Lack of amenities-is this unusual?

Thanks for all of the helpful input. Maybe I was just being picky, but for the $450 a night my son paid, I was expecting a bit more amenities to help with cleaning and all around help.

I offer pretty much the same as you. It’s nice to know that others try to be as helpful as I do. Thanks!

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So we provide more than we promise. We provide the ‘whole’ unit, no shared spaces.

On personal items we promise to provide a ‘starter pack’ of one toilet paper and one paper towels. We promise, though not in the listing, hand soap in the bathroom , one per sink, hair shampoo and conditioner, Q-tips, makeup remover and pads. We provide three to four rolls of toilet paper, an extra roll of paper towels, mouthwash in a dispenser to prevent contamination and cups, floss tips, Kleenex, hand lotion, sun screen, insect repellant.

On kitchen items we’ve started saying in the listing that it is ‘well stocked’ with spices and MANY shelf-stable condiments (nothing that needs to be refrigerated), also teas. We offer in an automated letter to send a list if desired. In fact, we also provide some Nespresso coffee capsules, something like six bins of different teas, a variety of snacks (keto bars, jerky, popcorn, hot cocoa), some instant macaroni and cheese, a few cans of soups, napkins, foil, parchment paper, plastic wrap, a garbage bag.

We offer in our messages to take in groceries delivered via Instacart for day of check in at or after 10 am, and if there’s no time for that and a sudden late arrival we offer at no charge to pick up groceries (we’ve been asked to do that once and it was not a great experience because the grocery list was vague, like ‘get milk’ without saying, skim, 1%. 2%, whole, quart, half gallon, organic, etc.). The snacks and few cans we provide are for the unexpected late arrival.

Though we do not promise to leave clothes detergent we do. Our cleaning supplies and tools are in the unit and available to the guest. We provide dishwashing soap, dishwasher pods and everything you’d need to clean pots and pans: Bar Keeper’s Friend, sponges, rags, vinegar water spray, everything you’d need. We leave a few reams of paper for the printer, and a spare set of ink.

I am the co-host but pretty much act as Host as the Host is out of the country and consumed with other things. She and I have disagreed on how much to provide with my view to provide more and her view to provide less.

My view is the minimum is that if someone is staying for three days they shouldn’t have to buy toilet paper, salt and pepper, oil or vinegar and typically bulky or tricky to pack personal items like hair shampoo/conditioner, hand soap. I provide way more than this because I see us offering a more upscale experience, so everything needs to match what we’re aiming to provide.

Interestingly, though, when she ran things her way she got great reviews. With my way we continue to get great reviews though reviews are now wordier [is it contagious?)]and some are more effusive.

So far it is not possible to justify the added dollar and time cost of my way vs her way but we’ll see if we get more repeat guests or some other objective outcomes that justifies my approach.

My opinion is that: 1) communication is key, 2) no ‘answer’ of what to provide beyond market competitiveness, doing what you say you’re going to do (#1) and 3) you need to provide some base ‘starter’ pack of essentials (which I’d define as hand soap, body soap, hair shampoo, conditioner; dishwashing soap and rags/towels; salt and pepper, oil and vinegar), that someone should not need to go out and buy toilet paper for a there-day stay or buy salt or dishwashing soap. Some people would add coffee to that ‘starter’ package.

I have a 7-bedroom, 5-bath beach house that rents out by the week and sleeps 26 people. How will I be able to provide enough bath soap, shampoo, and conditioner for my renters? Should I provide large pump containers in the showers? Or should I provide a basket of small bottles in each bathroom? Am I expected to provide the renters with enough shampoo to get them started for a few days until they can get to the store? Or am I expected to provide enough supplies to get them through the whole week? I do list on Airbnb that I provide soap, shampoo, and conditioner along with other supplies.

I have been renting my three beach houses for 30 years even before VRBO started. Recently the only thing that I really changed is that I now offer full amenities in my 7-bedroom houses. I fully stock the kitchen with everything except food. Of course, lots of toilet paper and Kleenex and detergents, Keurig, coffee, everything. My houses are very old and yet I went from 3 and 4 star to constant 5-star reviews after I started totally stocking the house. The renters love having all supplies in the house for them ready. I provide linens but the renters have to make up the beds and wash any linens that they use. But, with 20 beds in the house and minimal cleaning time, it is very typical for beach houses not to have the beds made up for the renters.

Beach rentals of this size and mandated stay that have been operating 30 years are a different thing than most Airbnbs. That said, I’d get the refillable dispensers that mount on the shower/bath wall, or large bottles at a warehouse store and refill them with gallon bulk stuff. Even though you have a business model that predates Airbnb, your guests will generally not predate them and they will compare you to other Airbnb rentals, not 30 years ago beach rentals.


@Nancie While a 7 bedroom/5 bath house is big, why are you trying to cram 26 people in? 14-16 would be more appropriate. Do you really have dining room and living room seating for 26?

What kind of groups are your target market? Family reunions?


omg I remember those days<><>

I’m a little confused by a seven bedroom house that sleeps 26 people. Could you explain further?

