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Experienced Airbnb users, leaving a poor impression

This certainly isn’t the most troubling issue. However, I wanted to get other opinions on how to review these guests.

I received an Instant Booking from a couple who introduced themselves as experienced hosts (5 years, multiple properties), who were coming to visit their son who lives in our neighbourhood. They booked our ‘bedsit’ which we have listed as a ‘private room’, and in the description we clarify that it is a space within our house with a shared bathroom in the entrance hallway. They said that, if things “went well” we could become their Airbnb for all their visits (which, admittedly, did feel a little like pandering).

In the message accompanying their booking, they also requested to check-in several hours earlier. Unfortunately, with back to back reservations, accommodating such a request would be terribly difficult, and I had to apologise and explain that it wouldn’t be possible. As they are hosts themselves, I thought they would understand, however the next message I received from them stated that it was “not good” as they “need” to check in at the requested time. They said they presumed our stated check-in was a mistake. Then, they asked to cancel, and what our cancellation policy was.

Now, as experienced hosts, who have also travelled numerous times as guests, I’m sure that they knew where to find this information, and the purpose of asking was to see whether I would volunteer to refund them. I wasn’t willing to waive the cancellation penalty, and I felt that there was implicit pressure to either stand my ground and host disgruntled guests, or accommodate their request.

I accommodated an earlier check-in (though not as early as they were asking), and their reply seemed grateful. They said they were “oldies” who would need a “nanna nap” after attending a function and before seeing their family. To my surprise, though, they arrived 30 minutes prior to my stated check-in, after pressing to arrive as early as possible (even asking if we could text if it was ready sooner than stated), and left immediately after dropping their bags off.

While it was a little frustrating to have to deal with, I understand that plans can change, and if this was the only issue, I don’t think I would be particularly concerned about the review.

I was terribly unwell on their day of arrival, and did not welcome them personally upon check-in, despite being home. Because I happened to be ill and in bed, I overheard their remarks upon arrival about being surprised that there was a shared bathroom. Apparently, they “didn’t know”, which was perplexing to me.

I messaged them later in the evening, emphasising that if they needed anything, please not to hesitate to get in touch. They replied asking for assistance with the television, as they couldn’t get any reception.

My neighbour very kindly attended to the issue, and it was perhaps 15 minutes of inconvenience for them. The antennae had been pulled out of the back of the television, which is understandably an unusual thing to happen. My guests sent a rather blunt message stating that “to rectify this issue for future guests” it should be our “cleaner’s responsibility to check this”. I don’t use a cleaner. Unfortunately, as I had to rush to get the space prepared for them earlier than normal, I made an oversight. I let them know and apologised, but said I was glad my neighbour had been able to resolve the issue so quickly for them.

A little later that evening, they contacted me as they were unable to raise the temperature of our heat pump (air conditioning system). An easy fix - they had set it to ‘cool’, not ‘heat’.

I didn’t hear anything further from them after this.

I was disappointed to find, upon checkout, that for a booking lasting less than 24 hours, they had broken my venetian blinds, which no longer close, and had left ring marks on a coffee table that couldn’t be cleaned out. I didn’t want to interact with them further, and so I let it go, however I couldn’t send them a standard ‘thank-you-for-being-such-great-guests’ email upon departure either. They reviewed me a shortly after check-out.

These guests have glowing reviews, as both hosts and guests. I was surprised by my experience, though. They didn’t come across as friendly, warm, or effusive, as others have stated, and I felt somewhat pressured by them to accommodate their requests. I certainly cannot understand how they could think my stated check-in was a “mistake”, or how they could have missed the fact that the bathroom is shared when we state it repeatedly in our description.

When I need to leave a less than favourable review for guests, it’s generally for someone new to AIrbnb, and vague remarks about not being suited to this type of accommodation work. In this instance, I’m contending with 10+ reviews as a guest, stating that these people were a delight to host. They certainly weren’t terrible, but I can’t think of anything nice to say either. Any suggestions?

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From your description, terrible is exactly the correct adjective to describe them. To review: They asked for an early check in, didn’t take no for an answer, checked in earlier than you agreed on, didn’t read your listing, couldn’t figure out what sounds like an easy to understand temperature control system, broke your blinds and marred your furniture. Yes, they were terrible and they deserve a review that says so.


High-maintenance, stressful, diva guests with a condescending attitude that you would not wish on any host.


Somehow, I knew that you and I would be on the same page on this one.


I got the impression that they started with an air, one of judgement in the sense that they are hosts and whatever you do they can do it and know ‘better’. I am beginning to notice this silly game with hosts, though it tends to stop once they get to my place and throw in the towel in the game of comparisons.

Question: @isobelll what is your check in time btw?


I agree with your analysis. Why do some people think that everything is a competition sport.

Aye Ellen, its like one is dying to say out loud: “Ok, can we stop playing this silly game of one-upmanship?”


Our check-in is at 4.00 PM.

Thank you for all your replies. It’s comforting to know that I’m not being too unreasonable with my impression of the situation.

I think my only concern in writing a review is, within the context of those they have received already, I might come off as the person who is awful to deal with. And because they have left me a review, it might impact on my bookings when people click through to their profile.

