Earlier this year, we announced that hosts will soon be required to provide a specific set of amenities in each listing that we consider “essential” to a comfortable stay.
Since then, we heard it was impacting some hosts’ ability to host successfully. So now, we’re giving you the choice.
You can choose whether or not to include the essential amenities in your listing. Having said that, we strongly encourage hosts to include them. Guests come from regions all over the world, and many tell us is that these five items are the minimum that they expect to find in a listing.
The five essential amenities include:
Soap (for hands and body)
1 towel per guest
1 pillow per guest
Linens for each guest bed
We’re currently exploring the best way to keep guests informed about which amenities are provided in each listing so that accurate expectations are set.
Please, only select the Essentials option if you really are providing those items in the listing. Keeping listings as accurate as possible is a really important part of building trust with guests and setting you up for success as a host.
Listings that have Essentials selected but don’t actually provide the five items listed may be subject to penalties, including removal from Airbnb.
Read this Help Center article for more details on essential amenities.
Thanks for being a part of the Airbnb community and for everything that you do to provide great guest experiences!
Thanks for this change, which is very important to hosts like us in areas where items like towels and linens are absolutely not expected (and most guests would prefer to bring their own and save some money). I noticed that in order to be included in your "family friendly" listing filter, hosts still have to provide your defined "essentials." I would ask that you consider changing that policy as well. We provide many amenities that make our house a great option for families, and the fact that we don't provide Linens and towels does not change that. Thanks for your consideration.
i am from Malaysia and we do not provide towels but bed sheets and linen are
a must. recently i have been providing towels as well , as requested by some guest( tourist from other countries) and airbnb.
we from the aisian countries would insist that clean bedsheets, pillow cases, blankets and linens are a must.
hope i have given you a different view.
As a superhost myself, I do not see how you expect guests to bring their own towels and (queen and king sizes) linen. My guests come from all around the world, and I certainly do not expect them to bring those items with them. I think towels and linen are essential items.
I totally agree I supply travel size body wash shampoo conditioner, I'm here for my guest try to accommodate all there needs.
I agree with what Nancy said. We provide LOTS of amenities well over what would be considered expected. We even provide children's beach toys, so we are indeed "family friendly." So just because in our area of vacation rentals, the practice is not to provide linens in the house so guests can save money, then the way Airbnb shows it makes it seem like our house is not well-furnished, when in fact, it is furnished way above most houses in the area. Plus, I like to remind Airbnb from an environmental standpoint, providing linens in a house that can sleep 10 people means having to launder 10 sets of sheets and towels even if only two people stay. Bad stewardship!!!!
It is great to hear you are please about this change Nancy, I also hope this is welcoming for you too, James.
Thank you for your additional feedback here, it is really interesting to hear your thought on this.
Just thinking on your comment here James. If I may give my personal view on this, I think this is all about managing guest expections and I feel as a guest I want to know what to expect when visiting – especially when we are talking about what I need to bring with me or pick up on my way (such as toilet paper). Essential amenties will show on your listing, but if you don't offer this, it doesn't mean that your listing isn't well equipped in other areas. Plus, as I have heard from many here in the CC, especially with linen this isn't necessarily expected in certain areas, so in this case my logic would say that these particular guests who you are trying to attract wouldn't be put off by not seeing essential amenities listed. Do you not think this the case or have alternative suggestions? It would be great to hear your thoughts. :)
Thank you for listening. I agree, guests need to know what to expect, which is why I liked it when the things now called "essentials" were listed separately so we could indicate which was there and which wasn't. Even with that, I would always verfiy with guests about their preference on linens to be sure. My concern is that if what Nancy said is right and not having linens and towels makes us not "family friendly", then people with families for whom our house really would be perfect might just miss us if they check that box and look for "family friendly" homes. They would likely assume it means we don't allow children or something. We really do have our house set up well for families with children with beach toys, children's books, bunk beds, and don't want to lose those guests over something that isn't even related.
And we do offer the option for linens, but it saves the renter to bring their own, which most would prefer to do in this rental area of Edisto Island. I asked our property manager about this when the change was first announced and she said NONE of the 400+ rentals they manage provide linens!
So I would just kindly ask it be listed as with any other amenity, like coffee makers and microwaves. (Maybe some people would consider a coffe-maker as an "essential"!) And if a red flashing light or something is needed to be sure a guest notices, no problem. What I don't like is that our listings are being treated somehow as substandard when, in reality, we may provide more amenties than a comparable property that happens to be able to manage linens.
