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I have been debating whether routinely to put out a bottle of wine or maybe pre-mixed mai tais, but have hesitated since alcohol seems to be one of those things that a minority might respond negatively to. While I expect anyone should be able to make their own decision whether to enjoy or ignore it, perhaps an alcoholic would find it an unwelcome distraction at best. I'd like to know other owners' thoughts.
Sage, I thought of that as well. Out of the 39 sets of people who stayed last year 4 couples did not believe in drinking. Yet in each case the bottle went missing....I guess with someone they knew or down the drain! Unfortunately I have a family member that is an alcoholic and visits the place a few times a year as well. We hid it the first time but was asked not to do it again as it wasn't real life to this person.
Thank goodness for the internet. I often leave wine as a welcome gift. As I was researching a new tenant, I found her on the internet. She is a recovered alchohlic who teaches yoga as a method to help with abstaining. Major blunder averted.
I used to leave candy, usually local taffy. With the obesity epidemic, I stopped that.
I try hard to learn something of interest about the tenant that I can use to buy an appropriate gift. When all else fails, I get a picture frame with Rehoboth Beach written on it.
It's amazing to me how appreciate my tenants are of the gifts I buy, all priced at $15. or less.
Yes, I've wondered myself whether leaving a bottle of wine could be problematic for some renters. As my property is in Maine, I leave a jar of Maine wild blueberry preserves made by a local company along with a personalized welcome note. I realize that not everyone may like or eat blueberry preserves, but it is not an expensive item and is iconic Maine. If the jar gets thrown out unopened, it's not a big deal. For repeat guests or to compensate a guest for some inconvenience, I give them a gift certificate to a local shop that sells wine, chocolates, and cheese. I decided that I would let them select their own gift!
We have a local store that sells wine, liquor, gourmet foods, etc. I provide our guests with a membership card, along with a note that explains they'll receive a discount ( up to 20%) if they use the card and pay cash. I've gotten many thank yous, AND they always leave the card for our next guests.
We're too far from our VR to provide fresh treats for each guest, but I do like the idea of the handmade soaps. I bet I can find a local artisan who'd provide some ( for a fee, of course) if I include their business card, etc.
When talking with my guests I always ask if there is a special occasion ( birthday, anniversary, etc.) If there is, I have a local florist - a long time pesonal friend- deliver a small floral gift a few hours before our guests arrive, with a note from me. It's waiting for them when they come into the entry hall. THAT"s been a huge hit!
the majority of our guests arrive late at night. I always leave a box of macadamia nut chocolates for them (can be bought at Costco for about $2.50/box) that have gone over really well - even if people don't like chocolates, it's nice to have something edible around after a long trip...
I recently found a coffee grower on Molokai (part of Maui county) that sells their beans in small wedding favor sized packs. I just bought 30 of them, I think they're 2 oz packages. We have coffee grinders in our condos, so I have started leaving them also. A nice treat for the first morning coffee, or they can take it home for someone else to enjoy.
I have done the wine thing also (Maui's pineapple wine, anyone?), but do worry about tempting someone who shouldn't.
One guest once asked if I could arrange for a birthday cake on arrival (it was the husband's birthday - but he had a severe nut allergy). I ended up having a nice bouquet of orchids instead, I certainly didn't want to be responsible for an allergic reaction...
We are pet friendly and purchase dog beds for our renters (or at least for their dogs). Discount stores (like Big Lots) sell them for about $12 and they're pretty nice. We even leave a note on the dog bed with the names of the dogs! Doing this helps me too since I get to create an image in my head of the dirty sandy dogs laying on their new bed instead of on my couch!
Usually leave a bottle of wine, couple bottles of water, and couple of non alcoholic drinks in the fridge and maybe some candies on the table and box of cocoa packets next to the microwave. Sometimes they get used, but not always. As for the alcoholic, I hope that if a problem something is said and I'd remove the wine and if said prior to arrival try to have a suitable substitute like a container of local fruit juice. We just had a new neighbor move in that brought a professional coffee roaster with them. I'm hoping for some sort of arrangement using neighborhood coffee once they get settled.
In addition to supplying the essentials (water, coffee etc.) it can be a good idea to supply an item that is unique to your area, whether that is type of cake or sweet. Monitor what is used as you could be wasting budget on items that aren't appreciated (alcohol).
Your soaps are extremely attractive and fun! All the VRs in our area used to leave a bottle of local rum and a six-pack of Coke for guests - the parents could have a rum and coke and the kids could have a soda. However, with changing tastes and some of the issues named above, it was decided not to continue that. Now we have a gift of an inexpensive house-personalized grocery sack and a small soft cooler which holds 4 cans of soda for the beach. People seem to like and use these.
Thank you for your compliment on the soaps. They are really easy and fun to make. Something my wife and I can do together.
