Host replies to reviews that are clearly responding to private feedback

Why do they do that?? I’ve been searching for a place to stay for an upcoming trip and have been amazed at some of the bizarre things hosts write in response to guest reviews. It’s so off-putting. For example, a guest leaves a perfectly nice innocuous review and the host response is a rant about something the guest obviously mentioned privately. It makes them look completely crazy! I’ve even seen hosts write things like ‘so my husband drove you to the station and all you give me is 4* for value? Next time you should stay in a hotel’. It’s such a shame because some of these listings are really nice but I’m put off by the host.


I usually respond saying “thank you” if they compliment me or if they say they liked staying I will say something like “I’m glad you enjoyed your stay”.

Haven’t had any criticism yet but if it happens I will respond constructively especially if it’s something that I can fix.

I have never, ever responded to a review and I don’t intend to. I thank they guests for staying with us when they leave, I thank them again in the message section when I write the review and that’s enough for me. I haven’t had any bad reviews (yet) but to respond to them just draws them to potentials guest’s attention.


I did that too few times before i realized it was a private feedback.:slight_smile:
I thought i was answering him in private also. I regret it now, but what done is done. I was really pissed at one guy who gave me low rating on overall experience despite the fact that i did all kinds of things for them being not well myself. I drove him to Supermarket so he can get meds for his wife who was sick also, and he did shopping for a week there , the same day moving from my house to another AIrbnb. Then i even drove them there as i thought it was very close but it was a good 15 minutes drive.
He critisized everything: matress, no TV in a room though he came for tournament and they were home striclty to sleep, value (50$), he went over every single category. But his public review was very nice.

I always respond publicly to the public reviews left by guests, not to what they may say in private feedback. I feel that responding to reviews is just another chance to sell my listing to the next guest.


Oh dear, Yana! Maybe you can get Airbnb to remove the comments? I remember reading on other groups that hosts got that done.

Really? I will call them. Thanks. Because i did it 4 times before i realized it was private feedback:cry:

How and why could anyone find so many complaints with a $50 accomodation??? UGH! Sorry that happened to you.

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SOme people always do. My house is a beautiful well maintained house in the best neighborhood. Its not like for 50$ i offer some shack. Its also very very clean, and has nice bedding. It was his first stay with Airbnb, so may be thats why. I bet in his price range now he still remembers my house and may be relized that he was delirious:slight_smile:


It’s worth a try Yana. Anyway, I’m sure it’s nothing as bad as the rants that I saw :open_mouth: You could almost see the frothing at the mouth!

I think that it’s a very poor interface design. The fact that it happens frequently enough to be posted here, and also on other host forums, will attest to that. I’m sure that in every case the host assumes they are replying privately to a private comment and are probably pretty mortified when they realize the comments are public.

With regard to replying to public reviews, I never do. I can hardly keep up with getting guest reviews done let alone reply to each review. I have a number of listings, so my scale is probably not the same as the majority of hosts.

Good point superhostnyc about the poor design. I’ve got to say, though, that even if the host thought it was written privately to the guest, it’s still pretty unprofessional!

What i described here though was a bit over the board. You right it was unprofessional. I was very pissed at him. If i was not ill with terrible anemia it probably would upset me less, but i made quite an effort to please them and spent 1.5 hours driving them and waiting for his shopping that he did not even tell me he was going to do, he said he just quickly will get medicine. Even his wife felt uneasy when we were waiting in a car with her.
And when i saw his remarks that he did not spare time to make, very detailed, i felt furious really. All i thought is that i let them use me like this and not even being appreciated. If it was a constructive critisizm on what i can change to the better, one thing. But to let me know that i have cheap matres that was uncomfortable for him, price was a bit high as i dont have overheads and other thing.

I actually told him that tha time when he was here i did have overheads by spending gas and my time on him that he obviously left unnoticed. I sounded very much pissed in my answer and regret that it went public

Yana, I feel for you. He sounds horrible. I’ve been furious at comments from guests before and tempted to fire off a reply but luckily my sensible partner stopped me in time. If it’s clear that you were responding to private feedback, airbnb might remove it if you plead with them.

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I take the same tack, and always write something positive and with great enthusiasm (aka selling to the next potential guest).

But, it does help you with your search, right? You get an idea of who the host is.

I have had a rash of GUESTS leaving a somewhat bland 1-2 sentence public review and then gushing in the private review. Quite distressing. Can’t be fixed, I’m sure - they didn’t understand what they were doing.

@brook2adks I wanted to ask you about this. I have been responding to reviews as well - I too see it as another marketing opportunity. Today I received a very luke warm review from a couple who nitpicked in private about things I didn’t advertise as having. Good news is they still gave me 5*. Anyway, my question for you is what would you write in response to a meh review?

@SuiteRetreat, it depends on the reason for the meh review and what exactly said in the review.
One way I would handle it would be to just ignore the fact that it’s just a ‘meh’ review, and act like they just paid me the highest compliment. “Thanks so much for staying here at (insert name of your place) and leaving a review! I just love that hosting allows me to meet so many interesting people from all over the world while offering them a good value! I hope you have many more awesome Airbnb travels!”

And speaking of reviews, I just got this one. These folks were in town to attend a huge motorcycle rally. My listing clearly states “You will hear some street noise as this street runs parallel to the major road through town.” Of course, that traffic noise was quadrupled with bikers who are riding all hours of the day and night.

Here are the private comments:
"What Chris loved about your listing:
Atmosphere was friendly, comfortable. Safe location. An easy visit.

What Chris thought you could improve about the experience:
I don’t think Dorothy needs to put so many rules and regs on her website.

Location feedback:
Room too close to busy road.

Value feedback:
Offer guests main floor bedroom/bath while host would use second floor bedroom/bath. This would offer easier access and a more peaceful room location."

Well, that Value feedback is just crazy. The first floor bedroom where I sleep only has room for a twin bed and the downstairs bathroom measures only 8ft x 6ft, it’s the tiniest full bathroom you’ve ever seen and it’s off the kitchen.

Am I taking this personally, no way.

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She focused on the things she liked but didn’t use any descriptive words and it was all so robotic and brief. I wasn’t sure if I should just ignore it and not reply at all…but that might actually draw attention to it, considering I’ve responded to all the other reviews. I think you’re right, I’ll find something positive and beneficial to say in response. This was definitely a guest who belongs in a hotel. Wow. Thanks for your help!