Surely you’ve heard the saying before, or the mantra has been long ingrained in you, but the tradition of bringing host or hostess gifts to a gathering is one we take to with pure joy. It’s a chance to celebrate a friendship and the beauty of an extended invitation. Yes, you can bring a bottle of wine (it’s rarely a bad idea to do so) or a basic candle, which is also a good enough idea. But if you, like us, are looking to treat your host with as much thoughtfulness as they’re putting into the gathering, then this list of unique host gifts is for you. Match your host’s interests or play to their own personal style with a gift that speaks to their home’s personality.
Our Top Picks
Try gifting something that’ll elevate their already fabulous tablescape game! Opt for a gift that can be opened, shared, or poured during the course of the evening. If you’re stumped, try thinking of a category you’d be happy to receive in and look for something just a little elevated or special. Go above and beyond (or in addition to) the bottle of wine with this list of great hostess gifts.
Food and Tabletop Hostess Gifts
No tablescape is complete without a solid cheeseboard. This geometric walnut and beech wood option from Brooklyn-based brand Tortuga Forma comes in a light or a dark colorway.
Here’s a fun party trick for when you can’t be there IRL: Send charcuterie in your place. If a meat sampler’s not the mood, Gold Belly has lots of celebratory handcrafted dessert options as well.
A classic set of cheese knives will go hand in hand with all of the above. Pair this stainless steel set of four with your favorite cheese for a robust gift that’s sure to please. Plus, these also make a great holiday gift.
Another great gift for a cheese-loving host? This ergonomic hand grater from iconic Italian brand Alessi.
A serving platter set is something every party planner needs to have on hand. Choose from several color combos and shapes to match the event decor. When stacked, they’re perfect for storing in even the most crowded of cabinets.
Bring this best-selling extra virgin olive oil with a loaf of fresh bread to have as an appetizer or on its own. Brightland always makes one of the best hostess gifts.
These shapely decanters for oil and balsamic vinegar will make a unique gift for a host who already has it all. Pair with your oil and vinegar of choice for a gift that’s equal parts practical and beautiful.
Arrive in style with a high-quality piece of cookware they can set on the table for guests. This French-made copper piece from American kitchenware brand Made In is a showstopper.
It’s always a good idea to bring a dessert, especially one that won’t interfere with what your host has prepared. Added bonus: You’ll be sure to have something delicious on hand for yourself. Plus, these handmade Ayurvedic truffles come with a great talking point: They’re crafted by meditators who chant while they cook.
We know more than a few professional hosts who cook and serve with their trusted cast-iron pans. If your host also fits that bill, here’s a fun gift to keep their hands safe while looking stylish.
Heading to a game night? We’ve got your host gift right here. These conversation-starting cards are the key to a lively night.
These wavy linen placemats can be mixed and matched with a variety of tabletop items and decor styles.
Beverage and Barware Hostess Gifts
No bar cart would be complete without a classic ice bucket. This design from Ralph Lauren is mouth-blown from soda-lime glass and comes with serving tongs.
If a new set of wine glasses is in order, this shapely pair from Zalto comes highly recommended by several wine experts. Even better? You can order them on Amazon Prime for quick delivery if you need a last minute gift.
BYOCTB. Yes, bring your own cocktail tool box. Even better: Come prepared with a favorite cocktail in mind so you can make some while dinner is being plated.
For the host who loves a colorful tablescape, these delicate Hay-designed glasses will instantly liven the mood.
Or show up with an equally delightful set of tumblers for the evening. These feature a subtle pink shade and rubbing that feels modern.
Light a candle in this special holder any host would love to add to the collection. Gift a single candle holder or a set of three for a complete tabletop display.
Whether they’re serving mimosas at brunch or a nice iced tea, we highly recommend a statement pitcher as a splurge.
Coasters—especially of the Gaetano Pesce-designed variety—make a great gift that’ll save your host’s coffee table during the soiree.
This is another fun table-setting accent for a well-heeled get-together. Get creative with a bouquet of rainbow-trim reusable cocktail napkins to pair with fun glassware. Gift them with a set of tea towels for a great host gift.
Maybe your host prefers tequila or mezcal to a glass of rosé. In that case, this trio made of volcanic rock from Duplo Design makes for a perfect gift set.
A cake stand is a nice touch for the host who also loves to bake. This pastel option from Estelle Colored Glass comes in a variety of perky shades.
For the host who loves to wrap up the night with sweets and an espresso drink, these chubby cups and saucers will be an excellent complement to dessert. La DoubleJ is all about Milanese extravagance, so channel your host’s whims when selecting this personality-packed set of two.
Bring this to your next party and it’ll make the perfect gift for a cocktail slinging host, regardless of their home decor style.
Decor Hostess Gifts
Looking for something a little spendy for the host with a taste that’s, well, not neutral? Jonathan Adler is the place to start. This Shrooms Canister is just waiting to spice up a mantle.
Bringing a bouquet to a holiday party is always a good hostess gift idea. You can DIY an arrangement or bring one with you. The Crimson from Urban Stems is chock-full of autumnal vibes.
For the best host who’s also big on essential oils, this ceramic diffuser will be a particularly elegant way to distribute their favorite scents. Nervous that they’re new to the essential oil game? Include your favorite as a thoughtful hostess gift.
Statement-making yet unscented candles are another a hosting must. These feel more elevated than a classic candlestick, and they can be paired with almost any holder.
Also one of our favorite housewarming gifts, a nice bathroom gift set with hand soap and lotion will do the trick.
Anyone can bring a housewarming plant, but if you’re trying to impress, why not present one in this perfectly abstract ceramic vase?
You can bring your host something they can use for the after-party: a beautiful set of notecards for thank you notes and more. (Maybe you’ll even receive one!)
Say thanks with an unexpected pop of color. This tablecloth makes a special gift for any host who keeps dinner parties in heavy rotation.
Or here’s a delightful, handcrafted candle holder that’ll charm their tablescape or mantle. If you’re feeling extra generous, include a bundle of candlesticks to instantly set the mood.
When in doubt, we don’t think you can ever go wrong with an easy-to-care-for succulent. This easy-to-grow houseplant is a home run, even for the least green thumbs.
Your host will love the excuse to put their phone away and get to puzzling. This collaboration with Mushroom People is a home run for any hosting mycophiles.
Sure, a cast-iron match striker is more of a nice-to-have item than a necessity, but this utilitarian piece from Hawkins feels like a work of art. And hey, they’ll need something to light all the other candles they’ve been gifted.
A handcrafted bowl they can use for serving or displaying is a lovely keepsake to bring along. Made in India, the Alexi bowl from BR Home is rustic but elegant.
In our opinion, the tissue box cover is one of the most underrated design objects around. This one, from the ubiquitous MacKenzie Childs brand, sports a sage and white pattern and would make for a great gift.
These mini confetti canons are the perfect complements to any outdoor function. Each one is embedded with wildflower seeds that’ll leave your host with a lush bed of wild flowers to remind them of great memories.
For the exhausted host who needs a self-care moment after a long night, a set of soaking salts is a thoughtful gift. Especially as an overnight guest, this present feels particularly apropos.