I’m wondering why this soap/shampoo problem has just occurred to you after 30 years? Please add more info. Thanks.

If you say you provide those things, you have to. If you don’t want to have to provide it, don’t list it.

Yes, I have seated dining for 26 people. This house was specifically built for family reunions with a huge great room that has a cathedral ceiling. That is my target market - families who are looking for a house where they can have a family reunion. I am glad now that I have a special nitch in the market because now our beach area is way oversaturated with people offering short term rentals. Also, since I purchased my three rental homes so many years ago, they are very close to the beach, which really helps me to get rentals.

I want to provide as many amenities as possible. I have noticed that once I started really keeping the beach houses well stocked, I went from 4 star to 5 star reviews. This began when Airbnb recommended that we add more supplies. My renters email me and say everything their family needs is there for them. I just found out in this forum that hosts are now providing aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and baggies, so I am going to the Dollar Store to get some for my renters.

Advising guests (on a forum for hosts) to communicate regarding everything provided in a rental isn’t helpful. They should be encouraged … to read the listing.

We all get guests asking questions but busy hosts can get ‘slightly’ annoyed when guests ask about things they should already know.


I recently had a guest turn up late at night because of a late train arrival and a 12 hour train ride. I had to provide alternate check-in instructions. They messaged me when they arrived and expressed pleasant surprise I provided fresh milk in the fridge so they could make a nice relaxing cup of tea after their journey. I guess it all depends on expectations and the description.

I have had guests ask me beforehand do I provide towels which I think is a strange question but perhaps in some countries towels are no provided as standard?

There are some areas, not necessarily countries, but areas within them, where guests are expected to bring their own bedding and towels. As far as I’m aware, these are usually remote areas at the beach or on a lake that have been doing vacation rentals long before there was such a thing as online str platforms.

They are places where guests would usually be nationals, often city folks, and always would drive to, so loading bedding and towels in the car is no big deal- people aren’t flying there and having to pack that stuff in luggage. Because these places are somewhat remote, there aren’t cleaning services, or even laundromats.

Traditionally what you got in these places was just a cabin with some basic furniture, maybe some pots and pans and dishes, but often well-worn. It was a cheap way for families to have summer holidays.

From what I read in host posts back when Airbnb tried to make bedding and towels mandatory (they backtracked because there was such a huge outcry) there are areas like this on the east coast of the US, in Scandanavia and other parts of Europe.

While it’s annoying when guests ask questions they would find the answers to if they bothered to read the amenities list, I’d rather guests ask questions than make assumptions.
Like there are people who seem to think that a microwave is just something that every kitchen has. They’ve never lived anywhere without one and assume there would be one without bothering to check. Personally, I’ve never had a microwave in my life.

Same here but with dishwashers. Several guests have helpfully suggested that the smaller of the two apartments should have a dishwasher but, speaking as someone who spent several years as a kitchen designer, I know that there is absolutely certainly definitely no available space for a dishwasher.

Had there been, then there’d be a dishwasher.


We have probably stayed in over 150 STRs. (we travel a lot, always in STRs). We almost always rent a whole unit, whether it be an apartment or a house.

Most of the time, we get enough paper and soap products for 3-4 days. Sometimes we have paper products but no soap products, or only partial soap products. Sometimes we get little gel bags good for one day at a time. So it does vary. There is no absolute rule. We generally travel with a small amount of soap and shampoo so as to have a bridge for a day or two in case we don’t find what we need on location.

We appreciate it when we don’t have to buy soap or shampoo if we are staying a small number of days, but we have never deducted any stars when we found ourselves shorted on such supplies. It does feel to me like everyone should provide them, at least for 2-3 days, though.

I have a private room listing and I get bookings anywhere from 3 nights to 2 weeks. It’s never crossed my mind not to provide toilet paper and soap for the duration of the guest’s stay- that just seems like basic hospitality to me.
I also provide cotton balls, Qtips, earplugs and dental floss.

If someone books a long term 1 month+ stay (which I don’t accept) I can understand just providing starter items, because long termers usually get a discount on the booking.
But anyone paying full price should be provided for for the entire stay, IMO.

I’ve never provided shampoo and other toiletries, but I have a basket in the guest bathroom full of shampoo, conditioner, shaving gel, menstrual pads, sunscreen, bug repellent, etc. that other guests have left behind. If it’s just dregs I toss it or use it myself, but if the container is at least half full, I just wipe the containers down with sterilizing wipes and leave them for whoever needs anything.

I do feel that renting a room and renting a independent unit carry different expectations, though. I would also feel weird having to buy TP when I am a lodger. But I don’t feel that way if I am staying 2 weeks in an independent unit.

I don’t really see the difference, unless you are getting a discount on a 2 week booking.

If a host provides soap, toilet paper, shampoo, etc. for a 1 night booking, and a guest is paying full price for a 2 week booking, the host providing those things for the entire 2 weeks is no more in host expenses than if they had 14 one night bookings.