I’ve already mentioned a couple of things about this host in another post Why Guests Leave Something in a Review that They Didn't Give You a Chance to Correct but want to go into some details because I am torn about the review, even so much as to whether I should even leave him a review or not. He was a nice guy and there are a lot of cool things about his listing, but there were some issues. Maybe some are what we’d file under “good advice from a better host” but some could’ve gotten us a refund.
More than just some disappointment on my part, I think that these kinds of issues bring us all down, in that having decent standards for Airbnbs is a branding that we all depend on. In real life, to be plain, this is a 4-star listing, but I know that a 4-star review on Airbnb is a problem. More than ever I wish we didn’t have this skewed rating system because I could just give the guy his 4-stars and move on, but… (it’s going to be a long one).
Cleanliness: Let me preface with, I have no issues with dust or cobwebs as a guest. My standards are high for my listings but low for me personally. But I had to wipe down two different toilet seats and one toilet entirely just so that I wouldn’t have to squat to pee. They were visibly dirty. I didn’t do any lab tests but it was yellow and brown dirty.
My cousin and her husband were arriving the day after us and I had to wipe down the shower enclosure in the bathroom that would be theirs before they came (I felt embarassed). Our bathroom had black sinks with obvious toothpaste splatters in both of them. We also had a jacuzzi tub with an attached head rest that was covered in that pink/orange slime that grows on shower curtains as well as some mildew (we chose not to use the tub because of this).
After pulling out 5 different plates and 6 different cups/glasses that were greasy and visibly dirty we ended up putting enough dishes to get us by through the dishwasher. Some little things too:
Old popcorn that came out by merely sitting down on the couch, a stray bikini in the closet, smelly nasty sponge and dishrag at the kitchen sink, sticky and visibly dirty light switches/plates (most of them), sticky and dirty fridge including the handle and door (it looked like it got skipped during cleaning entirely), an burnt foil-wrapped cob of corn in the oven, upholstered dining room chairs all with lots of stains (some that were 3-D and sticky), tupperware type container lids (4) all with dark mold in the grooves (unusable even though my cousin spent 20 minutes working on them with, lol), the bulk of the kitchen utensils/dishes/cookware had to be washed before they could be used (we spent a lot of time washing dishes), several pillows were badly stained (I wasn’t even looking, it was part of the pillow that shows with a short pillowcase) and some apples. There was a box of apples in the fridge, presumably as some kind of gift but they were shriveled up and most were rotten and when we placed them on the counter we almost immediately got fruit flies. The date on the box was Sept 12 on Nov 19. And the outdoor cushions were grubby but that’s kind of understandable. There was also a huge workout room with tons of equipment that was too dirty to use, including the little sauna and the massage chair which we had originally thought we’d use. It was surprisingly un-dusty which I would have preferred. And not that it should matter but all this for a $200 cleaning fee.
Communication: Detailed in my other post but besides that there wasn’t really any at all. The night before our check-in I waited until 9:45 pm but hadn’t heard from him so I reached out and let him know an approximate arrival time. I heard back from him by being woken up by a message at 5:30am. I let him know when we had arrived and he popped-over. The next day my husband saw him outside next door (he had a workshop over there which he had told us we could find him at) and approached him about the temperature of the “heated” pool (it was chilly). He sort of wavered but agreed to increase the temp and popped-over 20 minutes later through the patio door. He also said we could leave the hot tub on under the pool cover to help warm the water but it was mysteriously turned-off when we went in for an early morning dip.
The pool never got warmer and he didn’t follow up about it (I suspect he was being stingy with the heat). He never asked us if everything was alright or anything at all. We didn’t contact him again and didn’t hear from him again. I always send a message to my guests after the first night making sure they’re comfortable and that everything is working as it should and that habit was validated by this experience. There were two main amenity attractions to the listing: the pool and the fireplace. I was disappointed that it was electric instead of wood burning (I couldn’t tell from the photos and it wasn’t mentioned in the listing either) but even more disappointed when we found the remote that had been completely melted on top of it. I chose to focus on trying to get the pool warmer and let it go but if he had inquired (at all) it would’ve made it easier to mention it (and possibly get to use the fireplace). I also did not want him busting into the house again, sans mask of course.
Accuracy: Not that big of a deal but the listing said it had shampoo, conditioner and body wash. There was none of any of any of those things and I had to go to the store and buy some. Listing says it’s an “entire residential home” which it is except that we weren’t given a key and so could not lock it up when we went out. We were also told (and then reminded) to leave a door to the poolhouse unlocked so that the host could get in, the inference was that it was to check on the pool, but there is no lock between the poolhouse and the house (no locks inside at all).
It was a nice area and I didn’t fear for my life or anything (and we had our dog with us) but it didn’t feel like an entire entire-house especially with the host unabashedly showing up and coming inside. I think if I was traveling with a couple of other women and without a dog I would’ve been more uncomfortable with it. (But hey, if you want to sneak into a poolhouse and go swimming, I can set you up ,) It was not mentioned in the listing that there would be no way to lock the house or that he’d be routinely entering to check on the pool. And the entire basement workout area was obviously something that was primarily for their personal use (they live next door) with the second fridge that was advertised as an amenity taken up with their personal medicine and cold packs and open sodas.
Another amenity was a ping pong table. We did find it in the basement workout area and it was folded up in a small room. We couldn’t figure out where we could’ve unfolded it for use without moving several large pilates machines so we just let it go.
The kitchen was showcased highly in the obviously professional photos with a viking stove and stainless steel appliances but it was a mess. Most of the cookware was non-stick that was nearly completely removed (not just scratches), there were 5 spoons of varying sizes for a house that sleeps 10 and we had to buy some of those disposable foil pans because there wasn’t any bakeware or pyrex or anything to cook something in the oven.
This is not an Airbnb requirement but in a house that costs $1000+ per night for 4 people I’d think that there could be some kind of beverage available on arrival, at least a bottle of water and the towels and sheets, etc were all 50 years old, which seems like a weird thing to have in an expensive listing. Also a whole 2 teaspoons of sugar for a 5-day stay and 2 inches of aluminum foil, lots of little stingy things like that.
This is getting too long and it sounds like I’m just bitching now so I’ll leave it here. Sorry it’s too long.
TL;DR: it was dirty and there were missing amenities with an intrusive host who didn’t follow covid precautions in a house that we couldn’t secure.