Gift of thanks for their hospitality

Oct 11th, 2005, 07:07 PM
Original Poster
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Gift of thanks for their hospitality

I will be visiting a family in their home in Vienna, Austria and I would like to give them a gift of thanks. Several of my friends have told me to give them flowers. I would like to hear from you what would be the best gift to give them for their hospitality.
wifist is offline  
Oct 11th, 2005, 07:25 PM
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I always like to give an 'experience' as a thank you gift - maybe a beautiful meal in a great restaurant, or maybe a local 'treat' (Spanish Riding School show?). Just a thought.
LakesideChick is offline  
Oct 11th, 2005, 07:33 PM
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Hello wifist, I have always taken hostess presents to Italy and consequently rack my brain trying to figure out what to take.

From now on it will be dinners in a wonderful restaurant. Europeans do seem to love that, but than who doesn't actually. Especially the lady of the house who normally has the "job" of figuring out the menu, shopping, cooking etc.

When you arrive, beautiful flowers or a flowering plant is a lovely idea, and something that European (or at least Italians) tend to do.

If there is something "special", small, easy to pack etc. from your hometown you could bring that as a little momento. But I wouldn't get in a panic over it as I have so often done. Best wishes, and enjoy your visit in Vienna.

LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 11th, 2005, 07:33 PM
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I like to give a gift that is made in my hometown, usually some sort of food item or a book.
massagediva is offline  
Oct 11th, 2005, 07:34 PM
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Something unique to the area where you reside that is easy to transport.


This type of question always puzzles me -- meaning: I regularly have a difficult time thinking-up decent gift ideas for loved ones --but when someone asks for the "best gift" idea for a total stranger, well, then I'm really, really at a loss.

Maybe it's just a man thing.
Nimrod is offline  
Oct 11th, 2005, 07:46 PM
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I find taking my friends and hosts to dinner in France is the best as they rarely dine out and expensive for them.
cigalechanta is online now  
Oct 11th, 2005, 07:49 PM
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Non-travel related, but my parents are ADAMANT that the only gifts they want for birthdays, Christmas, etc. are gift certificates to restaurants. They reminded me of this just tonight.

I agree with cig and others.

A token gift that you bring from "home" may be a good idea upon arrival and then the restaurant gift certificate (after learning what restaurant(s) they enjoy) upon departure.
starrsville is offline  
Oct 11th, 2005, 07:57 PM
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Hello Nimrod, I honestly do not think it is a man thing. It is really difficult to figure out what to bring to someone in Europe. Europe has so many beautiful items for sale. And of course so many items we can buy here in the US are also available in most of Europe.

Before my last trip I found myself roaming SF trying to find the proper gifts. I purchased a sterling letter opener for one friend that was the same pattern as my sterling flatware.

I purchased a beautiful Lenox type bowl (for flowers) that is the same pattern of my very old Lenox, only to get it home and discover that it was "Made in China". Who knew, LOL.

I cannot remember what the other presents were. But I do remember trying to get all the presents in my carryon, since luggage was not suppose to be locked. What a pain.

That is when I started thinking about how everytime I took friends to lunch or dinner everyone seemed so pleased and happy and appreciative. Buying tickets for a concert might be a nice idea if that is something the family would enjoy. And I always buy bottles of wine for my hosts, or flowers from the market place, or some wonderful chocolates (I love the way Europeans make their boxes of chocolates such a presentation). Anyway, it is not just you fellows that have a problem with hostess presents. Take care.

LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 11th, 2005, 08:02 PM
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Hello Starsville, I just saw your post and it made me jump as the woman who owns the beauty salon that I go to was commenting her father's birthday was coming up and again he announced "he didn't want any presents". That made her feel sad but she said she never knew what to get him anyway because at it age he had everything he needed.

I knew her parents love to go to dinner and consequently suggested restaurant gift certificates (she of course knows what restaurants her parents love). Several others sort of jumped into the conversation and agreed it was a wonderful idea. In fact a couple of young women in their 30's said nothing would please them more than if their parents gave them restaurant gift certificates.

