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Showing up to a party without a gift for your hostess is a major etiquette faux pas. Whether you’re attending a baby or bridal shower, heading to a fabulous dinner party, or celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with a special group of people, it’s important to have a thoughtful hostess gift that shows your gratitude and appreciation for gatherings with loved ones. Sure, a bottle of wine, a reed diffuser, a luxury candle or hand soap and hand cream are classic gift ideas, but you can also wow a party-thrower with plenty of other luxury and inexpensive hostess gift ideas — and some can be delivered in a flash for those last-minute party invites.
So, what can you give the hostess with the mostess? The best hostess gifts are typically useful and thoughtful — perhaps something they’ve had their eye on for some time but never committed to making purchase for themselves, like a temperature-controlling mug or gorgeous vase, or even a playful piece of home decor that adds a bit of whimsy to the party or kitchen. If you were invited to a dinner party and don’t know your hostess well, it’s always safe to think of a gift idea that both your mom and your younger bestie would both find appealing, like a chic cutting board or a set of stylish coasters. Is your hostess a homebody who decided to bring the party to their living room? Opt for a cozy gift, such as a plush throw pillow or blanket. Will your hostess need some R&R at home post-shindig? There are plenty of wellness gifts to bring the spa experience to their front door for some much-needed pampering.
It can be challenging to pick out any gift for women in your life, especially when it’s for hosting a special occasion, so we’ve curated the best hostess gifts, including some gift ideas you might want to purchase for yourself. Read on for our selection of the best hostess gifts.
Kosterina Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil + Italian Balsamic Vinegar Gift Set
A fancy bottle of olive oil, like the one in this set, is a smart choice for a hostess gift for a weekend stay because it’s not usually something people splurge on for themselves, but likely use the ingredient daily. Plus, it can last months. The Greek-born founder, Kosterina, grew up using EVOO pressed from her family’s olive oil trees in Greece and wanted to bring that same classic and authentic flavor to the U.S. by partnering with Southern Greek farmers, while the balsamic is made in small batches in Moderna, Italy.
Varick 20 Ceramic Self Watering Pot
If your hostess became a plant mom during the pandemic, there’s no better gift than this beautiful, sculptural self-watering planter from Greenery Unlimited, a small business in Brooklyn. The matte finishes in four shades — black, white, terracotta and pale salmon — add a modern touch while the self-watering technology takes the guesswork out of when and how to water your plant properly. The elevated base is actually a reservoir to allow plants to drink and grow at their own pace.
Tester’s Note: I now have three of these planters and the plants I potted in them are thriving (the only plants I have that are thriving, actually). I just fill up the basin once a week and forget about the rest, which is exactly the point of plants — to enjoy and instill a sense of zen within a space, not worrying about a water schedule.
Williams Sonoma End-Grain Cutting + Carving Board
A hostess can never have too many cutting boards, but a well-made, handsome one like this from Williams Sonoma can double as a serving piece for cheese, bread and appetizers. Crafted from sustainably harvested North American cherry wood and designed with an end-grain style for a butcher-block end-grain construction allows for serious durability from knife scratches, while also not dulling the blades. It’s also a great hostess gift idea that travels well.
Mixology Bartender Kit
This 10-piece bar tool set has everything the mixologist in your life will need, from a martini shaker to a strainer and a muddler, to whip up a cocktail of any kind. Not to mention, the nicely organized set is housed in a glossy bamboo stand and will look great on a bar cart or wet bar.
Marie Cobalt Coupe Cocktail Glass
CB2’s limited edition collaboration with the Chicago-based designer Azeeza Khan is one that can’t be missed. A playful palette, sleek and glossy silhouette and a playful perspective make these cocktail glasses not only a conversation starter, but a bright burst of energy for any type of gathering. Before you head to your hostess’ beach house for a summer weekend, pick up a set of these.
West Elm Marble Moon Coasters Set of 4
A contemporary spin on a classic marble coaster, these hand-cut and polished coasters feel weighty, not flimsy, in your hand for an elevated sensibility. Featuring a trendy half moon in an emerald marble swirl, encircled with shiny brass, separates the half moon from the crisp white marble. Not only is it a cool looking hostess gift, but everyone always needs more coasters.
Le Creuset Whistling Tea Kettle
This Le Creuset teapot strikes the tricky balance between classic and contemporary. With all the electronic kettles out there, there’s something special about returning to the traditional. Available in nine bright and neutral hues, there’s a teapot to match every aesthetic, while the exaggerated silver curved handles give it just a hint of modern sensibility.
