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My review for the place with the aggressive horses

This review was so hard to write because we will be the second even slightly negative review. One other guest mentioned that it was not clean. All the other reviews are glowing, though she has lost stars for cleanliness. I liked the host very much and loved the house, but I feel like there are things people need to know.

Everyone else said they loved the friendly horses. I feel a bit crazy not loving horses trying to eat my dinner and then threatening me. And the host did respond. Since I don’t know anything about horses I realize we could have made mistakes. Actually, I’d love to return here even with the dirt - I would just bring a vac and clean up all the dust myself. It was still a decent value to have a two bedroom cottage on a beautiful piece of property for $105 a night over a holiday weekend. However, I think other people should be warned about the horses as (and many of you who are more knowledgeable have said it is) it seems like a terribly dangerous situation. If I had small children it would have been a worse nightmare. But, possibly, and experienced horse person would not be bothered. I don’t’ want to slam the host, I just want people to know the story.

So here’s what I have:

“Celeste’s home is in a stunning location, and delivers on the promises of restful beauty. We had a wonderful experience here. The location is amazing for those loving natural beauty and outdoor fun. The house was perfect for the 6 of us. However, it was very dirty; which surprised us. Lots of dust and gobs of cobwebs, and the bathroom was not clean. However, we were so happy to be there and enjoyed the house so much we were able to overlook it. It is still a good value. Also, as we are not experienced with horses, having them ‘in our face’ every moment we stepped outside became uncomfortable. The horses galloping fast right up to my face was disconcerting. We didn’t know how to get the horses ‘ noses out of our food when we tried to eat outside and enjoy the sunset. My husband tried to gently push them away and then was threatened by the horse, so we escaped inside. Thankfully Celeste responded immediately and put the horses in a fenced area so we were able to enjoy the rest of our stay. When we read about friendly horses we didn’t understand just what that meant, so appreciate Celeste accommodating us inexperienced suburbanites. We lay outside and watched the stars late at night, and saw many shooting stars. We loved sitting outside and enjoying the view, we relaxed immediately and just rested. Even if you went nowhere you’d be satisfied. If you have a shelter or canopy you can bring that will increase your comfort as there is no shade. The chickens were a blast to feed, and the cat is lovely. My girls loved that. The peahen roosts on the house at night and is beautiful to watch. We enjoyed the Natural Bridge very much – it is definitely worth a visit. The house is a great value, and Celeste is extremely friendly and responsive. Cave Mountain Lake is a gem and very close. The house is actually closer to Glasgow than Buena Vista. Just a mile or so down the road was a very convenient market with very friendly service.”

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Overall, that reads as a very nice review. Even though you mention the dirt and the horses, they are in the middle of the text block and don’t start or end it. It also sounds very fair - you mentioned that the host did accommodate your request right away.

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Did you mention the dirt to Celeste and give her an opportunity to rectify it during your stay? If not it seems a little unfair to mention it .

As hosts we always appreciate it when guests let us know if something isn’t as it should be.

I agree that she shouldn’t have the horses roaming so close to the house when she has guests but keep them in a fenced area.

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If it were me, I’d shorten the whole “horse part” to:

The property has free roaming horses that are accustomed to and very comfortable around humans. They can be intimidating, so if you’re not as comfortable around them, the host will gladly confine them to a fenced paddock.

In the private feedback to the host I would tell the host she’s do well to warn all new guests that the horses’ behavior can be scary and intimidating to those with no experience. That way, she will know you were frightened and that it detracted from your stay, while at the same time giving her a chance to fix the problem with future guests.

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On the other hand, I don’t think it’s unfair to mention the lack of cleanliness. You can see from the stars that she should be aware of this issue and should have taken steps already to fix it.

I do agree with you to a point, @Helsi. I DID have to mention to her that there were no sheets for the sofa bed, no directions to her advertised attractions (like hiking trails on the property, etc), that she gave us only 3 threadbare towels for 6 people, that her horse was threatening us, that we had no where to take the trash (and no directions on where to take it), and more. I never had a chance to ask her how to find the eggs people rave about, and more things I would like to have known. So I was a bit busy having to nag her for the very basics. And this is a super host??

But what say the rest of you? It DID occur to me to mention it to her, but again I was busy with getting sheets and towels…and I thought “dang, she must know the dirt is there - how could she not?!”

I’m not talking about a bit of dust, the photo is just a small example of what covered the house. I’m talking about gobs and gobs of huge cobwebs and ‘dust bunnies’ everywhere, hair in the drain of the tub, a shower curtain stained orange with bacteria and black with mold, dust on all the furniture, and a filthy carpet. Also very dirty, gross woodwork, light switches, and more. So if it were just a little bit of something here or there, I wouldn’t mention it. But every window, baseboard, corner, was filled with dust. Why is it my responsibility to mention it to her? It is my job while on vacation to educate her on basic cleanliness?? I was appalled and disgusted but didn’t want to spend my limited vacation time hassling with the owner. DUH come clean, dude…and it would then affect my entire family. As it was I was washing a FILTHY storm door window so I could enjoy the view, and my son, who sees me clean for guests all the time, looked so very sad and said “mom, you shouldn’t have to be doing that”. The glass was coated with weeks of grime (and horse slobber).

