Upped the Game a Little

It’s good to know that someone besides me appreciates the Oxford comma, but I don’t think I’m ready to take on a semicolonoscopy. :wink:


Wow! Thank you for your great and specific suggestions. A kindred soul [At last!]

On the bouillon, "Better than bouillon’ jars are really the best sofar as I’ve read and experienced, but need to be refrigerated and could get contaminated. If that’s not a problem for you, look there. I would love to provide that but the concern about contamination discourages me from putting those. The same concern – is it misplaced? – discourages jam, Nutella, butter, yogurt, half and half.

My rationale, which I state in the list is “Our goal is to stock shelf-stable items for which it’s not cost-effective for you to buy the small amount that you would need.” So that’s why I don’t stock some of those things.

I think based on your suggestions I will add Mac and cheese. tabasco, a can of soup, baking soda and powder, rice wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar, decaf coffee, oatmeal ( I do have instant coffee – is there a brand you like?).

I am going to re-think this all a bit after your post. Hmm, Seaweed snacks? I like your treasure hunt idea for snacks.

I appreciate the concern expressed by those who say that if something gets depleted that I somehow miss I could be fueling complaints. I’ll think about that, add a disclaimer [?] in my list and think some more (I understand sometimes every good deed does unpunished). I intend to check the list against inventory and it is really simple for me to print out an updated list after a turnover.

As to the statement that who cares it is Vermont maple syrup and not New Hampshire maple syrup, they have never seen The West Wing or know about New England connoisseurs of maple syrup.

Thank you.

On @muddy’s so helpful, positive, supportive comments it’s apparent to all that you and I are ‘besties’ and your endlessly flattering comments might not add to the dialog here, period, since your personal affection for me is so on your sleeve. Your black/white comments on what is pretentious and pointless, period, is refreshing for your absolute authority, period. I so appreciate your view that because you do not care whether it is Vermont maple syrup vs New Hampshire or another that that is the ‘correct’ and only appropriate view, period. I stand enlightened by your comments, as ever.

Nice job on this collection, your guests are in for a real treat. Don’t worry about the negative comments in this thread, there are far too many critics, which is why I almost never post here anymore. Keep up the good work.


Sounds great. Beware of the popcorn. We used to leave microwave popcorn in the suite but after the clean up (finding popcorn in the bed, shower (yup) and stuck in the sofa and chair cushions) we stopped. I leave a bowl of fruit. Flowering plant or wild flowers. We do not provide breakfast anymore - takes up too much of my time as guests want to chat. They can order breakfast bags for $12 and they are in the suite when guests check in. Bags include orange juice, milk, granola, fruit, sweet muffin or pastry, hard boiled egg or quiche or egg and ham muffin.


Well I’m not impressed and I wouldn’t be as a guest. I’m impressed by quality, not necessarily name brands.


I understand exactly what you are saying and it’s a very lovely unexpected gesture to have this already offered in the Airbnb space be it need it or not. I too have sometimes forgotten small toiletries and some SOME are already in the room but many are not and not always offered at the desk nor do I really want to approach the desk staff for such things with a big label on my head that says I’m not too bright cause I forgot my toothpaste. Not to mention if there is a line or the desk staff doesn’t have the best interpersonal skills. However I definitely wouldn’t just make it part of my check in routine to ask for this and that when I walk up to check in.
Anyway I will be taking a page from your book and offering a small value based offering basket…thank you Robin, lynick, Christine
Headed to Trader Joe’s !


Now there’s a visual teehee

There are plenty of reasons to ask for toothbrush/toothpaste besides being a dingbat. We routinely overnight at our connecting city between our main home and our vacation property, and I don’t carry a toothbrush or toothpaste since I have them at both properties. So I just ask for it when I check in.

I don’t understand the reticence some of you have to asking for amenities when you check into a hotel. How is getting the item when you check in any different than it being in the room? The hotel just has those items at the front desk to minimize their losses because not everyone needs it. A vacation rental doesn’t have a front desk so the item has to be somewhere else, and the bathroom is the best place for bathroom items.

1 Like

Interesting. A guest asked me if the spices I supply are safe. My response, “I’m counting on it. I use them when I’m there. If you want to buy your own Aldi is across 17 & DollarTree & Walmart are a mile north on the right”

Different strokes…different levels of risk tolerance or maybe it’s because I think the risk is so low because I don’t a use large quantity of the spices except shrimp/crab boil.

