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OK, it’s my turn to ask about what to say in the review. I’m not yet looking for advice on the review itself - just what’s important to other hosts.
Background - Our home is a three-bedroom villa in St Lucia in the Caribbean that sleeps six. It’s a glamping experience - an open-air with no glass over the windows. We have full-time staff. Strict cancellation policy.
Guest booked for six (a group of friends) a few months ago. Three weeks before arrival, he confessed there were eight because he assumed we would accept eight because we have four queen beds. I agreed to eight with an additional fee of $100US a night, but stressed we were not set up for eight so they wouldn’t have enough of some things.
After leaving today, my staff said they:
Were the messiest guests we’ve ever had. Used every dish in the house every night (service for 12) and left dirty dishes all over the house with uneaten food on them. Pots and pans were left on the stove with uneaten food in them. We have been extremely aggressive recently on pest control and fortunately did not end up with pest infestations from their food messes.
Pulled everything out from over the washer and dryer and left it on the floor. They had used all the free sunscreen and asked for more so they may have been looking for the backup supply.
Used our white bath towels to go to the black mud baths because they had used the beach towels specifically for the mud baths the day before and said “they are dirty” and wouldn’t re-use them. This despite our housekeeper telling them to not use the bath towels.
Hired the housekeeper to make dinner for them one night and paid her with cash in a sealed envelope. She fortunately checked it and saw they had shorted her by $120US and was able to collect the shortfall just before they left.
Repeatedly pulled the pool scupper flap off even after our maintenance person repaired it and asked them not to pull it off again. The maintenance guy said they “played” with everything but didn’t break anything else.
OK - what’s important from this for most hosts? No significant damage was done but I do not recommend them to anyone else.
I don’t know. We didn’t have same-day turnover on check in or out, so that wasn’t critical. I give my housekeeper authority to grant late check out at her discretion and I suspect they left an hour late.
I do think communication was poor since they only mentioned the extra people after reading the price lists for cooking and driver services and saw that all the prices stopped at six people.
Unlike many they at least told you about the number of guests before arrival. If that had been it and they behaved just fine, you might not have cared and appreciated the extra $100/night. Otherwise I would briefly note facts and rate them accordingly, then block. Many people would not know what a pool scupper flap is and “played with everything” is just too vague.
I really like the way you wrote this. I can’t prove they were deliberately trying to short her, because there were a lot of people and perhaps some other person was supposed to pay the balance and forgot (vacation brains fueled by rum!). But they certainly put her in an uncomfortable situation.
Then leave off the part about them shorting her as if it was deliberate, maybe just say the cook found her fee envelope $120 short, perhaps by accident, but was put in the uncomfortable position of having to ask for the missing amount.
I’d also mention that they touched/fiddled with things. Guests who touch the thermostat, change the floor heating schedule, touch the pool filter, change the fridge temp, etc, these people are not wanted by any hosts. Be sure to mention something about this, whatever is relevant to your place, or keep it vague.
Guests fiddled with settings on pool equipment, despite being asked by staff not to make any adjustments.
I think the key is, a run-on paragraph full of feelings needs to be shortened.
Short and to the point is always preferred. But, when it can be expressed as a bullet list of short and concise points, that is valuable as well! especially when it’s a long list of short and to-the-point bullet points.