Help with writing a review please

I did look through some past related posts that did help a bit, but I could still use a little perspective on this.

Had recent guests who weren’t bad guests, but I didn’t particularly like them and I wouldn’t host them again.

I have two side by side holiday lets that are on the ground floor underneath my own home. We host a lot of mountain bikers and provide secure storage sheds for their bikes. These are located in my back garden.

Recent guests were two guys, up for cycling in the area. The booking guest had 5, pretty effusively positive 5 star reviews. I’m aware this is only my opinion, but on initial meeting they struck me as “good time guys”, or as my husband said “a pair of chancers”. From the get go felt we would need to keep an eye on them.

On the second day of their stay we found out that they were letting a friend use the bike shed to keep his bike in overnight. This broke one of our house rules that there should be no unregistered guests on the property without permission of the host. I ended up having to confront this stranger in my back garden and ask who he was and who gave him permission to use the shed. It wasn’t a distressing situation, I could pretty much guess at what was going on before asking. But it was annoying to have to deal with. I hate when guests are the type that think they can let any of their pals in to use the facilities. At the end of the day we did let him leave his bike, and the guest sent a message apologising and saying they didn’t ask as they didn’t think it would be a problem, their friend was sleeping in his van and they were helping him out and oops, didn’t know it was in the house rules. No other issues during their stay but I did feel on edge until they left.

When they left, the flat was a bit messier than the norm. Nothing terrible, nothing ruined, things like food smears on the sofa, water marks left on the coffee table. Took a little more time to clean, but not much. I guess to me it felt a bit casual, and disrespectful of the property. But I do also charge a (pretty minimal) cleaning fee, and don’t have a written expectation for how property is to be left, so I’m aware of how that could have factored in to how they left things.

At the moment I’m at marking them down to 4 stars for house rules and cleanliness but a bit stumped on wording the review. I’m down to “Good communication. Felt they were a bit casual with the property.” Too vague? Are there any good bland review phrases for “meh” guests? I didn’t care for them, but they weren’t awful, and trying to keep it professional. Thoughts appreciated.

How about just stating the facts: “Guest did not follow house rules and allowed an unregistered guest on the property.”

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“Casual with the property” would be too vague for me.

I would not have any issue with the way they left the place- seems pretty standard for what I’d expect from 2 guys.

“Friendly guests, with good communication. Place was left a bit messier than we are accustomed to. Future hosts may want to ensure that the guests have read all the house rules, as they invited a friend to store his bike in our garage, creating an awkward situation when I encountered this unknown person on the property. The guests did apologize, though, when the no visitors house rule was pointed out to them.”

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I like @muddy 's specificity. A future Host needs to know that these guests would allow an unregistered guest on to the property, and in a shared space.

I was surprised by both your and @muddy 's nonchalance to this. I would specifically mention these as some Hosts might have a problem with this, at least ‘food smears on the sofa.’

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I’m nonchalant about it because water marks on a coffee table and some stains on upholstered furniture seems like something hosts would realize is part and parcel of doing strs. I have no upholstered furniture, but if I did, I would make sure to use washable slipcovers on them.

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These seem like good guests and whatever “a pair of chancers” are, I hope I get some to rent my place. Yes, they should read the rules about no guests but I can see why they would see no problem with their buddy using the shed for bike storage. Had they let him shower or eat dinner with them in the rental though, it would have irritated me. So it’s a fine line.

Since this is a quirk mostly related to the bike storage, be specific to that in the review. If a guest does something I don’t like but another host might be fine with it then I reflect that in the review.

“Buddy and Buddha were here to bike our local trails. Unfortunately they allowed their friend to access our back garden shed without our permission and left the home messier than is typical for our place. As a result of their violation of our “no unregistered guests on the property rule,” we don’t care to host them again.”

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I don’t use slipcovers, but I require my furniture to have performance fabric on it. I usually buy Sunbrella or Crypton and always test it with ketchup, red wine, coffee, mustard, BBQ sauce, oil, turmeric (our cook uses LOTS of turmeric) and bleach. If I can’t remove those stains, or the bleach takes out the color, I don’t buy it.

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Yes, and while I’ve never had leather furniture, I understand you can wipe it down pretty easily.

And as I work with Sunbrella fabric almost exclusively in my upholstery business, it’s also a “no need for slipcovers” fabric, as you can use bleach, acetone, and other cleaning products on it with it damaging the fabric.

I do have clients who have had Sunbrella stained by guests beyond redemption, but that is usually because their cleaners have been throwing cushion covers in the dryer, which you aren’t supposed to do.

But if I had regular upholstered furniture in a fabric that would require professional cleaning to remove stains, I would have 2 sets of slipcovers I could easily change out.
Upholstered furniture that couldn’t be easily wiped down and had no clean slipcovers would be a turn off for me as a guest. Even if there were no visible stains, who knows if a previous guest fell asleep on the sofa and drooled on it.