I didn’t even mention all that other stuff in the review (spending an hour late at night digging around closets filled with kinda gross old stuff looking for sheets for my sons bed, texting her about where they might be, etc), nor did I mention that our bed was a nightmare - not even a mattress pad, just a synthetic sheet over a mattress - towels were such that a thrift shop would trash them - rags at best. The mattress was like something out of a horror summer camp, so hard and creaky. Forget even a hint of romance for us!!! It woke us up anytime we stirred.


Hi @dcmooney,

under the circumstances, it sounds like you gave her a very good and and restrained review. Have you already posted it?

And if it is so bad, it’s surprising there is so little comment in the reviews. You said one other person mentioned it. How many reviews does this listing have? And do you have any idea why the other reviews were so positive?

39 4.5 * reviews.

There is probably a literary reference for how it feels - along the lines of ‘are the lunatics running the asylum’, but I don’t know what it is. Do you have a suggestion? My whole family was disgusted. I wouldn’t let a dog house be so dirty. I just had to keep my mouth shut so the rest wouldn’t be disrupted. This is why it’s hard to post the review. I’m not out to ruin her but I’m one of those people who feel a review should be honest. If the horses and dust don;t deter someone, more power to them. I myself would return, but I’d bring tools to clean and communicate my need to have the horses restrained. Then it would be PERFECT.

One possibility is that it WAS clean at one point. Being in the country the cob webs can develop fast - as in basements like my space - which is why my son is down there right now vacuuming with a dust brush, the corners, behind doors, etc. Every time between guests we do this.

That’s a fair and thoughtful suggestion; thanks.

Something from 1984 would probably fit. :slight_smile: That’s a fairly well known literary example of the lunatics running the asylum. Any number of other dystopias come to mind.

A suggestion for a literary reference or about the review?

If it’s so bad, you should definitely say something. Using stronger language for the private comments is also an option, as @Chloe suggests.

Yes, here too. We’re off a main road, and it’s alarming how quickly dirt accumulates. Still it sounds like the issues were more than just dirt. Having a nice bed and towels isn’t exactly maintenance-intensive. I’m inclined to think you should mention those too.

Bear in mind that if you post a negative review, the host will likely not accept you as a guest again. Assuming you want to return, that is.

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Yes, I’ve thought of that, which does make me sad (her not welcoming us back). It’s one of the first places I’ve thought “I want to come here again”. I’m also anxious about her slapping me in return, which is possible. I felt so awkward all weekend having to text her ‘where are sheets?’ ‘are there more towels?’ ‘where do I take this trash?’. I felt like a nag, when in reality, I shouldn’t have had to do any of that.

She has already reviewed me.

Interesting. You wanted to go back in spite of the filth? And the issues with the horses? What were the main attractions? This isn’t entirely clear from your review.

Yes, perhaps I AM the lunatic, lol!

Here’s a view from where the outdoor seating was. This is my youngest daughter having a blast feed the chickens and peahen. In the mornings the mountains would be covered in fog. We’d light a fire and drink our tea in total restful peace. Then the sun would burn off the clouds and there would be this amazing view!!! And the price was amazing - and as I’ve said so often with a family of 5 it’s tough to find something we can afford.

It sounds like she’s traded price for cleanliness. Is she trying to run this place by herself? Looking at those pictures I’d say 2 or cleanliness. She needs a few buckets of soapy water, some magic eraser sponges and some microfiber towels.

However, if someone prices their place to compensate for something then that changes the calculation in my mind. I would mention that it was dirty in the review but I don’t think we need as many details about the horses.

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Wow - it sounds like rather a nightmare stay - personally I couldn’t stay at a home like that and would have asked BNB to find me somewhere else.

Wasn’t there anything in the previous reviews that would have alerted you to the dirt and other issues at the property which would have acted as a red flag?

No, just one mention that it wasn’t clean ‘by hotel standards’. So many other reviews raved about it I pegged that guest as being to picky.

You’re right, and this is where a better review system would come into play. If she had 3 or 4 stars and that indicated a bargain place, it would be different.

Although, really, even a Motel 6 does better than that… I think as far as cleanliness it was more of a ‘flop house’ than a discount motel.

That does look like a nice view. And it’s always nice to get in touch with nature, however briefly. As long as we don’t don’t have to live with her. I can’t speak for others, but this pampered city dweller couldn’t cope.

It sounds like you’re a bit torn between being honest, and not wanting to offend the host. That’s a tough spot to be in. I feel for you.

I looked at the listing and it definitely could be better. I’m surprised she hasn’t been marked down more on cleanliness. It really makes me think I’m working too hard on my listing. LOL. There are no pictures of the outdoor seating you describe or bedroom #1 or the bathroom. From the caption on the picture it appears you are welcome to collect your own eggs in the morning, don’t expect her to bring them to you. When shopping for airbnbs I am very suspicious of listings that don’t have pictures of all the areas I will have access to. I assume if there is no pic of the shower/bath area that it’s probably got black mildew. So it’s a rustic camp type experience. If you are thinking you might want to go back I’d soften the public review a bit. If you don’t want to go back then go for it.

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You know what? I used to be VERY nice in the public reviews and keep any comments about cleanliness to the private part. But then I went back and looked at some of the places I stayed in the past. There were some negative reviews after mine that mentioned dirtiness. So, even after reading my private comments about the lack of cleanliness, and possibly others before me, they didn’t do anything about it.

So, maybe what they really needed was a gentle, but public nudge. Maybe that’s the only thing that gets sloppy hosts’ attention.

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