest will wonder about a peanut sitting on their pillow and might rate you down for lack of cleanliness, thinking you spilled your snacks while making the room!  

I used to do the chocolates on pillows thing. Then I realized not everyone likes milk chocolate or dark chocolate or this or that?


So I now have a nice little candy bowl in a cupboard with little high-end chocolates an tiny candies that guests can take what they like if they like.


Level 10
Los Angeles, CA

Over the years I've been hosting I have tried it all. Currently, I leave a Welcome Note with either a good quality American chocolate or Werther's Caramels. I also have a welcome basket with instant oatmeal, power bar, nuts, cookies and microwave popcorn to hold them over in case they had a long flight and are not up to shopping immediately, and the frig has a couple bottles of water, a juice, and a bottled tea or designer soda in the small cans.


If I have a guest with a child then I do leave some Dollar Store fun based on the child's age. Adults, the food is enough. I used to leave fresh fruit, but so often I found it left untouched and it seemed wasteful. Now, pre-packaged so you just need to be mindful of the experation dates.

Level 9
Mendocino, CA

We leave fresh cut flowers from the garden and a bottle of local wine as welcoming gifts to our guests. Our region is known for fantastic wines and our reviews are full of appreciation for the bottle. I've heard other hosts decide not to offer wine due to potential problems that might arise. I'd love to hear any of these cautionary tales. We did switch from red to white wine after a bottle was spilled and ruined some expensive bedding.

We do some things to make our guests stay special and they all seem to appreciate it but we do not leave alcohol due to liability issues.  The insurance company said NO!


Level 10
Sydney, Australia

Our apartments are in a 24 hour suburb with everything close by, so I did not have to leave any essentials. I used to leave a bowl of mandarins and a bottle of premium mineral water for arriving guests. It was never acknowledged in person or a review, so I stopped. I now leave a bottle of red wine and toiletries. This does sometimes receive a thanks or a mention in reviews, but no good deed goes unpunished. I was often woken by texts/calls around midnight from guests asking "is the wine free". My reply was the wine was free but waking me cost $75. I now make it clear that it is complimentary.

Level 1
London, United Kingdom

I put bottled water, ground coffee and a cafetier, chocs and special biscuits.

Oops, I am replying to myself.  We also provide all bathroom items.....Shampoo/conditioner/handwash and soap and body lotion. x

Perhaps we are a bit on the "heavy givers" side of this discussion, but our reviews have been spectacular. The reviews are for the entire stay, so leaving something, does in my case, not necessitate special recognition in a review. 


From a private welcome note, to a bottle of sparkling water and six sodas and local pre-packaged cookies, to a full line of bathroom amenities (soaps 3.0oz and hand soap 2.0oz, hotel size shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and softener, as well as make up removal pads (save my towels...) and Q-Tips ($1.00 at the dollar store). In the Kitchen I have coffee and decaf, to be made (hot) chocolate packets as well as Quaker Oats (varieties). Of course for the cooking there is an assortment of spices. 

In the Bedroom if it is known to be an anniversary or birthday we have a bottle of Champagne upon arrival with a personalized card congratulating the person/couple etc. 


I used to provide individually wrapped slippers, but the cost become prohibitive, so I only occassionaly (arbitrary) hand them out. 


These are ALL items that do not go bad if not used, but go a huge way to foster a "home away from home" feeling. We do get tons of returning guest. Perhaps it has do so do with some of the amenities we provide. 




I used to give little gifts (Irish ceramics) but they were never acknowledged in a review so now I don't.



Re food and toiletries I dont consider that gifts. I leave it out for use. 

If someone stays with me a week or often cook them dinner  or make them a cooked Irish breakfst. I often have a drink with guests (a glass or two of wine normally). I only take one guest per room so dont leave a bottle in the room. I leave a fruit bowl out. They rarely eat anything except the bananas. I used to leave out chocolare it didnt really get eaten, similarly pastries but I provide tea and coffee. People often make a cup of tea.

If people are moving into an apartment I often give them a small gift for their new home or I give them things to help them get started like old sheets and towels. . Again this has never been acknowledged. 


I wouldnt leave things like crisps, peanuts and popcorn in the rooms because of the mess I have had to clean up as a result of guests eating them in the room

 People sometimes bring me gifts from their region particularly Italians and Germans. I am grateful for the thought. I have got presents ranging from coffee and a coffee maker(Italy I think they wanted to be sure they got good coffee in the morning)  to gingerbread (Germany), wine and sekt and honey (Germany) , soap, pictures, garden gnomes, wind chimes(Germany) cloths from the region (Italians) to face cream(italians who hand made it). French and German guys often buy me a bottle of wine while here. 

Level 4
Norwich, United Kingdom

I have fresh flowers in the room all the time (I buy ones for £2 which lady around 14 days). Quite a few have mentioned them. Other than that I don't really give gifts, just provide full size toiletries for them to use (but not take) and a selection of stuff for breakfast. I keep my bread in the freezer now so none of it is perishable (as I eat and buy milk and eggs anyway). The most popular thing has been the cheap toothbrushes as guests often seem to forget theirs! 


I pi did have some guests arriving at 4am once (using keysafe) so I left them a bottle of water and flapjack each 


sorry about our all the typos I have noticed. I find airbnb extremely annoying on my iPad as I can't click on a particular word to correct it, the edit line randomly goes all over the place! It is only airbnb it does this on!