Well, following hard on my thread Routinely replying to guest review - yes or no?, here’s a review that I think I should respond to. Unfortunately, any reply is likely to be quite long. Sigh. But I feel I need to respond, because otherwise potential guests might get the wrong idea.
Though it’s also tempting to just ignore it. Seeing as these reviews don’t expand unless you click on them. And it will be expanded in full if I do reply to it.
Here’s the review. You can see it on my site as well (it’s the most recent review) but I’m posting it here for completeness.
Faheem was a very welcoming host, and seemed incredibly thoroughly prepared for our arrival. He made us feel very comfortable, and checked in routinely to see if we needed anything. I strongly suggest anyone staying here reads the guest guide in its entirety, we didn’t know that the front gate is locked after midnight and we ended up getting locked out one night. That being said, the room is stunningly beautiful, surprisingly private in a city of 20 million people, and located in a prime location, just blocks from marine drive and no more than 10 minutes from the gateway of india and collaba causeway. One thing worth noting is that because the room is above Faheem’s house (up one flight of stairs), you have to walk through his families living room to get in and out.
Here’s a preliminary draft of my response. Comments welcome, of course - that’s my reason for posting it here. This is, before others point it out, inordinately wordy, but I think most of it is necessary.
Thank you for the nice review, Ethan. I just want to clarify a couple of things. Ethan referred to “getting locked out one night”. Here is more detail about what happened. This is an important issue, so I appreciate the opportunity to talk about it.
The main gate to the compound in which our home is located is locked between midnight and 5 am. This has been mentioned for a while on the first page of the guide I send out by email and also the print out I give to them on arrival, in the following words:
“Note that between midnight and 5 am the portico entrance is closed, and you will have to knock on it.” I checked, and it was in the version of the guide I sent by email to Ethan and Bonnie on 30th July.
I’ve now expanded this, capitalized it, and mentioned it in two different places in the guide. I’ll also make a point of mentioning it in guests on arrival. I don’t remember if I mentioned it to Ethan and Bonnie on arrival, but I may not have. I’ve also now added an outside bell which people can ring if they want to get in between midnight and 5 am.
Anyway, what happened is that Ethan arrived after midnight to find the gate locked, and he called me at 1.46 am. (It seems he had not read that sentence in the guide, so did not know he needed to knock on the gate.) I had my phone on silent. He also sent me an email message, which saw almost immediately (I happened to be awake), and called him back at 2.19 am. (I had no idea they were out.) I then called Ethan back, and went down and had the watchman open the gate. By then they had left, but they came back in about 15 minutes.
I want to apologise to Ethan and Bonnie for the unpleasant experience they underwent, and I’ll do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Finally, a minor correction. The room you go through is not the living room. It’s the entrance hall - the main door opens onto it. You can see it in my pictures. It’s the one with the TV and all the photos on the wall.