Advice of wording of V.Bad review

I’ve only given 2 reviews out of 150 that I have “would not recommend to other hosts”. And now looking at a third. I am looking for some advice on how to write this in a succinct way for the guest review that conveys the info in a forthright way without becoming War&Peace.

So here is the W&P version. Had a young (mid 20s) French couple stay for 2 nights. Were no problem but didn’t get to say hello as was sick and didn’t want to pass on any bugs.I had extended their checkout to 1pm as had no guests coming and this is standard. They were listening to some loud tv over lunchtime but I figured they would be gone soon (I had sent them a text the night before asking them politely to turn their music down, which they did). 1pm and then 2pm passed and they were still there. Around 3pm I went down and said hello and they were packing up to leave, shook my hand, said they had had a great time and waved goodbye as they drove off. All good. The sheets and pillowcases were stacked on the floor next to the bed so I grabbed them and threw them in the wash. Then when that was drying and after I had cleaned went back to get the quilt/duvet/doona cover. The throw was over it and when I took it off there was a very large stain on the quilt cover. It had gone through and was also on the mattress protector, as well as a small blood spot. I was able to treat and get the stains out. But my problem is this: it appears that they tried to cover up (literally) the stains. I assume they had washed the bedclothes in the washer/dryer in the morning not realising its normal cycle is 5 hours! That explains the loud tv to cover the noise and why they stayed till it finished. Also why the weren’t able to wash/dry the duvet in time and then tried to cover it up. I would have been okay if they had just told me and we agreed I would wash them and try and clean them after they left. So my real problem is the deception and not the spillage (whatever it was. In my guidebook I have a section on dealing with spills and accidents, human and animal, and the number one rule is tell me before you go so I can clean/treat it. It evens says: “I won’t penalise you for an accident but I will if you don’t tell me!”)). Also the placed the mixed garbage in a plastic bag in the recycle bin and I ask, three times, in rules, guide and arrival email, not to do this, especially plastic bags, as the council won’t take the recycle bin away if there are plastic bags. I say if you don’t want to or don’t know how to split recyclables then just leave it. This happened once and I had to take the large bin in my car to the rubbish tip and sort out the rubbish myself (on crutches!)

So firstly is this a donotrecommendable offense? It’s not a sin of omission but a sin of commission - they clearly set out to deceive me rather than just forgot to tell me. I wouldn’t want someone like this in my house again. Also they clearly didn’t read any of the rules, guidebook or arrival email, or if they did they ignored them.

Secondly: the non W&P version for the review. Is the following sufficient:

"I would not recommend these people as guests for 2 reasons:

  1. they left a large stain on the bed clothes and duvet and then went out of their way to try and cover it up. This stain was not there when they arrived as I inspect all bedclothes and duvet covers before washing them in between guests. While the stains came out with treatment they clearly chose to not inform me and hope I wouldn’t notice.
  2. they ignored rules, arrival email and guidebook about not leaving general rubbish in a plastic bag in the recycles bin which resulted in me having to go through it myself and sort it out, or risk the council not taking it away, which has happened before which is why I emphasise it to guests."

I notice that they have already put up a review. I am a bit worried they might claim it was already stained but honestly it was the sort of stain you would mention if you found it and not just cover up with a throw. Hence my preemptive bit about inspecting and washing between guests.

Also thinking of C&Ping the W&P version into the “Anything else you want to tell AirBnB”.

Any thoughts welcome.

ps. in case you are wondering the reason it doesn’t take me 5 hours to wash and dry a load is because I wash them on the quick 30min cycle then dry them in my super dryer upstairs while the next lot are washing.

I believe you are simply overreacting: what will you gain with this review? I would just move along to the next guest, and move this to the list of unpleasant guests.


@JamJerrupSunset to be honest I too think you are over-reacting.

Just leave a review pointing out positives about their stay. Then mention if you want that you agreed a late checkout which they exceeded by two hours.

In private feedback mention that you were disappointed they didn’t let you know about the stain on the bedding but left it for you to discover.


Each host has a different attitude and in my case I wouldn’t make an issue out of the stains since they could be cleaned off. If they couldn’t be removed in my washing machine I would take them to a professional dry cleaner and take the cost from their deposit.

My attitude is to be flexible with such minor issues rather than being unforgiving. They were probably worried about losing a big part of their deposit given that some hosts exploit such issues to an extreme degree to make extra money.

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Be short and factual in your public review:

“X and Y only stayed one night, so we didn’t really get to know them. They checked out much later than requested, and left a stained duvet for me to find.”

Public reviews are for the rest of us hosts; private review is for the guests: “Did not appreciate you trying to hide the stained linens – next time tell someone when you mess things up!”


