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What do you do when you get sick while hosting?

I had that problem this week, that I was up all night puking and in the morning I just didn’t have the strength to prepare breakfast for my guests and just was thinking how I get to the hospital the quickest. I told my guests, that I’m very sorry, that I couldn’t give them breakfast because I was sick and had to go to the hospital. Unfortunately I still got a bad review from them - 3 stars. My first bad review. I am just so disappointed that people are so unforgiving! What should I have done different?

You should not have done anything different! One bad review will not kill you! Screw the stars! How bad was “bad”? Are you sure it was bad because you were sick and not something else? Did they mention it in the review?

Yes, they mentioned that they didn’t get breakfast. And just before she tells everyone that I was sick. So I don’t understand, why it isn’t enough to just leave it at that? Why also give me just 3 stars? But yeah, it is just one bad review of 49. So it is ok. I just wondered what others do if this happens to them?

I’ve wondered the same thing. Perhaps having something pre-made that you can just warm up or bananas and granola bars that you can leave out? Our insurance here in the US says we are not allowed to provide food for our guests due to liability issues, so that would not be a problem for me.

Bad, bad, BAD guests!!! SO sorry!! I do hope you replied “Yes, I’m so sorry my illness kept you from breakfast. Perhaps a hotel would be better for you in the future, instead of the unique Airbnb experience” THROW THEM IN THE LOUNGE!!! (@konacoconutz)

Last fall we had pneumonia, more than once, bronchitis, and a horrible stomach virus. We got through it. But one morning I did sleep right through breakfast time. I think I’d been up all night with my daughter hacking her lungs up. At that point the guests showered upstairs, and when I heard them I realized I’d messed up. Do you know what they did? Told me to go back to bed, and made themselves something to eat in their little kitchen and gave me a great review.

THEY belong in the ‘sharing community’. Your other guests belong in a MOTEL.

Sorry that happened -


Almost all of my reviews talk about my breakfast. So that’s why their disappointment seemed to be so big. :slight_smile:

…that, and they left their big-girl panties at home by mistake…

(PM me if you can, I’d love to hear what you serve for breakfast. Are you in the US?)

Thank you! I might just do that.

If I was reading the reviews and saw a guest say “host was sick and didn’t make us breakfast” I would think “wow, that guest is an insensitive jerk”. Especially if the host has dozens of other reviews raving about how wonderful they are.

It’s always the ones who are the most trouble who leave the worst reviews / stars. I had one lady who stayed a week who was a real pain in the butt in many many ways. She verbally told me several times that she wanted to extend, and seemed very serious about it. I kept telling her she needed to do it on Airbnb because I had a pending booking for the same time. I ended up declining the other booking because this lady seemed so serious, and then when I informed her that it was all clear for her, she turned around and said she decided not to stay after all! Twit!

The only redeeming thing about her visit was that both my husband and I got sick later in the week and I know she was starting to come down with it when she left. I was actually glad the other booking didn’t work out because we were both really sick and miserable and it wouldn’t have been fair to the guest.


In three years of in home dog boarding and airbnb hosting I have never gotten sick enough to have it affect my ability to conduct business. But I’ve given it plenty of thought. In the case of providing breakfast I’d say sorry and refund a small amount to cover the cost of having to go have breakfast elsewhere. I don’t offer breakfast or even guarantee access to the kitchen. Don’t worry about the review.


Yep, I agree 100% with this!


So sorry this happened and hope you are all better now!

To answer your question of what you should have done differently?? It’s difficult to say unless you share what you prepare for breakfast, and why the guest had to go without.

For example - do you advertise a big huge hot breakfast every day, and guests were forced to spend 20 Euros to get the equivalent at a restaurant??

Having to go to the hospital is an extreme example to be sure.

I think the best you could have done is, offer them money to buy a meal nearby along with the name and address of your recommendation; or pull something out of the freezer/fridge for them to enjoy without your culinary skills. You can not make people empathetic, all you can do is offer as much hospitality as your body allows. I think knocking your overall experience stars down to 3 shows more about them, than you.


My breakfast is nothing fancy, but because I live and host in China in a remote but touristy area and because almost everyone mentions my breakfast in their review, they seemed to have their expectations up. I write in my listing description that I offer German breakfast, but what it really is: Home Made Whole Wheat bread with different kind of yams, honey, peanutbutter, granola with yoghurt or milk and some cooked eggs. With Coffee, tea or hot water. I could have put all that on the table and just ask them to help themselves. The problem was, that I was vomiting every 10 minutes and this already for the whole night. So I was very weak.
But of course I learned my lesson now and I will make sure someone else gets the table ready before I leave for the hospital. I could have told my 13 year old daughter to do it for me, but because I never before asked her, I wasn’t sure if she would do a good job. But yeah, maybe a bad job would have been better then no breakfast at all.
Or I just give them some money back next time. Experiences help to learn. :slight_smile:
And it’s not like breakfast is expensive in China. For 2 Dollar you get a nice breakfast on the street. But I think it was really more about them booking my room because of the breakfast.

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