Greeting guests after they've arrived

I’m beginning to host…tonight actually and I may not be there for the guests arrival. They will be staying in a room in my home. The question is, when you are not present at check in, what is the etiquette for greeting guests? Do I knock on the door? Or wait for us to cross paths?


I have never not been present when someone arrived at my home. So I can’t help.

I message them through the app or text them to their number on the reservation. Do you offer coffee or breakfast in the morning? I also wait until I hear that they are awake.

I always make sure I am there to greet guests so I can show them around the property and answer any questions they might have.

If you aren’t going to be there have you got a guest book that tells them about your place and how things like heating, showers, cooker etc work and local facilities like transport, shops etc

I would suggest you agree a time later today or tomorrow to meet up with them.


For me, greeting the guests and familiarising them with the place is essential. The only very few occasions when I haven’t has been due to guests arriving at a mad hour - like 2 am - because of travel delays.

Just my opinion but I see greeting guests as being one of the most important parts of my hosting work. I sometimes see posts here from angry hosts who say that they’ve had to miss a dinner appointment or a party because of guests arriving late and I’m afraid that I have no patience with that attitude.

I arrange social events, dental appointments, chores and my ‘real’ job around my guests’ arrival times - I don’t expect it to be the other way around.


@jaquo I can see what you mean. My perspective has thus far only been from the point of view of a guest and I much prefer when I do not have a specific time to adhere to. All but one airbnb that I have stayed in had self-check in, and that one experience was stressful because I was delayed. I was also exhausted after a 7 hour drive and would have much preferred reading a guest book rather than the 25 minute meet and greet. It was a private entrance room set up much like a hotel room and a tour wasn’t necessary. I also don’t have the ability to change my work schedule but I was upfront in my ad regarding my availability.

I have a guest book and I’ve been in communication with the guest via the app so that’s all good. I like the idea of setting up a time to introduce myself and answer any questions.

Thanks for all of the replies!

I don’t have very much that I (think I) need to explain, and I feel like guests have usually just had to deal with public transportation in the big city, they don’t want to listen to me - once I’ve shown them the bathroom and where they are sleeping, I offer them tea or coffee. They usually at least say yes to water. Then I can give them 5 minutes to exhale and use the toilet while I putter in the kitchen - and then we can come back together without suitcases between us to cover their most pressing questions.

If I can’t be there when they arrive (usually my husband handles things, but every now and then we miss each other) then the next time I see them I offer them tea. People relax when you offer them tea. :slight_smile:

1 Like