When people invite you into their home, you can assume it’s because they enjoy your company. If they’ve gone so far as to have you stay overnight, they must really like you. Return the favor and show them how honored you are to be there with a hostess gift. Whether you’re stopping by for an aperitif or crashing for the weekend, you won’t regret taking a few minutes to pick out something more thoughtful than a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers. 

How do you know what to bring or how much to spend on hostess gifts? The most important thing is to make it special. “While you don’t have to break the bank, your gift should be sincere, thoughtful and personal,” the Emily Post Institute says. The amount is a highly individual decision, but you can also use the occasion to guide your calculations. For example, if you’re staying the night, you might take what you would have spent on a hotel room into account.

Need some inspiration? Here are 10 hostess gift ideas we think would make perfect presents. 

1. Indego Africa Geometric Plateau ($70) 

Dress up grocery-store snacks by presenting them in a decorative basket or bowl. This 12″-by-3″ platter was woven by hand from sweetgrass and sisal in Rwanda. Your host will appreciate that Indego Africa helps empower women, youth and refugees, encouraging their businesses through free trade and investing 100% of profits in education programs for their communities.

2. Rose & Fitzgerald Mugavu Geometric Bottle Stopper ($35) 

The best hostess gift (or any gift for that matter) is something a person might find useful but is indulgent enough that they wouldn’t buy it for themselves. Slip this hand-carved bottle stopper in with a basket of treats and wine. Your host will think of you every time they open a bottle of red.

3. Rose & Fitzgerald Pure Brass and Marbled Soapstone Coasters ($110) 

These coasters are in the same vein of slightly useful but mostly aesthetically pleasing. Though the brass holder alludes to mid-century modern design, the whole thing is crafted in Kampala, Uganda, using traditional East African techniques. You could also pair them with wine, but they’re pretty enough to give on their own. Even better: The set is small enough to pack in your luggage if you’re traveling to your host by air. 

4. The Beach People Starboard Roundie Beach Towel ($89) 

Towels make a great hostess gift if you’re staying at someone’s beach or lake home. The trick is not to make it look like you just brought along your own towel to use while you’re there. Consider packaging a luxury 100% cotton beach towel like this nautical one in a tasteful basket or tote.

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5. KAZI Goods Akagera Vase ($78) 

Just add flowers to this vase woven by women in a Ugandan cooperative. Made from raffia fiber and sweetgrass, the colorful piece has the advantage of being lighter and less fragile than a glass vase, so it will survive your journey too.

6. Graf Lantz Cozy Wine Carrier Duo ($64) 

Elevate your typical wine gift by showing up with two bottles in this clever carrier. Not only does the merino wool and bridle leather nod to the mixed natural material trend, but the wool actually keeps the vino cool in transit. Bonus: Graf Lantz products are made in a fair wage workplace in Los Angeles.

7. Morrow Soft Goods Salem Cotton Throw Blanket ($175) 

If you’re not entirely sure of your host’s design aesthetic, this elegant but simple black-striped cotton throw will match just about anything. Hand-loomed in India and Fair Trade Certified, the blanket is also perfect for porch sitting on a starry summer night.

8. Norden Ceramic Candle Set ($95) 

We’ve re-embraced the notion of giving candles thanks to this tasteful trio. Each of the 5-ounce cylinders has a different woody scent: Oresund is balsam fir, grapefruit and ambrette seed; Ojai smells of frankincense, cypress, patchouli and palo santo; and Big Sur is oakmoss, pine, citrus and wood smoke. What’s more, your host can reuse the stoneware vessels.

9. Rose & Fitzgerald Pure Brass Serving Spoon Set ($75) 

Give these to the host who’s known for staging theatrical dinner parties. Crafted in Uganda, the pure brass utensils add a certain flourish to the table. You might also consider bestowing these with an offer to cook up a big meal for everyone during your stay. It’s the best way to get invited back.

10. Graf Lantz Felt Key Ring Tassel ($48) 

This handcrafted merino wool and leather keychain is a unique hostess gift that alludes to the nature of the occasion. If you were given keys during your stay, attach the tassel when you return them. Or, if you’re especially close to your host, you might even add a spare set of your own to extend a reciprocal invitation for the future.

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