Optional Essentials

Status changed to: New

This new requirement put on AirBnb hosts - "Essentials - especially towels and sheets" is not showing regard for hosts who are sharing their homes and are not into a hotel business with professional laundry facilities. For hosts who have to arrange towels and sheets for every single guest, this Essential Amenities requirement will lead to an additional cost for the guests. I have been renting cottages for a while and never had anyone complain about bringing their own towels and sheets, so why are we making the guests being forced to pay for something like this when they can easily bring these essentials and keep their vacation cost down. 

The idea I have is the following "Hosts should be allowed to supply towels and sheets as an extra option with a fee attached to it". This way, the guests who can bring their linens and towels do not have to pay for it unnessarily. And the guests who would like the host supply these essentials, can pay for the same. Everyone is happy!

Sarah977 in
Sayulita, MX
Level 10

According to posts in the Hosting section of this community forum, there are places, mostly beach homes in the Eastern US and parts of Europe, where bedding and towels are not traditionally provided. However, the majority of hosts do provide these items to their guests, at no extra charge. It is simply what is expected by guests, along with having a bed to sleep in, some soap and toilet paper, and a working bathroom. 

I find it odd that you consider renting out cottages to be sharing your home. They are not the same thing.

Apurva-And-Sobey0 in
Big Chute, Canada
Level 2

Its a great assumtion that "majority of the hosts provide" towels and linens. Well most of the housekeeping cottages that I am aware of DON'T. Not even at an extra charge. The pricing of these housekeeping charges do not incorporate the expenses to deliver that service either. We can say that guests expect a lot of things but it wont be fair for hosts to include all of those in the fees for "free"

A lot of similar businesses that have been running in this model see that most of the guests are just fine bringing in their own supplies. 

Could we supply linen and towels to an average 4-6 guests? Sure we can.

Will that add additional cost to the host? Of course it will.

How do guests recover this cost? From every single guest according to your suggestion, by increasing our standard pricing.

Will most of the guests who were ok bringing their own and saving the extra fees be happy with this arrangement????.....


Just to do the math for those wondering, our guest count on an average is 4-6 guests.

8 towels, 8 sheets, 8 pillow cases (2 sets at a minimum) to be mainained at all times. 


I am sure we are not the only ones startled by this new decision.

Christine615 in
Level 10

On Martha’s Vineyard guests are expected to get linens from a local service. That surprised me, but it made senseFor that location.


For my own Airbnb in Kansas City I supply and clean guest linens because I want to control the cleanliness of the beds. Plus with airline luggage restrictions, carrying own linens would be a burden for guests. I don’t want to do it when I’m traveling 


I think Airbnb should allow hosts to specify “linens and towels porivuded” or linens and towels available through local service.”

Apurva-And-Sobey0 in
Big Chute, Canada
Level 2

Yes, that is a reasonable expectation. I agree about international guests traveliing to our location cannot be expected to bring their linens without hassle. We do provide that as a complementary service when asked and those guests appreciate our service.

What would not go well is if we have to raise our standard fees to accomodate this additional service for "free" in order to abide by this new AirBnB requirement. Most campers and cottage goe'ers in Ontario are just fine bringing their own linens for years. 

Andrew0 in
Berlin, DE
Level 10

My observation would be that an overwhelming majority of Airbnb properties in cities provide linens and towels by default, but that in more rural locations there's often a different tradition. 


A lot about how Airbnb works is standardized to urban properties and millennial tastes, and I don't think that's an intentional bias. They're run mostly by young folks working in the downtowns of major cities so they might have a blind spot to the perspective of people involved in the historical B&B concept. 


For what it's worth, though, I was once "happy" to take my own linens and towels for a short stay to save on fees, but regretted it after. My linens wound up being the wrong size, and after leaving the towels stunk up all the contents of my bag because I had to pack them wet. So as a guest, I'm fine with these items being standardized essentials that I can assume will be present wherever I stay. 


The Cleaning Fee makes sense to me as a way to recoup the laundry cost, since you're doing it on a per-stay basis rather than a nightly basis. 

Apurva-And-Sobey0 in
Big Chute, Canada
Level 2

Agreed. Which is what we started this conversation with. Making this "cleaning fee" or whatever we call it and optional add on, like pet fee, so that the guests can make this choice. 

Inconvenience is very relative. As you said, hauling dirty laundry may be a big inconvenience for some, for others, paying more for something they dont care about would be a bigger concern.

Thanks for the discussion and opinions.

AirBnB (and most of you responding) may be talking about a small percetnage of their business, but for us who are in the "housekeeping cottage" business, thats almost 100% of our business.

The point we are stressing is that we should not impose such fees across the board, for whatever reason.

Zappa0 in
Key West, FL
Level 10

So shampoo is now required or no? My listing is like camping. I just stick some $1 shampoo out there but I think this is not necessary. One more thing to keep stocked..

Sarah977 in
Sayulita, MX
Level 10

Shampoo isn't mentioned for me yet as an essential amenity, because I just rent out a room in my house, and I don't provide it. Men tend to be okay with any shampoo, but I find that women are fussy about what shampoo they use, so generally travel with their own. And most of them leave whatever is left behind, because they don't want to have to bother to pack it and take it home, so I usually end up with leftover shampoo anyway which I could offer if anyone needs it, without having to spend $ on it.

I hear you on the $1 shampoo- if airbnb decides it's essential, then put some out there but if it's bottom of the line dollar store shampoo, most probably won't use it anyway, so it'll last forever :-)

Karen887 in
Olney, MD
Level 2

I have a vacation rental beach home in Delaware.  Traditionally in this area, guests bring their own linens. This has never been a problem.   Most of my guests are driving from a nearby metropolitan area.  Linen rentals will add about $200 per visit to the cleaning costs.  Even if I pass that cost on to the guest, ultimately it will come out of my pocket in the form of lower per-night prices or fewer rentals.  I wish guests could opt in or out of linen service as meets their needs and budget.  It is a shame for Airbnb to require something that guest and owners don't want or need but still have to pay for. 

Level 2

We have a apartment in a coastal town in Australia. It is the norm for the town not to provide linen. We offer linen as a option with extra fee. Of the 60 groups we have had in the past 12 months we would have had only 3 to 4 groups that wanted linen provided. People would rather bring there own to save costs. One way around the new rules is to include linen  as essential but charge guest extra if they require it. Would have to be clearly stated in discription which ours is when people book.

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