I'm encouraging bad reviews and I hope you will too

I’m an advocate for honest reviews. We have talked a lot about hosts leaving honest reviews, not skipping them, and I advocate the same for guests. I’m thinking about following up with good guests to send them a message about leaving honest reviews like I did with this woman. Two nights ago this guest stayed with me and left me a great review the next day. I wrote her via the message thread to thank her. This afternoon I got this message about her stay in Katy TX the next night:

Thanks, host. Interestingly, our stay last night was comparably horrible. The floors were sticky, the bed had only a comforter (no top sheet), and every surface was dirty. I don’t believe in writing bad reviews, so I won’t ding the host - you never know what is going on in someone’s life - but it made us appreciate your place all over again! In a little over an hour, we’ll see what Pensacola has to offer! Have a great weekend, guest

I wrote this back to her regarding her comment about not reviewing the bad experience in Katy:

I’m sorry your Katy bnb wasn’t up to standard. I absolutely do believe in leaving honest reviews. They aren’t always effective but they are the only tool we have. If it were free couchsurfing then what is going on in someone’s life is relevant. At the very least I would message them and tell them and leave, at best, a neutral review like “safe place to stay.” Some hosts, especially of European background only use duvet covers with no top sheet. But in that case the duvet cover must be washed every night. If it was an American style comforter then…yuk. If I checked into a place like that I’d be calling Airbnb for a refund and heading out to the nearest La Quinta.

So hosts who don’t use top sheets: it’s hard to imagine a guest complaining due to an extra sheet but not hard to imagine one complaining due perceived lack of a sheet.


As I was reading your post I was thinking ‘yikes, we use just duvets with no top sheet!’ (As many people here will know already :wink: )

Thanks to this forum though, a couple of years ago I started leaving a top sheet in the closet just in case … I think it’s only been used twice so hopefully guests have been okay with just the duvet. However, I think we get more guests from overseas than some hosts do - they are more accustomed to the duvet thing. Phew.

I think that it’s great that you’re encouraging guests to write honest reviews of hosts. Yes, we all should, given the opportunity. There are too many substandard places out there that give us all a bad name.


And that’s why I made sure to tell her that that by itself wasn’t yukky. But I’m imagining a puffy American comforter that can’t even fit in the washer, not a duvet cover on a duvet. I know this host accepts one night stays and pets so that thing could be truly nasty. I’m going to take a peek at her profile in a few days and see if I can find the listing. I hope it’s not anyone on the forum!

BTW I’ve just had two stellar reviews from two pet owning guests who both said, in effect, our expectations were low due to this place accepting pets. Knowing that makes me feel like I’m probably missing out on some bookings from people afraid to stay at a pet friendly listing. This would be despite almost 500 reviews because they know that "people don’t leave honest reviews. "


On behalf of we Europeans, thank you :slight_smile:

As I’ve mentioned here before, we use all white bedlinen and a white bedspread so I hope that this fact assures guests that everything is clean. If there were any stains or marks, they’d be really noticeable. It’s those horrible patterned things is hotels that are probably gross.

Interesting that a pet-friendly place generated low expectations. Yes, you’ve probably missed out on a few bookings but also you’ve probably had more bookings because of your pet-friendliness.

Scary, really.

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Honestly, I’m surprised that you’ve been suckered by one guest’s complimentary comments.
You really believe them just because they said so? Can’t be arsed going into the whole duvet /comforter thing yet again but if you need to provide a “top sheet”, then something ain’t clean…

Yes, honest reviews are unarguable. But sometimes guests value something more than clinical cleanliness. Just like some guests didn’t mean to piss you off, apologised and then all was good.

I don’t understand this comment or most of the rest of your post. Then again, it’s 2:30 am in your town, maybe you’re posting in your sleep.


@KKC - Katy, as in Texas? Ouch, that’s where I live!

My physio I see fortnightly had just been to stay at his first AirBnB with his parents and was quite disappointed. The self contained apartment wasn’t clean, a lot of things were missing or broken, the tv was old and small. I asked him what the previous reviews were like and he said they were all good. :thinking: Then I asked him how many stars it had gotten. “Four stars. That’s good right?”. So I told him that anything less than 5 stars is not good in AirBnB reviews, particularly if it has had 40 reviews like this place. He and his mother were going to listen the pros and cons of the place. I said just list the cons as they’ve had enough unwarranted good publicity already.

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I leave the top sheet folded on top of the duvet for the bunk beds. They don’t get used much and I have trouble making the beds anyway. It also makes it clear if they have been used.

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We know that guests and hosts are subjective in their reviews. We can honestly hope that it will be impartial and not on revenge or comparative. However, a guest/host that is ticked off regarding a situation is more than likely to leave a non favorable review that may not have any bearing on their actual stay. They get ticked off because they couldn’t check in early or they got busted by having 20 of their friends over for a party. Likewise hosts get ticked off because the guest forgot to take out the garbage or left towels on floor. Unless there is a huge infraction I do not bring it up, you ruin a set of sheets by using glitter glue in the room…yeah you are going to get called out on it, you leave dirty dishes in the sink…naw I am not going to mention it but will give you 4 stars for cleanliness. I would expect a guest to mention a sticky floor or dirty toilet etc but would not want to be called out as being a filthy place to stay because they found one eyelash behind the faucet behind the faucet or I got a 3 star review because the décor wasn’t too their liking and hasn’t changed since I posted the pictures.


Yes. They stayed with me on Thursday in El Paso and then drove all the way from here to Katy. Their first day trying to get out of Tucson was a nightmare, then this. They are moving to Uruguay with 3 cats.

My cutoff is 4.5 stars. 4 star average is terrible.

I agree.
Couple days ago I got 1*.
Everything the guy said was either against my rules or lack of amenity I don’t offer . I tried to take it down without any hope. I pointed out during my call that he is giving me 1* because od the incident that happen and then have proof of our conversation
On day two, the guest brought his 2 year old daughter who I found jumping up and down my marble sleepery stairs .
Another guest said she was doing it for 2 hours now and father was not even watching her sitting on his computer all day .
I told him to immediately leave with her as I can’t have any children here.
The house is not child proved and also it’s says in my rules no visitors.
He was very appologetic and left right away . Next day he asked for breakfast and I said I don’t provide it ,only hot drinks . Then he wanted to smoke outside and I said he can go to boardwalk but I don’t allow on property which is also written in my rules .
The funny part was he didn’t notice AC in a room that is right next to his bed . And never told us anything

They thought that meant like a 4 star hotel on Trip Advisor.

That seems a bit drastic just because of a couple of bad nights at an AirBnB


Your first post is badly written and when reading it quickly it suggests the guest was complaining about her stay at your place. No need to snag at Magwitch that she was posting in her sleep.
Maybe @Magwitch can confirm how she interpreted your post?

I nominate this for scariest comment of the month. And to the person who wrote this, thank you, for allowing us to go blindly with this host and be subjected to their poor hosting skills. To decide how honest you want to be based on a subjective moment of projection is very narcissistic and does the community a great disservice.

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The duvet cover must be washed every night? - seriously???


No. Once a week like all the other bedding or at every turnover - depending on the length of stay. Every time only if a host has one-nighters.


What jaquo said. I was addressing the guest who was doing one night stays.

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