Didn't know it was a private room instead of entire place

Hello Forum -
Last night we got an instant booking for 4 guests in April. The party booked our listing titled, “Tropical Paradise, 1 or 2 rooms w/ Private Bath”. It is clearly listed as a private room. This morning, we got this message from the guest:

“Hello - I was reading over the information about your property this morning and noticed that you may be at home during the length of our stay. Is this true? If so, it is not a problem; I just wanted to be prepared and prepare the other guests in my party. We don’t want to be in your way, but want to be able to relax, cook, and use the pool when we are not at the parks.”

Should I be nervous about guests who were expecting a whole house but got a private listing? And also, is this a common mistake for guests new to Airbnb? Should I be more clear in my description that this is a private room and that I will be house. I worried about getting a bad review because people’s expectations were misplaced. Just curious if other hosts have run into this.

It happens. One of my first guests to ever book booked at a rate of £29 per night for 2 guests. When I was checking them in the guy said; ‘do you live nearby ?’ I was initially stunned and then asked if he thought he’d rented a whole property for £29 in zone 2 of London.

One of the earliest lessons I learned as a new host; people don’t read and anything is possible.


How did your guests handle the news? Were they ok with it? Did they give you a good review?

I got a five star review but they knocked me on value. Hilarious as £29 between two is £15 each, and I included a very decent organic breakfast. Did I mention I also have a pool that they used? They also taught me you can give too much and it’s usually not appreciated.

I stopped with the organic stuff and stopped making special trips to buy croissants after they left.


To be honest, they might or might not actually be happy with the arrangement. If this was me, I would send them a message via the AirBNB message system suggesting that they could contact AirBNB to move their reservation to a different listing. Even if they choose not to move, you will appear to be accommodating and helpful which is never a bad thing. Contacting AirBNB is the only way, I believe, that a guest can cancel without loosing the fees.

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OMG I’m coming to yours next time I am in London :slight_smile:


When I started hosting I was really idealistic. I wanted to provided exceptional value but I also wanted to treat people to the same life style I hold dear. I believe in organic food \ fair trade etc so I couldn’t get my head around buying the guests something different.

We have had surprised guests too. We have 3 rooms and a private bath, but we list as rooms, not whole house. Air B&Bs is poorly constructed for anything other than whole house or one room. I do not use Instant Book and I spell it out in my email communication, because as others have noticed, guests don’t read.

after 5 years of hosting its a good tip to put room in your listing heading along with checking that you did actually tick the room or apartment box when adding your listing - otherwize you will end up with people looking to rent either - confusing insures

We’ve had a few of these. We’ve learnt how to spot them by their communication wording. Most recently we clarified with a guest that it wasn’t the entire house, but it may as well be because it’s so big with bathrooms everywhere that guests basically have the run of the house. With that explanation, they decided to keep the booking…

Well, they loved it, and actually mentioned in their review that although they expected an entire property, and had to share, it really was no imposition at all.

On the other hand, we have had guests that just don’t get on with others, total lack of social graces, and it’s better for all and understandable why they need their own space. Fortunately, those guests didn’t leave reviews… in keeping with their social ineptitude.

We did tune our listing in a little to avoid too many occurrences, and it seems to have worked.

I have a two storey cottage, the lower floor, at ground level, (no basement as the ground is bedrock under an inch or two of soil) is a complete separate unit. It has three bedrooms, br, kitchen ,living area, approx 1,200 sq feet. Despite being very clear in my description, I still get people thinking the get both levels for the price of a much smaller cottage, my nearby competition rent whole single storey cottages that are about 800 -1,000 sq feet fir the same price as mine. I offer to cancel with no penalties, one person was so obnoxious, I declined her, then she wasn’t happy she couldn’t book. I had a gut feeling she would be an unpleasant guest.
Some like that I’m nearby to help with issues city folks aren’t used to. Some are concerned that there will be less privacy, but my reviewers are quite fulsome in praise for how non intrusive my presence is.
“Finally, Louise isn’t lying when she says she’s like a neighbour. Although she is on the property, you wouldn’t know it.”

All my guests get this message including instant book guests :


Thanks for choosing my home for your Halifax stay. I appreciate it.

Can you confirm that you have read the entire listing including the house rules and that you are aware that you have booked one of two Airbnb rooms in the home where I live, that the washroom is shared, and that you are totally fine with this?