How to review guest who is lovely but friend is a NIGHTMARE…

Hey everyone,

I’ve been an Air Bnb Superhost for over 5 years now (edit) and 99.9% of our guests have been awesome and I have very much enjoyed being part of the Air Bnb community and meeting people from all over the world. We live in Oxford in the city centre so it is a perfect location and have a mixture of tourists and mature students staying most of the time.

A big failing of mine I admit, is that I find it difficult to leave bad reviews. I am a people pleaser and hate conflict. SO … I need some advice and hoping you can help. I have a tricky situation with a couple of guests.

A student at Oxford uni booked our Super King room for 9 nights, saying that herself and a mate were staying past the end of term to enjoy the city for a few more weeks. She sounded really nice but I do get nervous of people who book more than 3 nights as guests in the Super King share the bathroom with us and if they are not the cleanest, I end up cleaning a lot to make sure everything stays looking sparkly.

Anyway, the girl who booked turned out to be lovely. Really nice and a very thoughtful guest. Her friend, on the other hand is a total pain in the butt.

He has a constant hacking cough and is clearing out his nose all day and night, you can’t not hear him. After a few days of this coughing, I sent her a message asking if he was ok and whether he should get a COVID test. She sent a lovely message back explaining that he had had several tests come back negative and she was also medically vulnerable so she was not taking any risks etc etc. Ok, cool. But the hacking cough and the clearing of the nose just continues day and night. Grrrr!

They have also taken to spending all day in their room. Now, don’t get me wrong - they’ve paid for the room so I am happy for them to do what they want but they are in there all day and are constantly traipsing back and forth to the bathroom. But why stay in Oxford for 9 nights to stay in an apartment???

My partner was changing a part on the shower and we had warned our guests that he would be in there for 30 minutes or so. Ofcourse, at this very point (bear in mind it’s 2pm in the afternoon not the morning) he comes out his room, knocks on the door and says he needs a shower. My partner explains politely again that as explained earlier, he is just sorting the shower and shouldn’t be more than 30 minutes. So our charming guest loudly huffs and just stands outside waiting! Awkward…

Then there have been several nights where he has got home (really) drunk at 4/5am and not been able to find his keys so has just rung the door bell to the apartment waking us and our other guests up :flushed: Then proceeds to come in noisily knocking things over and goes into bathroom, loud slamming of doors etc.

Four nights into their stay, the girl announces she is leaving to go back to London but he will stay (oh no!). After she leaves, he then sends me a message asking if he can have another friend stay for a few nights, as there is now space :woman_shrugging: I write back straight away explaining that although I was happy for either Jess or him to stay as they booked, I was unhappy with people we didn’t know staying. Our home is not, after all, a youth hostel. Also, if his friend is anything like him I can assume he would not be the perfect guest!!!

Anyway, she is lovely. He is not. What would you say in your review??

Ps sorry this is long. I needed to get it off my chest…

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The Superhost program began in 2015.

“She is lovely. He is not.”

This does sound terrible and if I had a shared home listing the fellow hacking and coughing would be out after one night. During an ongoing pandemic? NO EFFIN WAY.

Oh, and while you say the guest is lovely I say she’s a manipulative liar so there’s that.


Lol! It feels like 8 years :joy::joy::joy::joy: I was sure I was a super host back in my old apartment but I moved into my new place in 2016 so maybe it is 5 years. Time flies! Thanks for sense check


You may well have been a super host, but you weren’t a Superhost. :wink:


Hey, felt like I was going mad so just googled Superhost Programme and Google says it started in 2009. I definitely got Superhost status after one year of starting :rofl:

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Sorry but that’s incorrect. The superhost program started in early 2015.

(edited to correct typo)

Edit again: I’m going off memory and now I’m unsure so am going to go look it up for certain.

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  • Coughing - not worth mentioning.
  • Staying in room all day - not worth mentioning.
  • Standing outside the bathroom - not worth mentioning.
  • Ringing the doorbell at 4am and knocking things over in a drunken stupor - mention this.