1 Like

Awesome response, I too was thinking the same as Muddy to be fair but then just over half thru reading your list I figured you Must have copy and pasted it here that’s why it’s so detailed so I smiled and kept reading. In the end I thought I need to stay at this place but WAIT …I am a mixed Latin gal and there’s no Saffron say what??
So yea add that do you want me to suggest the best brands of the worlds most pricey spice?


Wow, nice and smiling HUGELY not because I’m a great writer but I appreciate and agree what you are saying. Screen shot this comment!


For a lot of things, the brand doesn’t matter. Most pique polo shirts are made the same, even often in the same factory so that Izod alligator is not necessarily indicative of quality.

However, food is different because food brands do have different quality standards. If you want to avoid certain ingredients (artificial coloring, partially hydrogenated oils, etc), have a restricted diet, eat organic, eat kosher or even just want to support food companies that don’t use GMOs or don’t do animal testing (and avoid supporting companies that do), then the brand of food will almost always give you that information.

For a few examples, if it’s a Trader Joe’s brand it will never have GMO ingredients, msg, artificial colors/flavors/preservatives or partially hydrogenated oils. I know that San-J tamari is completely wheat-free (some tamari isn’t), gluten-free, non-GMO and contains no artificial ingredients.
Sometimes the brand name is mostly indicative of the flavor, Cholula vs Tabasco is somewhat obvious, but it is also true for oils and vinegars, even ketchup. And I know Goya is run by a raving lunatic so there’s that kind of thing too, that goes beyond quality issues, lol, but brands do matter for food (as well as hygiene and beauty products for the same reasons).


I’m curious, I bet every host has something they’ve provided in the past but stopped providing because of the mess or the smell and things that would never be provided for a personal reason.

I can’t stand the smell of popcorn cooking so I’ve never given kernels or microwave popcorn packs; however, people really like their popcorn and were buying it and cooking it anyway. So, to prevent the popcorn smells I started adding a bag of already-popped popcorn to the snacks and that has been 99% successful.

Eggs encourage bacon, ham or sausage which requires too much grease removal to be practical between guests, so I would never give eggs.

We removed the bottles of turmeric and the curry after too many cutting board and butcher block stains. I can remove the stains but it is too much work and takes too long to do it routinely. Pomegranates are also on the do-not-stock list for the same reason.

Not only would we not give saffron, even if it were inexpensive, but I actually have a note in the kitchens that politely prohibit it entirely. I have an allergy to it, a swell-up and die type of allergy. @Quinnie, you are welcome to come and stay but if I see you carrying in a paella pan, I’ll have to boot you out :grin: :rofl:

1 Like

That’s me fecked then, better look elsewhere.



I think you’ve gone ALL in on what you provide. I stuck with spices ( dry ) , olive oil and vinegar. We don’t even tell them what spices - there’s just a sign ( communal spices - use what you want , leave what you want , and add if you feel like it )

Since the cleaning crews have to empty the fridge - we don’t offer anything that isn’t shelf stable. That being said - like others - I wouldn’t leave a list of what is made available. That way people can’t complain when something is out. Also that’s a hell of an inventory list to maintain / manage.



Couldn’t resist :rofl:



Nice… Paella of course. But no, actually I was meaning her list was so thoughtfully curated I had to idea something insane. Wonderful but insane. I myself can not stand the smell of many spices in closed quarters. Haha Boot me out with my paella pan in hand Tish

1 Like

When I first moved to the part of Mexico I’m in, I couldn’t figure out why they sold herbs and spices in the local stores in these tiny cellophane packets that were essentially only enough for one or two uses.

I quickly understood when my spice jars that I didn’t use up real quick turned into an unidentifiable greyish clump with no smell whatsover aside from a hint of mold. :slight_smile:

Now I put very little in the jars and keep the rest of the spices I buy inthe bulk store in the freezer, to refill them from.

1 Like

Many of the comments to my post were focused on the fact of a written list and the naming of brands.

Some thought naming brands was pretentious. Perhaps @JJD’s right-on explanation that brands here really do convey valuable information will cause some re-thinking.

Still, there was useful feedback for me in that some of you thought adding the brand names was pretentious and were put off by that, though I don’t know how much of those comments were personal. For now I’ve added a statement in the list “Brands are included as this list comprises our shopping list for replenishment.”

Some thought that the list was problematic if some of the items ran out. I’ve added a statement that the list is ‘aspirational, not a guarantee.’ I already had a statement that we stock these “unless the last guest consumed them all and we could not replenish in time!” But I intend to keep our stock complete and don’t expect any lapses.