Tester’s Note: This kettle is one of my favorite hostess gifts that I’ve ever been given and I use it way more than I thought I would. I have it in this glossy, ruby red hue, which feels old and new again. I also love that my grandmother had a similar design (although hers was definitely not red). It also just looks so fantastically chic on my stovetop that I never put it away — I leave it out for all to admire.
Tom Dixon Press Stem Vase
Not many vases are crafted to last a lifetime, but that’s exactly what Tom Dixon’s Press Stem Vase is intended to do. It’s engineered to catch and reflect light, meaning tiny rainbows will dance across your walls when the sun shines. The fat, chunky coils are made of clear transparent glass for a striking silhouette that pairs well with any design aesthetic.
Bloomscape Bromeliad Collection
Bringing a bouquet of flowers to a party is passé — and requires effort from the hostess to cut the stems and place them in a vase, when she likely has several other things to do for the party. But sending her a trio of bright, tropical plants that require next to no care as a thank you? That’s a unique and unexpected gift that will bring nature into the home.
Tester’s Note: I gave this set of colorful Bromeliads as a hostess gift for my friend’s housewarming party. Now, she sends me pictures all the time of their growth and new, bright leaves. It’s nice to know that she thinks of me and our friendship every time she sees these plants.
Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug
This temperature control smart mug is becoming the worst kept secret among avid tea and coffee drinkers. This ceramic, battery operated mug keeps your drink deliciously hot for up to 1.5 hours — but with the smart temperature control feature, you get to decide exactly how hot that sweet spot is, up to a piping hot 135 degrees. If your hostess is a coffee connoisseur, she’ll be over the moon for this mug.
Winc Wine Gift Card
No hostess gift guide would be complete without one wine option. But with the Winc Wine gift card, they’ll be able to select, via a quiz, exactly the type, region and hints of flavor that they like best. Can we all agree to stop giving random wines as a default gift?
LSA Wine Glass Carafe
For the wine that guests will almost certainly bring, a stunning carafe, like this beauty from LSA is sure to attract admirers. It also provides a hostess a bit of freedom from pouring and refilling drinks — simply put out the sleek glass carafe and let guests help themselves.
Fornasetti Small Labbra Scented Candle
A candle could be an easy option, but a luxurious candle encased within a glass vessel with a sultry bright red lip design from Italian artist Barnaba Fornasetti makes this hostess gift anything but ordinary. With top notes of herbal thyme and lavender giving way to orris and cedarwood before settling into base notes of balsam, birch and labdanum, they’ll want to burn this far past its 60 hours.
Kerber’s Farm 4-Piece Herb Kit
One of the more affordable gifts on this list, but equally useful and gracious, this quartet of seasoning spices within a rustic-style wooden case is sure to perk up any culinary-minded host. Sea salt, organic lavender, peppercorns and organic rosemary are all straight from the fields of Provence.
Tom Ford Fucking Fabulous Candle
Tom Ford’s infamous candle certainly makes a statement, but for a host who likes to walk on the wild side, this pricey option may be exactly what they want, but wouldn’t buy for themselves. Its warm and spicy sensibility of leather, tonka bean and sage will definitely get the party going.
Tester’s Note: Every person I’ve ever given this status candle to has put it in a place of honor in the center of their bookshelf — and they only burn it for the most special occasions to really make it last.
Nest New York Bamboo Liquid Soap + Hand Lotion Set
Everyone has a conservative aunt or friend who loves an old fashioned present, like a hand soap and lotion duo in a fabulous scent. But now that cottage core is sweeping through popular culture, this gift may be excellent for those who have embraced the Nancy Meyers lifestyle.
La Maison du Chocolat Assorted Pralines, 16-Piece
Most etiquette experts agree that bringing food or a dish that needs to be warmed up or tended to is a faux pas, as it puts more responsibility on the host. But a box of luxurious assorted chocolates? That’s a-ok in our book.
Jonathan Adler Mustique Salad Serving Set
Not everything needs to be so serious. Bright, playful colors bring a smile to most people’s faces and Jonathan Adler’s hand-poured, ocean blue marbleized acrylic two-piece serving ware offers just enough of a pop to keep it lively without insinuating that your host needs to jazz up their tablescape.
Kate Spade New York South Street 5×7 Picture Frame
If you like to play it safe with your hostess gifts, there may be no better option than a glimmering Kate Spade picture frame. And if you’re really close with the hostess, pop your favorite picture of the two of you in there before you hand it over.
Nordstrom at Home Marble + Acacia Wood Lazy Susan
Unbeknownst to many, a lazy susan is one of the most versatile kitchen tools, especially one as smooth and elegant as this. The crisp white marble platter sits atop a discreet wooden base and can serve as a cheese or appetizer board, or even a pretty place to store your regularly used oils, spices and vinegars.