Jim, you absolutely nailed it. Also, for us with unique listings such as a camper at a campground the ability to launder is impossible. However, camping is the definition of family friendly. It's hard to understand why I cannot be included, when I'm clearly gearing my listing to families. I make a point to clearly define amenities, mention it in the body of my listing AND mention it in private message after booking. Trust me, my guests are aware and ok. I also go above and beyond for my guests whom are traveling by air and I do provide the linens free of charge, because that is just logical and considerate.
I quite agree re the conversations about guests providing their own linen. This is the rental practice in my part of Australia- South East New South Wales (NSW) Coast at Bawley Point, between Bateman’s Bay and Ulladulla. Guests generally prefer to bring their own linen(sheets etc & towels) to save a linen fee. Almost all my guests have been from Australia and they are very comfortable with this policy.
I suggest that Hosts be given the option to charge an additional linen fee if Guests don’t or can’t or don’t want to bring their own linen.
We are not a hotel, majority of hosts in our area do not supply towels and never have, so we are unable to tick the box, frankly we do not think Airbnb should tell us what to supply given we have been successfully hosting for 13 years (280 days per year) which is far longer than Airbnb has existed. Please stop treating us as children ! We live in Australia and know our own market better than Airbnb does
I agree with the comments as to being family friendly. By insinuating we are not family friendly if we do not supply all of the amenities is a loss to us of potential guests. Who may skip us as not being listed as family friendly.
Many of our houses are well set out for families and with this in mind we become more affordable by not adding sheets and towels and giving guests the option to hire these. We are an 82km round trip to the closest laundry mat by the time you add launder and drop off, pick up fees we have to price out of the boundary for many families.
We supply an initial supply of toilet paper, soap, dooners, dooners covers, pillows, bath mats, hand towels and tea towels and the guests have the option to hire sheets and towels from local linen hire services.
The simple answer would be to list these items for us to tick, the same as we do for other amenities.
i trust you will take this idea and comments into consideration.
I understood that Airbnb stood for Air bed and breakfast. Breakfast has always been a bit discretionary, but now with "essential amenities" also becoming discretionary, only Air and an unmade bed are left!
It could be argued that the name Airbnb is becoming misleading. Moreover, it is a contradiction to make something that is essential, discretionary.
However, we are a community and the community has spoken.
If essential amenities are now going to be discretionary, I too, would like to be given an option to charge extra for them so I can drop my nightly rate to compete with others not providing the basic amenities. (Having a cover charge for breakfast items would be appropriate too.)
In my area there has been a flood of holiday rentals listed on Airbnb by a local real estate agent. He ticks the box saying essential amenities are provided but then adds a little note somewhere down the bottom of the listing where it might not be noticed, that if linen or towels are needed, extra unspecified fees apply (and I understand those extra fees are considerable). I don't know what happens when people arrive expecting sheets and towels, the shops are closed and they cannot get hold of the agent.
I would like to see hosts who mislead people by stating they provide the basic amenities, when they don't, booted off Airbnb.
Afterall, how many people travel with sheets, towels, toilet paper and soap in their suitcase, if they think they have booked into a bed and breakfast? Guests are likely to become disillusioned by their experience, leave our community and spread the word about their upsetting experience.
Unless what is or isn't provied is made very clear, Airbnb seems to be in danger of losing its point of difference and could end up being viewed as a flaky version of Booking.com
That would be such a shame having come so far.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this here.
You raise many interesting points. In particular, you mention about a fellow Airbnb host who has ticked the box, but isn't actually supply the 'Essentials' outlined by that category.
I personally think that when you look at the Airbnb site and community, at it's heart is trust. As a company Airbnb trusts hosts to select this option and that they are being honest to their guests. Plus, if this is happening the likelihood is that his guests are going to flag this in his review and to our Support Team, pretty quick. After all this isn't fair to his guests or to other hosts.
I agree that it is important that guests know what to expect across the board and this was the thinking behind introducing 'Essential Amenities', because guests have given feedback that backed this up. The update here is based on listening to community feedback from hosts who said that this often isn't the norm in their area and that operationally isn't possible – so I believe it is about finding the right balance and most importantly managing expectations. :)
If you have suggestions on how you think this could be made clearer, I would love to hear your thoughts.