My opinion is that they freaked out that they left a stain and tried to cover it up by trying to deal with the issue themselves to avoid an adverse reaction from you.

Kind of like a teenager accidentally drove into mum’s car into a wall and tried to put the blame on someone else… This actually happened to me… lol

I mean they’re only young and I guess most young people will try to cover things up rather than facing the wrath.


I agree with Ken’s advice. I have a huge issue with lying guests, especially if you say you won’t penalize. It’s just a headache. I would also point out the late check out because sometimes i have quick turnarounds like 2 hrs to get it together and this situation would have confused my cleaner. There is a reason why rules exist.


I don’t think you’re overreacting; I don’t want these guests either. I would write the review much shorter and to the point.
Jane and Tom left much later than the already granted late check out time. They did not follow house rules regarding recycling and stains, the latter of which they tried to hide from me. Unfortunately I cannot recommend these guests.
I don’t see in what universe checking out two hours late is okay and a host should just “be flexible”.


I also believe something should be mentioned, but I would give many more details in the private feedback.

It sounds to me like they were also noisy the night before so you had to ask them to turn down their music. That tells me that perhaps they weren’t trying to cover anything up, just generally noisy people (giving them the benefit of doubt). They might have thought that they were doing you a favor or avoiding embarrassment by cleaning the sheets.

So for me it would boil down to: they didn’t read your rules about what to do. That is common, but nevertheless is something that guests need to realize are there for a reason. They also were noisy guests, and disrespected your already generous check-out time, which are things that other hosts would want to know, even if it isn’t a big deal to you.

I like @Arlene_Larsson’s review, but would leave out the specifics, and leave it to: “Jane and Tom left much later than the already granted late check out time. They did not follow our house rules and were too noisy for our comfort. Unfortunately I cannot recommend these guests.”

Then I’d send them private feedback reminding them that reading the house rules is important. They stain they attempted to remove was noted in the rules, and made it much more difficult to remove when not done properly the first time. Some places have strict recycling rules and they were not followed as directed.


I find when leaving a negative review to try and remove all emotion from it and just stick to the facts. Just say what actually happened without giving opinions or extra flourish. The simple facts are ussualy damaging enough.

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I don’t think you’re over-reacting. At the very least they broke 3 house rules: staying 2 hours later than check out, not telling you about the stain, not separating their recycling.

I would simply state in your review something like ‘Personally I couldn’t recommend these guests as they broke several of my house rules’. I think that’s enough without sounding petty

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Thanks everyone for your feedback. This is what I wrote:
“Steven and his girlfriend were pleasant people to meet and host. Unfortunately he let himself down by not reading the rules, arrival email or guidebook in the following areas: reporting stains/damage, checkout time, leaving plastic bags and unsorted rubbish in the recycle bin, putting away plates, cups and cutlery.”

This is his review:
“Absolutly amazing place to stay for a weekend. Very beautiful decoration, good quality furnitures, very comfortable bed. You feel at home. James have relly good communication and very friendly.”

Thanks for replying. Actually the noise didn’t bother me too much. I texted them “Please turn the music down, thanks, J” and they did.

I write my public review to provide information for future hosts. One, or even two things and I don’t bother and just mention it in the private feedback. I think in this case they went past the tipping point.

A very good point. My War&Peace version was more to get it off my chest which I think is partly the point of this forum :slight_smile:

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Thanks for your reply. I had already, before they arrived said that I had no guests coming that day so checkout time was flexible. Then on the morning I said it was 1pm. As it was they stayed till 3pm.

Ha ha ha. Yes good point about the youthful indiscretion, I am sure I did it once or twice when I was their age (mid 20s). They had managed to wash and dry the bed sheets before they left but probably didn’t realise it takes 5 hours to do one load. So they put a throw over the quilt presumably so I wouldn’t notice before they left if I came down to check.

I don’t have a deposit, maybe I should? I’ve only had a similar problem once before out of 200 guests. In that case they hid the blood stained quilt cover inside the spare quilt cover. In those days I didn’t always wash the quilt cover - don’t judge me - but I do now! I didn’t find it for 2 months, glad one of my other guests didn’t find it before I did! Since then I provide free tampons and pads since the nearest 24/7 chemist is 40km away.

Thanks for replying. I won’t gain anything but future hosts will be informed to check for stains or damage as soon as they leave.

I also gave them a “do not recommend” because, to be honest, I can’t in all good conscience recommend them. It is up to other hosts to decide if such things bother them or not.

Seriously think we as hosts, have to accept breakages, stains , losses etc . All part and parcel of the job. Its no biggie. Buy some new bedding and dont do the W&P version