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Yes, it can be wiped down. But it’s outrageously expensive, especially if you have to pay duty on it like I do (50% duty on purchase price and tax and shipping ). It’s also sticky to your skin if you don’t have AC and it’s warm, and ours is cracking (to be fair, ours is probably 25 years old - we inherited it with the house).

I’m getting new furniture for our TV room, and using Crypton from Sailrite in a winter mint for the sectional. It’s incredible material - I soak it in full-strength bleach and the color does not fade at all!

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Thank you for this.

I now keep a file with tips like this from the forum.

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You had me at “food smears” – WTF? I’d mention that specifically in my review.

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You’ll pay a bit more for new furniture when you use your own fabric (it’s called “COM” - customer’s own material). But most Crypton and Sunbrella fabrics are almost bulletproof, and it might be worth the extra cost. Some furniture manufacturers offer a selection of Sunbrella or other performance fabrics.
Our home is upscale (I’ll NEVER use the word luxury) so I need to get nice furniture.

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Such ‘nice’ furniture is often less expensive over the long run.

I used to live on a lagoon in northern CA. I bought patio furniture that was anodized and with Sunbrella fabric (I had not heard of ‘Crypton’ until your post). Well, after five years my furniture looked new; also looked new after ten years.

Yet I knew others in the complex where I lived where people said that none of the furniture lasted even one year, looked rusted, stained, old. They gave up on outdoor living when the price of our properties reflected the potential for that outdoor living, just because they didn’t buy quality outdoor furniture that lasted. You see the same with outdoor kitchens that can look shoddy after a few years depending on what materials you bought in the first place.

So I look at so-called expensive fabrics and materials as ways to save money over the long run, looking at the ten-year or lifetime cost not just comparing the initial outlay.

The trick in this business is to know when to buy the good stuff and when to buy the cheap stuff.

I have big plastic glasses that cost 50 cents each, and gazebo chairs that cost $500 US each. Glasses get destroyed with sunscreen or in the dishwasher no matter what I paid for them. The teak adjustable sling chairs will last 15-20 years.

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The thing is, Sunbrella (I’m not familiar with Crypton) isn’t even particularly expensive as far as upholstery fabric goes. I get the wholesale price, as I have a business and order tons of it, and pay an average of about $25- $30/meter. Depending on the weave, color and pattern, the prices vary quite a bit.

Crypton is about the same price as Sunbrella. My impression is that Crypton is mostly interior fabrics. They have some beautiful chenilles with 50,000 (or higher) double-rub ratings and great stain resistance.
I don’t know if you can get it shipped to Mexico, but check out the fabrics at Sailrite.com. Not always the absolute cheapest, but fair prices and a good selection.

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Thanks, I’ll check it out. I wouldn’t have anything shipped to Mexico, though. Although Sunbrella is made in the US, there is a distributor here in Guadalajara,5 hrs from here, I order through. I order, they ship it out that day or the next and I have it within a day or two. There are also some people in Puerto Vallarta, an hour away, where I go anyway every 10 days or so, who sell the heavier duty Marine Grade Sunbrella out of their house. I tend to use that on things like pool loungers that get a lot of wear and tear and are always wet. The furniture grade resists water, but doesn’t repel it like the other stuff.

One of my clients here ordered some fabric online from the US, and after waiting 3 weeks for what was supposed to be a one week delivery time, it turned out to be the wrong fabric- not what she’d ordered. Big hassle to ship it back and then wait again for the right fabric.

Me, too. I have chaise lounges that held up well but the coverings for the cushions faded. I used the heavy outdoor Sunbrella to re-cover them. Sunscreen? No problem - lots of Dawn and a scrub brush. Mold? A spritz of bleach and a hose-down 20 minutes later.
The Sunbrella umbrellas haven’t faded after five years in the tropical sun.

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Maybe you’re picturing half a pizza smooshed into the upholstery but I’m picturing one piece of stray popcorn that accidentally got sat upon :grin: I’m hesitant to think anymore of it since it was mentioned in the same sentence as

And “watermarks on a coffee table” sounds like nothing more than evidence of people using the coffee table to me. I wouldn’t consider that a mess or something that anyone other than the host and/or cleaner would or should notice. Coffee tables are to hold drinks. There will be evidence of drinks sitting on them. To expect anything less is irrational.

@muddy I like your review above except for one part. I would ask that @Silver not use the phrase
“place was left a bit messier than we are accustomed to” but instead be very specific about the watermarks on the coffee table and exactly what was on the couch. Otherwise, I might think these guests left dirty dishes full of old food everywhere and a floater in the commode :joy: when it’s really just about furniture that isn’t really meant to be used.

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And as a host, I really am not surprised or upset when some people leave it messier than others. I kind of expect that my female guests will leave their space cleaner and tidier than the male guests, because that’s been my experience, although there have been exceptions both ways. Most guys just seem to be less observant of their surroundings than the gals. I’d actually expect more of a mess from a couple of male mountain bikers than some water marks and a bit of food smears on the sofa. :upside_down_face:

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