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Getting rained on when going to the bathroom

Hello everyone.

I have a logistical issue which might make some guests unhappy. Unfortunately, this is something that I can’t fix, as far as I can see. However please feel free to offer out of the box suggestions.

The issue is implicit in what I posted in my listing, but I have not said anything about it explictly. I am thinking that maybe I should - it’s better than someone mentioning in a review, but I also don’t want to put people off if possible.

So, my listing is located in Bombay (now called Mumbai). This is on the West Coast of India, about halfway down. From June to September approximately, the area receives heavy rains, commonly called the monsoons. It doesn’t rain continuously the whole time, of course, but when it does rain, it can commonly be quite heavy. Here is my listing - http://towerroom.net/.

As you can see from my listing, the (full) bathroom is located at the “end” of the balcony garden. However, this involves walking through the garden, and most of it is open to the sky. So if it is raining heavily, one could get wet. The length of the open area before getting to the bathroom isn’t very long - though I don’t know how long, exactly. I could measure it.

Note that there are separate half bathrooms (separate shower room and toilet) available to guests off the kitchen. I haven’t added pics because they are not terribly photogenic, but they are functional. However, I imagine most people would prefer to use the former full bathroom.

So, the options available to guests seem to be:

  1. use some sort of cover (umbrella or otherwise) when going to the bathroom.

  2. go around from inside the house. This is doable, but a bit awkward. it involves going through a couple of rooms, the living room (occasionally occupied), and a bedroom (largely unused). (Note, the bathroom has two doors - one opens into the garden area, the other one opens into the main house area.)

  3. use the bathroom by the kitchen area.

The question is what to say in the listing without being deceptive while at the same time not being off-putting. So far most of the booking I’m getting are extremely short - I’m mostly getting lengths of stay from 1 day to 4 days. So hopefully people won’t be here long enough for it to get on their nerves.

Covering up the relevant area so that guests can walk to the bathroom without getting rained on looks impractical to me. If I lived in a Star Trek universe I could erect some kind of force field over the garden area…

Personally it wouldn’t bother me. But yeah I could imagine highly strung / high maintenance people moaning about it. But they will moan about anything. So I’m stuck. I don’t think you should mention rain. But maybe say a short walk outside? I don’t think weather should ever be mentioned.

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I would imagine that anyone booking your place during monsoon season will know that there is going to be a lot of rain. But then again, we are talking Airbnb guests here! To be honest, faheem, it is not very clear in your listing about the bathroom situation. Guests have access to two bathrooms, yes? From the text I can’t tell the difference between the one that’s off the kitchen and the one that’s accessible via the garden. If it’s heavy rain, can’t they just use the one by the kitchen? In any case, option number 1 seems the best - big umbrellas! You could even mention that in the list under ‘Guest Access’, eg.

  • The full bathroom accessible via the garden (umbrellas are provided during monsoon season)

Faheem -

Congratulations on your first reviews - beautiful! I can’t see ever making it to Mumbai, but if I did, I’d love to stay in your home.

This is what I think you should do - show a photo of someone walking to the bathroom. Possibly even show someone walking with a bright, cheerful umbrella. Borrow a child if you can, with their back to the camera - with the pretty umbrella and beautiful flowers. People will WANT to walk outside to the bathroom. Sell it as charming and quirky. Put a clear caption on the photo “a short walk through the lovely garden takes you to your full bath. Umbrellas provided in case of inclement weather”. IMMEDIATELY after that, post a photo of the other options, even if just a peek through a door, with caption “alternative options for restroom”. The photo of the walk to the bath should soon follow the photos of the bedroom. The two most important things someone needs to know is - where will they sleep, and where will they pee. You could possible reduce the photos of the room - people get fatigued easily when searching through listings.

Yes, some guests will be turned-off by the fact of the ‘garden walk’, but better that then someone is freaked out by this charming facet of your home.

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Faheem, I confess the title of your topic initially conjured up a different set of pictures in my mind! I thought it involved a hole in the ceiling or one of those elevated water tanks or people living above or something (I have a fertile imagination!), but you meant it literally. Silly me.

I guess providing umbrellas to guests would probably be the most logical and practical. But wouldn’t there be a problem of their footwear sloshing along the walkway and slipping concerns as well?

Why was the name changed?

I would not worry too much.

I think they type of guest that will book your place will not have a problem with the rain. It will be one of it charms.
Provide them with umbrella’s and all will be ok.

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Because Bombay was the Britisch Imperial name, now it has got its local name back.

I agree. Your place has so much charm and it’s not like guests are going to be running to the toilet block in the freezing cold like camping in the UK :slight_smile: And now you have an electric kettle so they can make tea so it’s all good. Just read that thread about kettles, it’s great! I’ve learned loads on here.

