What's the craziest thing you've had to do just as guests are arriving

For heaven’s sake, have you never totally screwed up in your life? It wasn’t a lack of hospitality, she had totally prepared everything for them, left lights on, left snacks and drinks out for them in case they were hungry, and had told them she would be asleep because their flight didn’t arrive until 2am, but that the door would be unlocked -it was a bad brain fart where she forgot to leave the door unlocked, not a lack of hospitality.

She wasn’t excusing it because she was a newbie, she knew it was idiotic. That’s why she posted it on a thread about the most mortifying screw up hosts have ever made.

Plenty of home share hosts would go to bed if they have guests arriving very late, or they are at work when guests arrive and the guests self check in. They just normally don’t screw up by forgetting to make sure the guest has access.

Just because you’d sleep on the couch if you had guests arriving late to get up and greet them, doesn’t mean it’s the only proper way for hosts to handle things.

I would get up for a guest’s arrival, because my place is hard to find and showing guests how to find their room and unlock their door requires a physical demonstration. But hosts with more straightforward house and room findability and easy door locks might not.


So true!

Often on this forum, newbie hosts do not understand that their ‘bedtime’ is not what others consider theirs or that their idea of ‘comfortable temperature’ is theirs alone (“we wear sweaters and turn the heat OFF at night”). It’s usually followed by a post here mentioning the low star rating they got, and defending their situation (“we never lower the ac below 78, why does this guest say that it was uncomfortable?”)

Hospitality is what you do to make people feel comfortable and welcome. What you do when your grandma comes to visit, or how you act when your friend comes to dinner. The one time that you give the friend seconds on their plate (rather than admonishing them that asking for seconds is greedy) or give your grandma higher temps (rather than expecting her to ‘suck it up’ and shiver) is what hospitality is all about.

It works both ways - guests treat my home well because I treat them well, usually) but it is a hard job, do be done no matter how you feel or whatever the hour. Low ratings for service that is inhospitable should serve as the ‘canary in the coal mine’ for a host that wants to remain viable.


Lovely message. We are hospitable to grandma and to friends and should be even more so to guests who are actually paying us good money to be hospitable. :slight_smile:


Very beautifully said. Thanks for putting it so elegantly.


I had this conversation with my current guests when she said “Oh we’re self sufficient and don’t want to be a bother,” and I told her “you’re paying a lot of money to stay here, please it’s not a bother, it’s my pleasure. People like you are why I enjoy hosting.” And it’s true. They’re lovely, so that makes it even easier.

PS. This couple has made the frustrations of the last 5 guests better. And my next guest for 2 1/2 weeks is a returning guest and she’s adorable. Such a nice respite!


So I tried doing homemade cookies for a while. Not a single mention in guestbook notes, reviews, or driveway conversations. Apparently no one cared so that amenity got replaced with purchased bags of chips and trail mix. I was disappointed that no one raved about my baking. (OK, now that I’m putting this into words it’s dawning on me. My baking must be :face_vomiting:)


haha I have to say I did wonder… I swoon for homemade cookies (do you use butter?). Perhaps modern day guests are too scared to eat gasp homemade cookies! We made rocky road over xmas and a few guests commented on it. We have been buying cookings (pre-wrapped in 2 serves), nice cookies from the Byron Bay Cookie Co (a well known hippy brand here in australia) and no one has ever said a thing, even though plenty of people like to take them all with them. So we are thinking of switching to home made cookies.

Aldi cookies - $1.49!
I don’t have the time for baking :grinning:

i love Aldi for many things (those gluten free coconut macaroons are pretty good), but as we are in renowned food and wine region, i think putting cheap Aldi cookies might not quite set the tone. it’s so parochial here i didn’t want to put in cookies from another state, but i couldn’t find a local producer doing anything good (within a reasonable price point). I can mix up a batch of Anzac biccies (like oatmeal cookies) in one bowl in under 10mins, bake for 15mins… 40 biscuits done. I’ve got the time.

edit: @Debthecat just put the oatmeal thing in for other readers, i know you know

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Only one, and it pales compared to flying squirrels and underwear clad host almost opening the door- and it’s NOT funny😒

As a newbie, I had just worked out my current Self-checkin procedure: a janky key-under-a-rock sort of thing. Went to friend’s birthday dinner across the city and was whooping it up when my second-ever guest called: “the front door key doesn’t work. Am I supposed to use the back door?”

Uh, no. Did I mention it was a cold and stormy night😫? I sped there and opened the door babbling non-stop apologies. She actually THANKED me for leaving the party to “help” (whaat?) and did not mention this rotten “welcome” in her lovely, generous review!