I have no idea if restaurants in Europe issue gift certificates but it is sure something to keep in mind for loved ones here in the US.
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 11th, 2005, 09:51 PM
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all good ideas. personally i like a little momento from our home town to bring when visiting others far away - ie, if they celebrate Christmas, a small nice holiday ornament from your area will be an annual reminder of your visit; or if there is a small photo book of your area ; plus the flowers or chocolates or wine and on leaving, a dinner out for them. if restaurants don't do gift certificates, don't most take american express gift certificates? or take them with you on your last night! And LoveItaly, for your beauty parlor friend: As for those in my life who are older and say "no presents i don't need anything" I take them at their word (unless I can think of something they need; (like having my elderly aunts windows & gutters cleaned for her annually) and present them with the return letter that a donation has been made in their name to a worthwhile charity of my choice, - if they aren't happy with that, then the next time I ask they have the option of actually giving me suggestions.
escargot is offline  
Oct 11th, 2005, 10:57 PM
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Hello escargot, gutters or windows cleaned etc. What a nice idea. I have never thought of that. I would imagine that a lot of older people would really appreciate a gift along those lines. Good suggestion and something I will keep in mind. Thank you.
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 12th, 2005, 04:01 AM
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Do restaurant gift certificates have a currency value (100 euros, example) or just dinners for two? I would feel odd giving someone I didn't know that well a gift with a clearly stated money value.
Flowers are always nice to bring as a gift when you arrive. Avoid some lilies though, their scent can be very strong and some people don't like it.

I share the pain of trying to buy gifts for older parents. I would always ask my father what he wanted for his birthday and he would say "no bills." He didn't like to eat out that much. One year, I gave him a hot air balloon ride certificate, only to find out later that he was secretly afraid of heights! The DVD player was almost never used. The only real success was a Christmas gift in 1998 when we gave him a computer and a year's subscription to AOL. He wasn't too interested at first, but then developed a group of "chat buddies" on his favorite topics and quickly became addicted.
BTilke is offline  
Oct 12th, 2005, 02:43 PM
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Hello BTilke, I would never give someone I didn't know well a gift certificate to a restaurant either. But I would for a close family member.

For other than close family members the idea is to take them to a wonderful restaurant as your guest. Best wishes.
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 12th, 2005, 03:34 PM
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I have never met or had a conversation with this family in Vienna. I belong to a group and when we get to the conference in Vienna we sign up to participate in visiting a family. I'm not sure that I would feel right giving them a gift certificate or even inviting them out to eat with us. I just wanted to know if it was polite to give them flowers or was there something more personal I could give them.

Someone in our group designed a logo and I sent it to my vendor and had Photo Mega charms made. It has our state flag and Austria state flag together. If you would like to have a copy of what I am talking about just email me at [email protected]. Subject line: Gift of thanks

I thought this would be an item that they couldn't get in Vienna and it would be something that when they looked at it they might remember me.
wifist is offline  
Oct 12th, 2005, 04:05 PM
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Love the charm idea...something from near and far together all in one - a nice momento.
escargot is offline  
Oct 12th, 2005, 04:16 PM
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Hmmm... a poster registered today and already an offer to sell a charm?
FainaAgain is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 06:12 AM
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Hi wi,

>I just wanted to know if it was polite to give them flowers or was there something more personal I could give them. <

Flowers are always appropriate.

Personal gifts are not recommended when visiting strangers.

ira is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 06:56 AM
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When we met family in Norway for the first time, we brought with a quilt my mother had made. Perhaps you or your family have hobbies you could look at for possibilities??

Another time we brought with items that were related to our hometown and state. Canvas bags that had our hometown name embroidered on them. I hoped they would be good for just general use. We had found our state flower done in stain glass since our host had several pieces in their home. Is your hometown or state known for some particular items?? How about your career or purpose for travel?
KESinMN is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 07:54 AM
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I wait until I arrive and observe their home... I stay often with a friend in Switzerland, she is picky and would rather get her own flowers, I know this because she told me so! They are big wine drinkers so I shop at the local grocery and pick up bottles of something similar to what they usually serve. Also offer to treat everyone to a nice meal out in a restaurant one evening.
suze is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 07:58 AM
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Small gifts from your hometown are a nice idea too. I've taken a handful of Seattle key chains or canvas tote bag from Pike Place Market. Sometimes even just grabbed a few local items at the departure airport before I board the plane.
suze is offline  

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