We offer cold bottled water, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and microwave popcorn. We always have a 6 pack of beer, usually Corona or Heinken, a quart of orange juice, 4 cans of V-8, along with two mason jars of raspberry zinger, and tangerine orange sun tea, and a small watermelon. The guests all mentioned this on their reviews, happy to see the treats we left for them. Many didn't touch some of the items yet thoughtfully included listing them in their reviews. I love the homemade soaps and leaving chocolate for our guests. I plan to switch things up and try different things. One thing we now do, after a guest leaves, we do take a peek to see if there was a certain wine or beer, drink of food they brought with them and note it on their account for the next time they might stay with us. This is our first season, renting our guest cottage and it has been fun and successful!
A very nice welcome amenity! It looks great and thoughtfully composed. They must love it.
This is so cool! Thank you for all the great ideas. We do supply coffee and I have found it funny that people seem to not realize that and buy their own instead. I think I might personalize it and leave it out with a note or something.
Really like the idea of getting travel size sunscreen. We are on the lake and our guests will spend most of their time outside, and I know how often I forget my sunscreen on trips!
This is our first full year so we haven't experienced holiday renting yet. I am planning to fix up a nice welcome gift for anyone renting during Thanksgiving or other holidays - most likely something gourmet like jams, cocoa, etc.
I also like the idea of leaving nuts - we personally love nuts - but you mentioned nut allergies..so possibly not. Since this is Texas - maybe some good ol' fashioned homemade salsa?
I just opened my lakefront apartment for short term renting this past summer. I print coffee mugs with the nautical chart of the lake with my logo for the guests to take home. That way, they have a little reminder of their vacation with an interesting graphic to look at. For returning guests, I'm considering coozies.
How much would these cost?
Check out Vistaprint. Their customer service can be really poor, but usually their products are good quality at the best price one is likely to find. Discounts are readily available on Vistaprint products, and it appears you may be able to get printed mugs for as little as $5 each if buying a lot of 100. Check the online coupons at http://www.retailmenot.com/view/vistaprint.com
VistaPrint.com is a good online site to order customized items with your name & logo.
Also...don't forget Cafe Press at www.CafePress.com for customization.
Love this mug! Where did you source it? A terrific idea!
Great idea, thank you. I just ordered a bunch of mugs on www.discountmugs.com. I bought 144 of them at $2 a piece so I hope that is a good price and I also hope more importantly that the quality is really good. I will follow up when I receive them with a report.
Looks great! Thanks for sharing...like the fact that you placed your property # on the mug. Thanks again for sharing!
Thanks for sharing, Doug. Please let us know what you think of the quality when you get them.
We have only one short season under our belt, but are going into our second full season and are just finishing up our second vacation home. Last year we left a bottle of wine, 2 bottles of water, 2 sodas, 2 Heineken, quart of orange juice, coffees, teas, biscotti and popcorn. We also have robes. I would like to give them something this year for them to take home reminding them of their stay. I like the cup idea.
Just ordered some small sand dollar soap molds on line ( our cottage's name is the Sand Dollar Cottage). They were very inexpensive, and I can either make magnets, using polymer, or make small soaps to give to our guests as "thank you" mementoes. Thanks for the great idea!!
We also leave a bottle of wine, but many of our guests have children, so the milk and OJ are probably the most appreciated, particularliy because most of our guests come straight from the airport, and somethings at odd hours and off long flights.
I read of many owners leaving wine. Is there a legal risk to be considered here? What if your renters are underdage, drink the wine, and get into an accident? Will you be sued?
We don't rent to underage. Children MUST be accompanied by responsible adult. We do hope that parents we rent to are responsible parents.
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You are absolutely correct, there are legal ramifications.
BUT, how many people rent to underage young adults? Our minimum age to rent is 25 just like the car companies.
Interesting. How do you verify age? It would seem intrusive to ask guests
for proof of age.
We always ask for copy of drivers license. We use the address on the license to return the security deposit also.
SML, I paid $2 a piece for 144 cups done on both sides from discountmugs.com. I did have to pay a $50 set up fee and $100 shipping. I notice Zazzle prices would be $12.95 per cup comparing apples to apples. I do not know what Zazzle set up or shipping is so maybe that is where the difference catches up!?
They both look great, guys. I'll have to look into this myself.
Hi Doug....There is NO setup fee and shipping is free. The more you order the more the price per piece comes down. Comes down to about $8 a mug to your door. The quality is a lot better in terms of the actual cup and graphics than discountmugs which I used before on some other business stuff and there really is no comparison. But then again it is over double the cost so it should be.
we purchased cases of water and printed our own labels which we adhered to the water bottles. We left two bottles of water in each bedroom as well as 6 bottles in the fridge all with labels saying:
compliments of Hampton House Properties
with our logo, phone # and website address.
We send out personalized beach theme Christmas Ornaments.....This year is a resin sand dollar with "Myrtle Beach Memories 2012" embossed on it. They seem to love them and it also reminds them to call and book for the coming season!
That is a great idea. What is the cost associated with those?
I think they were about 2.25 each which I thought was awesome with the personalization. I got them through a wedding favor online store! People seem to appreciate you remembering them during the holidays and they really like getting a beachy item in the middle of winter!
They sound fantastic. Would you mind taking a pic and showing so we can get some ideas?
Would be glad too once they arrive! Should be later this week!
Thank you Sheila, cant wait to see them.