It would be worth mentioning that the booking guest left 1/3 of the way into the stay, too. It seems like she just said "I’m leaving and he’s staying " rather than ask if that’s OK, but that’s not entirely clear.

I’m not a wordsmith (at least not a quick one), so others can help with the wording.


Writing an honest review isn’t conflict - how could it be? Writing an honest review is playing your part to the Airbnb community, warning other hosts what to expect and without this, the system would break down.

Although you say that the girl was ‘lovely’ I’d suggest that she was a nightmare too.

She brought a bloke with her who was drunkenly entering the home at 4am. Not acceptable. She left leaving him with you without (I assume) prior arrangement. She was hardly a ‘lovely guest’.


OK, she said he’d had negative Covid tests, but there’s no way I’d want to be in a house/sharing a bathroom with someone that is sick. And, just wonder if he hasn’t been tested recently or not at all. These are times to be concerned.


The Superhost designation began in 2014. It must have started close to when I did. I found an Airbnb facebook post from Oct 2015 that says “one year after we launched the Superhost program…”

Also, in 2019 I got a thingy/award for being a superhost for 20 straight quarters/5 years/since the program began. I posted about it here

It’s not that important, I’m just a stickler for facts.

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@LucyW Stop thinking in terms of “good” and “bad” reviews. Instead think of reviews as “honest”- what would my fellow hosts want to know about this guest, and what would I want other hosts to let me know about guests?

You can usually find some positives to mention along with the negatives, which makes you appear to be fair.

How the guest feels about your honest review is immaterial. They’ll survive.

FYI it is absolutely not okay for the booking guest to leave and substitute some other person just because the booking was for 2 guests.
I would contact Airbnb to try to get the rest of the booking cancelled, with no penalties to you. There will be a refund for the unstayed nights.

Stress that this guy is sick and constantly coughing, creating an unsafe situation for you in your home-share. “Unsafe” is a keyword with Airbnb.


It’s a difficult review to write because it seems like he has allergies and potential guests reading about his coughing and blowing his nose might make you appear as insensitive. I also don’t think you can mention is drinking.

I personally would write a very neutral review and click on " would not host again." I would write “guest best suited for a hotel stay” especially since he was drunk and rang the doorbell waking everyone up.

You can mention something to the lovely girl in a private message.


I would have to disagree with the above review advice. Better suited to a hotel tells me nothing. Plus the booking guest seems to be fine.

I would leave a review saying that this guest was fine, aside from her not understanding that she can’t leave in the middle of her stay and have someone else stay in her stead. And I would say that the guest who arrived with her on her booking had many objectionable behaviors not suited to a home-share.


I recall reading there were actually 2 Superhost programs. One started in 2009 and the other in 2015 with about a 1-year gap in between the somewhat silent discontinuation of the first and the launch of the second.

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That would explain this statement that Lucy posted. I think they also were going to have some kind of super guest program and that never materialized.

To be clear, I’m now sure it was 2014 that the program started.

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If SHE is the one with the account doing the booking and he was her guest on the booking, the booking ends when SHE leaves. Period.

He goes out the door when she does.

I might have made an exception if I liked the people, but clearly she is trying to be even nicer than you and he is an ass.

THIS. I have a shared home listing and if this was going on I’d call Air and get them re-homed. Yes, I’m vaccinated and at-risk and this would be unacceptable even without a pandemic happening.

I’d mention that the guest’s guest was irritating and drunk and then check the “Would NOT host again” button.

“Many objectionable behaviors,” indeed. And she knows he’s objectionable. That’s why she left!


Oh grow a pair Lucy!

You’re only as good as the company you keep… So she’s guilty by association

Keep the review fact based and only mention things of relevance


SEX. xoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxo


Give them a review that tells the truth. It will make you feel better and will help future hosts. In the future, do you think it would help if you rent the room to singles only? Not sure, just a thought.


I’ve thought I’d like to do that but the hassle wouldn’t be worth it. Do you rent to singles only?

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