Tester’s Note: I was given this lazy susan as a gift and at first I thought it was odd, but now it’s one of the most useful items in my kitchen. The marble is beautiful and I put my fancy olive oils, balsamic vinegars and salt and pepper shakers on it to make it a standout decor piece.
Viking Steakhouse Pakka 6-Piece Wood Steak Knife Set
Steak knives not only make eating a sirloin easier with their reliably sharp blades, but they also look attractive on a tablescape. If you know your host doesn’t have a designed set of steak knives, this six-piece set made of German-steel will get them on their way. Plus, they come in a decorative wooden box for safe and easy storage.
West Elm Faux Fur Brushed Tips Throw
For a hostess gift that won’t break the bank, but also doesn’t scrimp on style, consider the West Elm throw. They’ll love it because it looks and feels luxurious, it goes with every design aesthetic so you don’t have to worry about matching someone’s decor, and best of all: It’s super soft and easy to maintain.
Hunt Slonem Colorful Bunnies Cocktail Napkins Set of Six
Cocktail napkins can instantly make a party feel more elevated, especially high-quality cloth ones. What’s special about these cocktail napkins is their playful, fun design — they’ll give your guests a chuckle and they’re also a great conversation starter. Plus, they’re versatile and can be used for appetizers, hors d’oeuvres and more.
Tester’s Note: I have these cocktail napkins and everyone comments on how much they love them. They’re silly and irreverent in the best way possible (because I never want to host a party that takes itself too seriously). I only wish I had more of them!
Joanna Buchanan Coral Placecard Holders Set of Two
One of the most important roles of an excellent host is crafting a thoughtful seating chart to pair guests with similar interests together to cultivate lively conversation. If everyone just sits next to who they already know, what’s the fun in that? These hand-enameled place holders in a coral motif ensure everyone is seated where they’re meant to.
UrbanStems Flower Subscription
Flowers may be a no-brainer (or lazy) hostess gift, but a flower subscription? Totally different ballgame. Delight your hostess with an ongoing surprise UrbanStems arrangement of gorgeous, seasonal blooms on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Different price tiers are available for varying sizes, designer vases and accompanying candles, so you can find one that accommodates your budget.
Aura Mason Digital Photo Frame
Tech has finally reached the world of picture frames and the beauty with this gift is that they won’t have to choose just one photo to display. The frame syncs to your smartphone or other device and the adjustable slideshow speed allows you to choose how fast or slow the photos move — and you can set them to display in chronological order or shuffle mode.
Anna New York Coluna Fruit + Chocolate Bowl
This stunning brass-plated steel bowl atop a carrara marble base looks great just about anywhere in the home, although it is intended to present fruit or chocolates. Place pinecones in the center for a seasonal winter vibe or Halloween candy in October. Your hostess will find a lot of different uses for this multifunctional bowl.
Aerin Franco Cheese Board
An overflowing cheese plate filled with nuts, berries, jams, and of course, cheese, is always a party pleaser. Aerin’s handcrafted marble cheese board with brass handles is petite enough to pick up and move around the room where guests are gathering, and light enough to carry for passed hors d’oeuvres.
Ichendorf Rings Olive Oil Large Bottle
Experts say a truly thoughtful hostess gift is one that can be used again and again, and what is used more frequently than olive oil? Your host can store luxury olive oil — or a more affordable option, no one would know in a vessel like this — in Ichendorf’s Rings Olive Oil Large Bottle that features a transparent oil dispenser so they’ll get the perfect serving size every time. Not to mention, the oil’s golden hue will look like a work of art within the cylindrical spaces.
Lynen Popping Bottles Tea Towel
There are many different kinds of hosts. There are those who prefer formal affairs, while others love a rowdy bash, and many like something in between. For the party-ready host, this whimsical tea towel will definitely get the mood raring to go and the party started (and handy for any subsequent spills).
How We Selected and Tested the Best Hostess Gifts
It certainly wasn’t easy to narrow our selection down to 30 of the best hostess gifts, but we feel confident that this curated selection provides the best of the very best gifts to give to all the hosts and hostesses in your life. We considered the best hostess gifts that we’ve ever given as well as the ones we received ourselves. We asked etiquette experts and design enthusiasts for their insights. We tested and reviewed more hostess gifts than we could count, from kitchen accessories to decor to subscription services to whimsical items that simply spark joy. We read customer reviews for over 100 products to bring you the best hostess gifts that anyone would like to receive (likely even yourself!) and that you can feel great about giving. We call that a win-win.