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Bombay was the name for the city when the UK ruled over India x

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"The oldest known names for the city are Kakamuchee and Galajunkja; these are sometimes still used.[30][31] Ali Muhammad Khan, in the Mirat-i-Ahmedi (1507) referred to the city as Manbai.[32] In 1508, Portuguese writer Gaspar Correia used the name Bombaim, in his Lendas da Índia (“Legends of India”).[33][34] This name possibly originated as the Old Portuguese phrase bom baim, meaning “good little bay”,[35] and Bombaim is still commonly used in Portuguese.[36] In 1516, Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa used the name Tana-Maiambu: Tana appears to refer to the adjoining town of Thane and Maiambu to Mumbadevi.[37]

Other variations recorded in the 16th and the 17th centuries include: Mombayn (1525), Bombay (1538), Bombain (1552), Bombaym (1552), Monbaym (1554), Mombaim (1563), Mombaym (1644), Bambaye (1666), Bombaiim (1666), Bombeye (1676), Boon Bay (1690),[36][38] and Bon Bahia.[39] After the British gained possession of the city in the 17th century, the Portuguese name was officially anglicised as Bombay.[40]

By the late 20th century, the city was referred to as Mumbai or Mambai in the Indian statewise official languages of Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati, Kannada and Sindhi, and as Bambai in Hindi.[41] The English name was officially changed to Mumbai in November 1995.[42] This came at the insistence of the Marathi nationalist Shiv Sena party that had just won the Maharashtra state elections and mirrored similar name changes across the country and particularly in Maharashtra.[43] According to Slate, “they argued that ‘Bombay’ was a corrupted English version of ‘Mumbai’ and an unwanted legacy of British colonial rule.”[44] Slate also said “The push to rename Bombay was part of a larger movement to strengthen Marathi identity in the Maharashtra region.”[45] While the city is still referred to as Bombay by some of its residents and Indians from other regions,[46][47] mention of the city by a name other than Mumbai has been controversial, resulting in emotional outbursts sometimes of a violently political nature.[48][49]

A resident of Mumbai is called mumbaikar; in Marathi language the suffix kar has a meaning resident of. The term has been in use for quite some time but it gained popularity after the official name change to Mumbai.[50]"

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Way off topic here, but calling the Shiv Sena nationalist is way too polite. They are a bunch of nasty fascist thugs. Not that the other Indian political parties are much better.

Also, I wasn’t actually in India when the name change happened, but I believe it was quite controversial.

I assume the above is a quote from Wikipedia.

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Hi @Paul_Janaway,

Thanks for the feedback. But I’m not clear about:

and

Which I assume are variations of the same theme. Why should weather not be mentioned?

Because it is unpredictable. I do have a most General Seasonal Weather reference in my listing, but not get into details what would happen if the weather is this or that any given day.

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Hi @Magwitch,

Yes, that’s correct. Here is what I wrote in my listing:

Note that this room does not have an en suite bathroom. There are one full bathroom (sink + toilet + shower stall) close by, which is reserved solely for guest use. This is accessible via the garden.

Additionally, there is a shower room (containing a sink + shower) again reserved solely for guest use, and a toilet (containing a sink + toilet), which is shared. Both the shower room and toilet are accessible from the kitchen area.

Suggestions for improved clarity would be appreciated.

I’m not sure what you mean. The most significant difference is that the one in the garden is a full bathroom and the one by the kitchen is two half bathrooms. And the one by the kitchen isn’t photogenic, hence omitted from the photos.

I suppose so. But people tend to leave stuff in the bathroom, like toiletries, towels etc. etc. They probably wouldn’t want to carry it back and forth.

Yes, that sounds like a good suggestion, thanks. I just bought two umbrellas. I could stick one in a bucket by the door leading to the garden.

My major concern is that people may freak out over this. Though in my personal list of things to fear, water falling from the sky ranks fairly low. But everyone is different.

Thanks, @dcmooney. We’d be glad to have you. :slight_smile:

Interesting suggestion. Thanks. I’m not sure I want to draw attention to the weather situation by adding a photo with an umbrella, though. I was thinking more of sneaking in a mention of the weather in an indirect way, like @Magwitch suggested. This may be sneaky and underhand, but you know what they say - all’s fair in love, war, and Airbnb hosting.

Hmm, the bathroom by the kitchen isn’t very photogenic, so I’m not sure about showing them. The Airbnb photographer took one look at it and was, like, no. I guess I could post photos of it, and you guys can judge for yourselves.

Hi @SandyToes,

Thanks for the comments.

Possibly yes. I did buy a couple of umbrellas today.

Possibly yes. People here mostly wear sandals, particularly in the monsoons. Shoes would get wet very quickly. I’ve never actually slipped and fallen over due to rain - it doesn’t reduce traction. But sure, it’s possible.

There’s a thread about kettles??!!

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Is walking through open-air passageways to various rooms the “norm” for homes in Mumbai? Or is your house a unique situation?

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Exactly what I was going to say. It’s unpredictable.

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