This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!
We have always taken the “under promise and over deliver” approach. We would rather pleasantly surprise our guests than be met with instant disappointment. But we received a booking last night that has us concerned that there will be no way we can live up to the guests expectations. Please let me know if you think this is within reason, out of line or if you’ve ever experienced this before.
It’s a two night booking for a young couple celebrating their anniversary (of being together) Once the booking was finalized, the guest doing the booking asked if we could purchase decorations and decorate our guesthouse prior to their arrival. I clarified that she would reimburse us - she agreed and gave us a budget of $50. She also suggested a variety of things to decorate with, two of which are on our “never again” list. (tea candles - safety issue and rose petals - have had to replace two sets of sheets and a comforter) Turns out she lives nearby so we told her to buy her own decorations and we would put them out for her. She then asked if we would “plate food” (she would provide) just before they arrived so that when they walked into the guesthouse, dinner would be served. We haven’t really committed to do so as of yet, but it seems like this is going to be a set up for disappointment. Not sure we can get a “win” with this reservation. Thoughts?
It’s only too much if you don’t want to do it. I don’t think it’s necessarily a recipe for not meeting expectations…could be something that helps you succeed.
You should charge appropriately for your time. And maybe this is something that you can use/reuse for future couples celebrating.
I get a lot of anniversary couples and have been contemplating creating an “experience” that I will proactively offer for a fee…fake rose petals, a photo session w/this prop I’ve already purchased, and some other stuff around our suite.
I mention that only to say it’s really not out of line for a guest to ask – I see other properties proactively selling a package like this.
Thanks for that perspective. I guess it just caught us by surprise in that we’ve been doing this since 2016, over 800+ trips and this is a first for us! We’ve had lots of anniversary trips, many first night of the honeymoon trips, an impromptu wedding and a couple of engagements…but nothing like this has ever been requested before.
This sounds like the butler service five-star hotels like St. Regis or Ritz Carlton provide.
I personally don’t have any skills to pull off a request like this, so I would have declined. But if I needed a glowing review after a mediocre one, I’d get help from someone to do it.
At this point, it seems like if you don’t do it, the guest will be pissed. Does she seem like the type who would appreciate the efforts you make? If she has given nitpicky reviews to other hosts, you would be set up for failure.
You’re welcome. I’m going to private message you with an instagram account that is particularly active in this arena. They have an aggressive posture with lots of promotions and such, maybe way more than your style, but it’s an example to see how it’s positioned/priced.
If a guest makes a reasonable request then I’ll go along with it provided that it doesn’t put me out of pocket.
I would have to decline the plating thing though as local health regulations would not allow that.
Although I’d point out that there are many restaurants in the area that deliver - the guests could enjoy an aperitif while waiting for it to arrive.
I’ve had many anniversary people, honeymooners, babymooners and so on and am happy to make it special for them. In all but one case (newlyweds coming from France) the guests have paid for any specialties they’ve required.
I predict they will also leave the place a mess- after all, it’s their special day, which they want to receive special treatment for, and they likely will consider it the host’s job to clean up after them.
As others also said- don’t forget to charge for your time if you do go forward with it.
I would personally decline their requests as I truly don’t have the bandwidth to offer add on services like that right now. I leave a special note and sometimes flowers, a local treat or even a bottle of wine but these are things we do unasked as little extras when we can for returning guests/when folks are staying for awhile, or we just feel like it lol etc.
If they’re still within their free cancellation window and you aren’t concerned about getting another booking, I’d likely also tell them that I’m not sure you’re the right fit for their needs as a self-catering AirBnB. Perhaps a hotel would be better suited to plan and execute their requests.
This is the direction that Airbnb is wanting to head.
A hotel experience for the guest.
Anonymous bookings, easy cancellations and hosts paying all the fees.
As they are inexperienced Airbnb guests, they are not understanding how out of left field these requests are.
I would be doing my best to let them down gently
Sounds like a pain in the bum BUT, at the same time, an opportunity…
It doesn’t make sense for a location like mine, but if I were the romantic getaway kind of place and decor I would definitely be making money offering packages as suggested by others; something that includes things like the fake rose petals, LED candles, wine, fresh flowers, and my fav Godiva chocolates. It could get big wins for reviews w/ diminishing effort on your part once you get a routine hammered out.
If you go through with this, let the lady know you have never offered this but are willing to do a trial run with her (sans the plating of food due to health and safety reasons) in exchange for cost of goods and private feedback on the experience. Going forward, charge based on now knowing the cost and effort. & Take pics of your setup for your listing!
i would absolutely do this if i have the time, it sounds like a romantic fun time. I also think that by helping her surprise her loved one the review will be even better! Heck I would probably throw in a vase of flowers just to make it more romantic for the young lovebirds.
Ugh, and, excuse me - what’s in it for you? A potentially glowing review about how “sweet” you were to “go out of your way” - followed by a list of services future guests will feel free to ask for. Worse, they might expect some of them! I’ve just been reading more “entitled” guest stories.
Mostly, though, the audacity for not mentioning these requests during the booking process! Another strike against IB.
And, as far as it being an opportunity to upsell “experiences”, folks become harder to please the more they pay. Potential for headache awfully high for what would probably be a small net income.
Why did you post this reply to me? I said there is no way I would accommodate this entitled dipshit, who was so disrespectful as to book and only make her list of how specially she wants to be treated afterwards.