Have to leave a bad review for a guest....it's hard

“Guests were (on time, easy to deal with, left the place in X condition. ) However we detected the odour of tobacco, possibly coming from their possessions.”

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yes same for me today considering my guest in light of this community. Should I put in her review that she left a menthol smell that will be three days getting rid of and still wafting. She bent the curtain rod which is about the $7 kind. Second guest to do this. I do not know how. Also, I spent an hour dealing with her final night because she did not make her reservation properly ie a night short.

I’m surprised at how many people on this site ‘pussy foot’ about their potential reviews.
Speak the truth, calmly, clearly and unemotionally.
Don’t just tell us, tell them!!


I just had a couple staying who filled my house with a smell of marijuana.
I know some people like it but I absolutely hate it .
They didn’t smoke in the house or even outside as it’s forbidden under my rules.
But it was their smell.
It seriously was awful.
They wanted to stay another day and I said No.
I can’t imagine smelling like this on a regular basis . My whole house stank.
My long term guests made comments everyday about the smell .

It doesn’t bother me in the least. If you committed equally egregious acts as a host, they would cut you no slack.

I view unannounced early arrivals the same way. If I delayed their expected check in by two hours the sky would fall!

On my posted house rules (in a frame in each room) I state that smoking will result in the loss of the security deposit ($200) for professional cleaning and any violations of house rules may result in immediate eviction without a refund.

IMHO, smoking is no different than smearing anything smelly on every surface in the place. Cleanliness is such a huge factor in customer satisfaction and smells go right along with it.


I get this. I had some guests recently that were actually pretty decent people. However, they were smokers and while they DID smoke outside and far enough away from the house, they threw all their butts into the gutter. We are in a coastal community so we all know where they would have ended up, not that it is okay anywhere in the first place. Fortunately, our neighbor does not keep the gutter in front of his house as weed free as we do so we were able to collect them all (YUCK) from the gutter and street and dispose of them properly. I gave them a good review but I did say that they threw their butts in the gutter and we just were not okay with that. They never did review me.

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I agree totally. As a host you could see mine is a homestay, or message me if you wondered about the review. The most important thing is that hosts don’t pretend everything was hunky dory (default position for most) when it wasn’t.


Perhaps. I had a guest with a sweating condition once and I washed at least 2 t-shirts every day for him and I thought that was fine because it was not his fault and he was managing it. The ones I would complain about would be just not washing or laundering for weeks and that is totally unacceptable, especially if they stink the room out for a long time afterwards. The last one had an extreme smell of tramp on his clothes which hit you like a wall. They’re always male and I think have never been taught it’s unacceptable.

Absolutely. I recently had some guests who had several nice reviews but an overall star rating of 3. WTH?? Why write a nice review if you’re going to rate them down?
They turned out to be absolutely lovely.

So Sorry to hear this - I too have a log cabin and I had similar issues - I now have changed my policy to not allow smokers at all - it’s been amazing - I have actually increased my bookings as guests book they want a totally smoke free experience ! So my advice is go down this route - wood retains odours so just ban smokers totally - problem solved ! X

I have always had a strict no smoking ANYWHERE on the property…these people just ignored it I guess…

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I found that just saying smoking is banned in or on our property still didn’t stop smokers arriving with clothes and hair smelling strongly -

I actually say


If you smoke please do not book our property as we will ask you to leave if we detect you smoke !!

I also have a NO SMOKING photo on my gallery photos !

I also ask them to CONFIRM THAT NONE OF THE PARTY SMOKE - Pre accepting the booking !

Since putting these restrictions we have not had this problem and it’s just wonderful !

Friendly Regards

Annette Flower

Island View Cabin Tenby -



01834 843066

Awesome ideas… sound a little harsh at first but I think you’re right, the non-smokers will read it and appreciate the strict policy. I think I will implement it. I sure don’t want to go through that cleaning program again!

Smokers are a PITA. Even if you provide ashtrays they still use the garden, and let the smoke drift through open doors all through the house.

I like the premise but in reality I can’t/don’t want to do that for 2 main reasons.

  1. While I ABHOR cigarette/cigar smoke, I don’t hate the people and don’t want to discriminate (too much…would ove the ones who smell of smoke to nott book)

  2. I would either not get as many bookings or would get guests who lied and did it anyways (which I have now too so why lose the chance to have them do the right thing?)

I have the same exact thing. And half the time they don’t even try to hide it!! I have TWO no smoking pics in my photos. One is just the symbol and one adds the words No smoking in premises.

Problem is that even non-smokers can be at venues where they come back to the room smelling of smoke. I have a line in that important first rule about no smoking anywhere in the entire property that if they go to a venue where smoking is there to let me know so I can put in an extra hepa filter since I am sensitive to the smell. I only have that extra line in the private room listing in the home where I live though, not in the whole house listings.

Ah we are fortunate as here in the UK All premises ban smoking inside - so hence no issue with our guests getting smoke odours from restaurants or pubs !

I honestly have had so many guests say they chose us as they were delighted we don’t allow smokers ! People just love the fact that our cabin smells clean and fresh !

I know it’s harsh but we had experienced so many issues when allowing smoking outside ( they left the cabin doors wide open and smoked immediately outside the door with all the smoke blowing inside the cabin - they filled beer cans with ash & butts and left them inside in the kitchen bin ) and always seemed to leave ash and butts in the bins and on the deck - plus they just flicked the butts on our lawn !

Now with my strict rules plus no smoking photo on our pictures page and follow up message Pre booking for them to please confirm they are both non smokers - so far it’s been a great success - sweet smelling happy guests and we love it !

Friendly Regards

Annette Flower

Island View Cabin Tenby -



01834 843066

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Hi Jaquo
I appreciate all your responses on people’s posts.
I just had guests that left, they were very happy with everything - very impressed with furniture, decor, welcoming drinks, etc etc. They did nothing wrong, but an air of entitlement about them that I dont like. I would not want them back though. Not sure if she will leave a review, but if she does, I am quite sure it will be a good one as I could see they were very impressed with my place and I went the extra by ordering pizza delivery for them when they asked etc. I just dont like them. So - what to say in review?
Air keeps askingfor review - do I HAVE to write one?

No you don’t. Airbnb will pester you but there’s no obligation at all. Although I firmly believe in outlining any problems in reviews so that future hosts can evaluate the guests, if the guests were fine then there’s nothing to warn potential hosts about :slight_smile:

Sometimes I have to admit, I’ve had guests who have been so unmemorable (nothing bad and nothing particularly good) that I’ve simply forgotten to review them. I don’t feel bad about this because I have zero information to give hosts-to-be.