Guest Review Criteria

Has anyone seen some sort of rating guidance doc related to star ratings for guests? Best I can tell reviews are very subjective and what one host deems a 2 star guest another may call a 4 star. I’d love to hear what other hosts do to determine how many stars a guest should be given.

I suppose in my head I see this: 5 - Great, 4 - Good, 3 - Average, 2 - Poor, 1 - Oh shit

Today we had a guest checkout and I want to give them a 3 on cleanliness, my wife thinks a four is more appropriate and that a three is too harsh. The guest left dirty dishes in the sink (theres a dishwasher 1.5 ft left of it, dirty pot on the stove. They left packaging from the food they cooked on the counter tops, opened food self-serve snack containers and left the jar in the middle of the counter with the lid off. Left a half used mouth wash from the bathroom in the kitchen? One of them slept on the couch and left the pillows on the floor, dirty blankets on the couch and a single person used three different blankets, not even including the standard linen on the actual bed.

It would be helpful to have a standardized context across all hosts. What are your guys thoughts?

I agree that it is subjective but also agree with you on a 3 (if not a 2) and feel that 4 is too kind.


It kind of depends on what your rules say about doing the dishes, picking up trash, where to leave dirty towels and linens, etc. However, I personally think you should just go by how long it takes you to clean up whatever mess they leave, because that’s what really matters. I didn’t even bat an eye at spending an extra 15 minutes cleaning up things left in the sink, in the refrigerator, on the counters, etc. Your list seems borderline at even reducing the cleanliness rating from a 5 to a 4.

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They’re not worthy of a 4, not even a 3. I would deduct one star for each mess. Everyone starts with a five and deduct one star for each issue. The lid off the container is okay as well as the packaging left on the counter and pillows on the floor (minor infractions) but deduct one star for major infractions:
-dishes in the sink
-dirty pot on stove
-person used three different blankets (more laundry for you)
5 stars minus 3 major infractions = 2 stars

Interesting and good feedback from everyone so far. Thanks for it. Also, it proves the necessity for Airbnb to create guidelines of sort.

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3 across the board and a possible 2 for cleanliness.

5 is a guest who is fine and rates 5 across the board in the individual ratings. You don’t have to love their personalities but if they came, followed the rules, and paid they’re a 5. 4 and down is for not getting a 5 across the items such as cleanliness. And for breaking house rules. For instance, I gave a 2 to a local guest who broke all my house rules about food, guests, etc and a “do not recommend” on his review. 4 is a guest who perhaps broke a minor house rule, and that’s reflected in cleanliness, etc. ranking. 3 is for a guest that came, made a mess or behaved like an entitled jerk. 2 is for pissing off the deck naked and for the cleanliness issues. 1 is for complete asshat.


Most guests put trash in the bin, wash dishes, etc. Some guests will leave “some amount of mess” and it’s part of the deal.

If there aren’t any stains, damage, smoking, etc., then we just shrug and move on. Blankets are there to be used so it is what it is. We would rate 4 overall with 3 for cleanliness.

I know that you aren’t “happy” but it’s money and if it’s just “some additional cleaning” then pour a glass of wine and “heads in beds” as our master poster likes to say.

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@WinsomeLoft I hate star ratings. As you say, they are so subjective that they really don’t mean much of anything, at least to me. As you can see clearly from the responses here, we have hosts who consider it a 2*, a 3*, 4*, and even a “borderline 4-5*s.”

All I put any value in is the written reviews, and even then I dismiss ones that don’t give me any information. “Nice guests” doesn’t cut it.

That said, the state the guests left it certainly doesn’t seem “good” to me, so I’d give them 3*s for cleanliness.

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You have got to be kidding. That’s a 5 star guest. “Pillows on the floor”–you do know you’re providing accommodations right? I don’t think you’re cut out for this.


We also don’t charge a cleaning fee. I’m not the parents of a teenage kid. Two people used a total of 6 blankets and left two of them on the couch like they just rolled out of bed. The pillows from the couch were thrown all over the living room. Turns out we don’t run a crack house and 99.8% of our guests (of hundreds) are spotless.

On a side note, I feel like the quality of our guests has really went into the shitter with COVID. ALL of our three worst guests ever have happened in the last 60 days. Prior to the last 2 months I had never given a single guest anything less than 5 stars in ANY category.


Sure, I don’t disagree with that. To be clear, that’s what we do. Regardless, the rating system still exists, presumably for such occasions. I’m trying to find a happy balance that’s realistic and fair to everyone. That’s why I’m soliciting different thoughts on the topic.

A messy kitchen with garbage left out and dirty dishes and pots left for the host to wash? Sorry, there’s nothing 5* about that. You must be used to hosting some pretty slobby guests.
I guess when hosts ask "how on earth could this guest have managed to have 5* reviews from his other hosts when he was such a slob? ", they are talking about the reviews that hosts like you leave.


@muddy Maybe you should take a point off for fingerprints on the door handles. Or maybe another point off for leaving a hair on the bed. You are in the hospitality industry whether you like it or not and you seem a little grumpy–maybe this is not the path for you either. After 4,200+ reviews across all my properties I’ve seen it all. I can tell you that a guest messing up a few pillows and leaving things out is a pretty good guest.


Understood. From what you described they didn’t stain anything or cause damage? So, there’s a bit more time to clean but it is only one guest out of many so we don’t worry too much.

The real question is would you have them back? Would you have them as guests if you knew up front their habits. Sounds to me like they weren’t great but nothing honestly bad?

They clearly should not get 5 stars. But if they didn’t cause stains or damage then we’d give them 4 overall. And 3 for cleanliness - perhaps even 4. If it was only 10-15 of extra cleaning with no tough stains and no damage and no smoking.

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God was being sarcastic …

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Oh please. Not another host who thinks he knows it all and tells other hosts, judging from one post they didn’t agree with, that they aren’t cut out for hosting. Your handle is fitting and fits your arrogance.
Being in the hospitality industry doesn’t mean that you have to accept disrespectful behavior and call it 5*s.
I’m not a fusspot host. Of course I expect to have to clean up after a guest leaves. Of course I don’t have unreasonable expectations. I don’t get guests who leave a pigsty behind them or think I should be responsible for washing their dirty dishes. Sorry if you do and that you leave dishonest reviews.


God doesn’t sound like the God I was told about as a child.

I didn’t realise that God was a self opinionated deity.

Ah, the sort of opinionated twaddle that comes with being holier than thou.

Reminds me, for some strange reason, of the Brummie comedy sketches, repeating “I’m considerably richer than yow”, when meeting strangers on the golf course, holidays, cruises etc.

For the uninitiated, a strong Brummie (Birmingham) accent is like drawing finger nails down a blackboard, and a perfect fit for the character.

Can’t recall the comedian’s name; where’s @JohnF when I need him?


One of our guests received a 5* review after having a wee outside by the front door…

Jasper Carrot per chance?


No, sadly not. Much later than Jasper, or should I say JC?

We can both see him but not his name. I think it was the same chap who did the painful adolescent Kevin, with the grunt.