I understand, of course, if many Hosts would not want to add the creation and maintenance of a list and stocking of condiments, teas, amenities, etc. to their chores. I find merit in the treasure hunt idea, as well as under-promising and over-delivering.

This list is valuable for me so I know what I aim to have (e.g., if someone finishes the Tamari I, or my cleaner/helper, can check the list against the pantry’s actual contents to make sure our stock is complete. With the full names and brands, I can easily cut and paste items to put in my online grocery cart.

If I were a guest I would like the list so I could take it to the grocery store and avoid duplicative purchases. So I feel that this list is valuable for the guest. Generally I wouldn’t care which brand of spice. But that’s me. [If I were buying saffron or pepper sauce I would care.] I wouldn’t mind that there’s more words on the page because the first line for each spice is the name of the spice, not the brand. My eyes are still nimble enough to move down to the next line. As a guest I would interpret the list as thoughtful and also a reflection that the Host is intentional about what is being provided.

One of my scheduled messages, 7 days before check-in, says “Pantry includes many spices, Olive oil, Toasted Sesame oil, Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and other vinegars, Huy Fong Sriracha, Tamari, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon cubes, shelf-stable condiments. I can send you a full list if you’d like.” Now I have a list I can send. For the cooking guest who’s planning that’s valuable.

You might have noticed that I put expiration dates on most applicable items; the list recites that most of the spices have an approximate two-year shelf life from purchase, which the list says is marked with a Sharpie at the bottom of each spice jar. Listing the expiration dates helps me, so I can know when I need to order/buy a replenishment without access to the listed unit. It also conveys to the guest that we’re keeping track of expiration or ‘best by’ dates, for their benefit.

I haven’t curated the spices. I bought a decent brand for most that I could instantly replenish, a brand that if a guest cared or knew represents organic food processing, sustainability, fair trade, charitable giving. In the future I expect I might curate some spices and teas. @JJD mentioned steak sauce and Balsamic vinegar, but which ones? So I’ll research this and select ones based on reviews I’ve read, cost, ease of replenishment.

I don’t suggest that Hosts ‘should’ do this. I am retired, have the time, and as a quasi-foodie it is as someone said part of the fun of this gig for me.

The guests are free to take the list if they liked some of the products. They were each selected for a reason. I mentioned that there is mouthwash in the unit, actually two, one Act!, a fluoride mouthwash and one a non-fluoride mouthwash. The soaps, hair products and other amenities were also selected based on reviews I’ve read, cost and ease of replenishment. If someone really liked something, they can take the list and buy it at home. [We’ve been approached by other guests for the exact brand and model of our bed warmers and port chargers, and other amenities, so I guess I’m expecting this.]

The input I was seeking was actually not about leaving a list or including brand names but whether this effort to ‘up’ my hosting game was likely worthwhile given that we’re already getting very good reviews without doing any of this. And the ‘this’ I was thinking about was mostly adding the spices and condiments. I threw in the teas for good measure but I think if someone has a favorite tea they might just buy it themselves and use it up during their stay. They’re less likely to buy baking powder or smoked paprika when so little is typically needed for a recipe and they’d be forced to pack it or leave it.

Some have suggested to have some items stocked for the guest checking in late, so they’d have something to eat or drink. I offer to pick up sundry groceries (no charge, just reimbursement) for such guests and also offer that they can use Instacart to order groceries to be delivered at or after 10 am, that I’d take the groceries in and put them away so that it’s there for them. So I feel less the need to stock items for that reason.

In the end, because we have a very large and nice kitchen and we tout it, I thought I should go the extra mile here, try it out, and see what the use is and what the feedback.

I do expect, however, that more people will cook, that there will be more wear and tear, probably more cleaning we’ll have to do. I wonder whether I’ll regret this concept of making cooking in the kitchen that much easier.

We’ll see. It’s an experiment. Thank you for letting me share this with you.

1 Like

How far are you from the nearest market?

We toss any open foodstuffs other than salt and pepper, and have noticed folks still buy their own salt and pepper.

However we are about a mile from an entertainment shopping area that includes a market, and we provide shopping totes, bikes, and even a golf cart to get them there. (Most use the golf cart…)

Our guest’s range on kitchen use. Some eat out almost every meal, others will cook an entire holiday dinner. That does mean some times the kitchen looks untouched before the cleaners show, and other times it needs more care.

1 Like