Burnt midnight cooking--mention in review?

My guests last night woke me and my husband up at 1 am with the smell of burnt food. I’m glad our sniffers still work when we’re sleeping! I got up and inspected walked around the inside and outside of the house to make sure nothing was on fire. I reassured myself the smoke detector would go off it something were. In the morning I found a burnt package from a frozen personal pizza in the recycling. The apartment was otherwise clean but still smells like burnt food, originating from the microwave. I’ve been microwaving cups of vinegar and cups of lemon juice to absorb the smell. I am hoping the smell will be gone by the time the next guests arrive in 3 hours. No house rules were broken except my first rule: practice common sense.

As hosts, would you find this type of annoyance useful to mention in a review? Is this useful information when screening your future guests?

I rent my basement as a separate mother-in-law apartment and it does not have a kitchen, just a microwave. The guests left the apartment clean otherwise.

I’d mention it. …

I probably wouldn’t mention it publicly, just a note in private feedback:
“FYI, pizzas don’t microwave”.
My rationale is that I myself have burned stuff and guests have had to put up with the smell for a while and they didn’t mention it in their review or knock me down for it. Stupid stuff happens and as long as nobody got hurt and nothing was damaged, I don’t see a reason to bring it up.

I’ve been thinking for a while that the guest review system must be a major headache for Airbnb. Some hosts are very strict and, imo, almost fanatical about leaving detailed reviews on every tiny thing and it must put off guests from ever using the platform again.
This is not intended in any way as a comment on you Xena, please know! I’m just making a general observation.


I think the guest probably learnt from this experience.

I’d mention it in the private section – “Really wish you hadn’t burnt the pizza, it took a long time to get the stink out of the apartment.”


Incense is great to rid of a smell in the room. I have seen microwave pizza, they are 2 words that just dont together

Burned pizza, burned popcorn could happen to anyone (I’ve burned more microwave popcorn that I should admit). I’m sure your guests didn’t intend to burn their meal/snack. Open a window and let it air out.

Unless it created some kind of damage, let it go.

Use airfresheners or incense only as needed. A surprising number of people have scent allergies or sensitivities.

Yes that’s an antisocial time to cook and it would wake me up too. It’s annoying because it hampers getting the appartment ready. I would mention it. I have a rule of no kitchen after 10pm but then I am a homestay.

Probably mention as a private feedback. Most guests are, well, guests and they don’t consider it from the hosts perspective as to items such as smell or odour. Its a two way street. We learn to let little things go. I recently rated a host 5 stars despite a cockroach in the kettle. , but what could I expect, the house was spotless clean but was next to a hill with lots of bugs and pests all around. Plus he was a superhost. I considered carefully whether it was intentional or just plain oversight.

Could you clarify? You think it’s possible the host wanted the roach in the kettle?

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In our case it is Gecko poo …it appears overnight and wherever … nothing that we can do - and we do like having them around. They make a funny sound too.
So I added the following photo to the listing:


For us it’s birds (wild). We like having them around too. It’s just that the courtyard can look like a toilet after they have visited.

The word should have been negligence. My bad.

Ah! Got it. The host probably didn’t think to check it or it got there after the last check the host did. Every time I see a bug in my Airbnb room I hope it got there after the guest checked out.

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Thank you for your feedback, everyone. Knowing how easy it is to burn microwave popcorn, a microwave accident could happen to anyone even if it is harder to burn pizza than popcorn. I do think it is within the guest’s right to use the microwave at any hour since it is a separate unit and so long as they observe quiet hours (11 pm - 7 am) they can do as they please when they please. I think I’ll mention the smell in private feedback rather than public.

I just hope my next guests don’t complain. They arrived 2 hours earlier than they said they would (though still after check-in time) so I wasn’t finished airing the room out. I noticed they left the windows open and the exhaust fan on the whole time so they probably noticed the smell as well. At least they didn’t open the microwave and notice the cup of lemon juice! Luckily I had the room ready, but I was still in the middle of a load of laundry and another round of microwaving lemon juice when they arrived.

I would consider discussing the smell with the new guests. I would not want a bad review. I hate burnt or stale smells. Personally I would not be happy with the previous guests.

The new guests already came and went in a quick one-night stay. I should have discussed the smell with them but was a bit taken aback by their early arrival and didn’t think of it. I’m going to hope for a mutual non-review.

Good luck!