I guess I’ll have to think of a way to tactfully convey that this was not a good experience.

You don’t need to be tactful. All you have to do is stick with the facts, both positive and negative.

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@isobelll - I’ve only had negative experiences with hosts-as-guests if it makes you feel any better; one that refused to stay after discovering we had dogs on the property (despite it being clear on the listing) and two that asked for discounts or very early check ins. Super disappointing :thumbsdown:


I think you should review them with Kona’s remark above:

They were “high-maintenance, stressful, diva guests with a condescending attitude”: that I would not wish on any host."


It’s not likely that travelers looking at your property, are going to be clicking on past guest profiles in order to read past reviews you left them. I just don’t see it happening very often. I mean…guests don’t read the listing description or house rules, or anything. All they do is click on photos and read the reviews guests left for you. Maybe a very tiny percentage of guests will look at the reviews left by you. Honestly, I think mostly just us hosts do this.

Anyway, they were manipulative, snaky, deceitful jerks. I hate guests who try to manipulate their way in early with every excuse in the book of why they need to be in early…all the while they are riding around in a cushy car with just a duffel bag.

And geez…I wish you had put your foot down then, and called them on the behavior when he said this is “no good…we need to get in at our requested time.” I learned very quickly that trying to “make peace” or give in just a little…doesn’t work with these types. You have to let them know right away who is boss and treat them like little children. But…I don’t think you need to be concerned with the other glowing reviews. Because you don’t know how many hosts maybe decided NOT to leave these guests reviews at all…so only the good ones remain. You know how it is - guests get think they are a bunch of know it alls once they get a couple of great reviews. And then they start behaving like the rules don’t apply to them.

I’ll write a review later of what I would leave, and you can use parts of it if you wish.

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I would keep it short and to ‘high mintenance in their personal manner’. (aka annoying guests).

I would give some thought to the check in of 4pm honestly. Depending on location and logistics such a late check in could prove to be an inconvenience to many people, not just these two.

What a couple of twits. Yikes. I often use the phrase ‘part of what makes the sharing community great’ in my reviews, but in this case they are ‘part of what makes the sharing community a nightmare’.

Please do review honestly. Please! It’s not just you! Most everyone else on this thread knows the story of when I stayed in a very well reviewed house and it was FILTHY - hair and mold in the tub, huge GOBS of dust in every corner, all along the baseboards, the doors and woodwork disgusting, windows obscene - and only ONE prior review mentioned that it wasn’t clean. Only one prior review mentioned the aggressive horses in a very subtle way.

I have been in your position more than once - another time was a house with great reviews and there was no a/c on the ground floor so it was 86f, no windows or doors with screens to open (it was in the country), NO directions to advertised local spots, reeking of musty mildewy basement. I think “am I the crazy one?” :scream:

This is why I use IB and don’t even bother to check reviews - because everyone is lying to save-face. Early in my ‘career’ I had my first inquiry that actually had reviews -and good ones. I was so excited I wrote them back and gave them a discount. They were terrible, super super loud, rude, dirty, and left beer bottles all over the basement, including private areas!

OK so this is a rant - sorry you got stuck with such divas, as @konacoconutz said - I hope you’re feeling better and that your next guests are quiet, polite, and bearing chocolates.

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There is still some kind of fear amongst hosts to leave negative reviews. As if it is part of the service to the guest, and they still to have keep their fake smile up, after the guest left.

What if all these hosts before you had a negative experience, and did not want to give a negative review? The guest keeps thinking their are perfect guests, and do not change the behaviour, and other hosts are not aware of the ***holes that are going to arrive.

So please always leave a honest review.


I just left a negative review for a guest who was an illegal host in NYC before her landlord shut her down. I started the review by saying “I was surprised” since she was a host. You might start the review by saying that because of all the positive reviews as both a host and a guest, you were surprised by (details). And, yes, I would use “high maintenance” because that’s a red flag for hosts. I turned down a family who wanted five summer weeks at my place (about a $2500 discount plus I don’t allow children). I recently looked at this person’s review and, sure enough, the host in Boulder who got this family said that they were very high maintenance. I dodged that bullet!

Beware of discount seekers! They are never satisfied. I’m mixed on hosts as guests as I’ve had some fabulous ones, but that last one was pretty bad.


Thank you, everyone, for your help. I don’t think that my review of these guests would, under any circumstances, be good. Here is what I have as a draft so far -

X and Y…

Any thoughts?

I feel that saying ‘high maintenance’, or something equally brief, would leave it too open to interpretation. When all other reviews are wonderful, a simple reply that said they asked for assistance twice in the evening, and attributed my review to this, would negate it entirely. So, I’ve tried to be factual, without being overly detailed.

I read it as if I were a host receiving and inquiry from them. If I read such a review of such a guest, I would turn them down (or, send them an outrageously high “special offer”). I don’t need the headaches. I also hope that you give them a “thumbs down” so that they will not be able to instant book for those of us who have marked “must be recommended by other hosts” (or whatever the phrasing).

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isobell, it’s a little wordy. You don’t need to really explain to other hosts why the early check in pressure was an inconvenience. Stick to reporting the facts. You don’t need to add any explanatory discussions. At the end say, cannot recommend.

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