First low rating, should I respond

A guest left this week and commented that my rental, “lacked privacy.” This is my first negative response.

The group had a two-day reservation for three brothers (in their 50s) and a teenage son. They chartered a boat and spent a day fishing.

That’s all, no details. The only thing I can figure is that in the evening, when they were using the spa I walked out several times to ask if the spa temperature was ok, volunteering to adjust it to be more comfortable.

The spa is solar heated but the temperature has to be manually controlled. Sometimes, on a sunny day gets too hot (110F), I usually monitor the temperature during the day and try to maintain the temperature between 95 and 98F.

Should I respond, perhaps explaining the information above, or just ignore it?

The rental is at the back of our house, my family and I live in the front. I guess I am going to add a note to my listing indicating renters do not have exclusive rights to use pool and patio area and are sharing them with me.

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You walked out several times? 2? 3? 4 times? I would find this very invasive and creepy as a female, so no real idea what a bunch of guys would think, don’t you think once would be enough?

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I think that’s a great idea.

I agree with @Debthecat in that I don’t see really why it was necessary for you to go out several times.

I wouldn’t worry about a comment like ‘lacked privacy’. I know it might seem like a criticism but it isn’t really. Privacy is something that will be important to some guests but not others. It’s as if, for instance, one review says ‘too far to walk to the beach’ and another says ‘easy walk to the beach’ - which is right? They both are really because different people have different perceptions.

I’d pay no attention. But it might be an idea to warn guests somehow - either in the listing or in person - that they won’t have total privacy in the hot tub in case you host a particularly amorous couple :wink:


I agree with jaquo that “lacked privacy” is just a statement of fact not a negative; don’t respond.

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What about the overall and category star ratings?

So they say… Lol, they wanted privacy in the spa. Leave your nearly naked guests alone. You earned this I would ignore it and learn from it.



Almost always it is better NOT to Respond to Guest reviews. It tends to look like you’re in a ‘pissing contest’ with them.

I agree with the others, you more or less brought the comment on yourself – once was enough to go inquiring.


It was necessary to go our several times because they were here three days. Every time they get ready to go in the spa it is necessary to divert the water from the pool to the spa. With solar heat there is not any way to control the temperature. There is a temperature reading on the pool equipment, but on a sunny day the water temperature can go up as much as five degrees in 15 minutes–as this is all manual I had to ask they if the water was too hot and change the pool valves to inject pool water to cool down the spa.

They went in the spa six times, every afternoon and evening.

If it got too hot it would be like the lobster in the kettle, not realize it was too hot until they fainted.

Thanks for the opinions–that was the direction I was leaning, so will leave well enough alone.

Pool spas are a pain, or at least this one is. Solar is the same category.

In January, when we had cold snaps, guests were complaining that the spa was too cold, and with the water below 50 F, the solar could not cope with it.

Guests have total privacy, except in the spa and pool, they are right outside their living room door, but this is a four bedroom house and every bedroom has a double sliding door going out to the pool/spa, so you can’t really expect much privacy.

Out of 30 quests, all have been five star except this one. Of course this was also the first one after reaching super host.

Really - TWELVE times in 2 days! it sounds like your equipment has some major health and safety issues and i would be terrified of anyone using it, if someone to monitor it was not around.

I wouldn’t worry about it if it 1 out 30. People will look at the majority of reviews.

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That is why I have to stay nearby and monitor it.

A spa only holds a few hundred gallons (a guess) while the pool holds 22,000 (actual). So the spa heats up in a hurry. I turn the spa on at 5 or 6 at night and by 7:30 when it the sun goes too low to heat the spa, its temperature is around 110F–before anyone can go in it I have to dump in colder pool water and drop it to 97 or 98, which is the highest they should be going in.

These guys were here for three days. and went in two or three times per day. The pool was 88, but for some reason they wanted to just sit in the spa.

Also do not know where the 12 came from it was six times at most.

This sounds like a huge headache for you! Do you think the spa is that vital to your listing or have you considered only letting the pool be available? That way there is no need to monitor anything and people don’t feel like you’re hovering when in reality you’re just trying to keep them from cardiac arrest in a boiling hottub.

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I guess that is the advantage of having to manually switch the equipment from pool to spa. If I am not here it could not be done. It requires six valves to be changed to accomplish that.

It would take thousands of dollars to make that automatic and then there would be a worry!

Forgot, it is amazing how many people come because of the spa.

We have lived here 25 years, built the house, pool, etc. Rarely used the spa until going on AirBnB.

Not sure about other countries, but if you are in the USA, this along with other the statements you made in this thread would open you up for lawsuits should anything ever go wrong. You really need to at a minimum install an automatic shutoff that stops the flow of warm water when the temp reaches the maximum safe temp (104F, I think).


Yep! If you have some crazy system that takes operating 6 valves manually, you either need to close it, or get someone who knows what they’re doing to design an automatic system to so that you can set the temp from inside the house, or better from your phone (and don’t let guests adjust it!). If your hot tub is what draws guests, this is a very necessary investment because of your potential liability.

I am having a pool company install a controller that will thermostatically control and limit the spa temperature.


You live and learn. Send a message on platform next time.