The background: When we first heard that bedsheets, towels, toilet paper, and soap would be mandatory essentials, some of us freaked out a little, especially the beach house and mountain cabin hosts in certain areas where for decades guests have understood they would bring their own linens/supplies and everyone was happy.
Here, for six years we have asked our guests to carry their own sleeping bags a kilometre down a footpath. They have given us five stars for this.
I know. It's been great.
In our case, we have all the essentials covered except bedsheets. As hikers ourselves, we understand the mud, smokiness, and burrs that are part of the outdoors experience, and how sliding into our own sleeping bags at night reduces worry about ruining someone's clean sheets.
The apology: I have been postulating here in the forum that surely we beach houses, mountain cabins, tents, and treehouses will be fine as long as we tick the box and provide the ability to request backup linens.
We will not. I am sorry. Two things happened to me in the past week and I learned:
Right. Guests are spies for the system, and that's what did it here. Bedsheets it is. The problem here is that in order to provide bedsheets, one needs to provide a bed... Our sleeping platform's custom 4' x 6' dimensions mean we have, for all these years, merely softened the planks with blankets and ground pads. No standard mattress will fit.
So we have cut a piece of 6" gel memory foam to size and made the bed. With sheets.
We are still hoping our guests decide bringing their sleeping bags is the best choice, and that they enjoy this king of all groundpads as a luxury. And that they remember they had sheets if they wanted them and will not tick the "no" box. I'll let you know.
Specifics: You can cut gel memory foam easily with an electric knife. Thank you, YouTube. Also, thank you, everyone here. I listened to all of you and sprang for a mattress protector. Nothing bad will happen now, right?
I admire your inovative spirit. As I understand, you are providing all these amentities at a central convenient location, but guests must pick them up and carry them if they so do choose. You don't need to make the bed, just provide them clean sheets.
Because of Airbnb's new policy, you must re-remind your guests that this is a camping site. linens/towels provided, not delivered.
No, I am delivering them, Paul. (The forum will not allow me to upload a photo so I can show you, or to tag, for that matter.) The "new bed" is all made up. The option is for them to bring a sleeping bag anyway - I know I would want to when camping. But the sheets are on the bed and the towels and pillows that have always been in place are too. I suspect the sleeping bags will slowly phase out and it will be 100% use of the sheets. It's okay. I plan not to trust anyone, and will be changing them between guests now anyway. It may add another round trip to my cleaning routine. An extra 2 km a day will only make me stronger. :)
Sorry I was unclear. Having them as a backup does NOT work. Guests are questioned on it. The sheets et al. need to be in place for them when they arrive.
I glanced at Airbnb's requirement. Linens must be provided, but the beds need not be made.
I would try to stick with the original idea of guests bring their own sleeping bags.
This keeps your price low and meets the needs of your guests (Campers who want to camp).
It also makes it easier for you.
By having linens and towels available, you are sticking to the letter of Airbnb's requirements and meeting your needs and your guest's needs too.
You're right, Paul. I was indeed going to stick to the letter of the requirements until I saw what guests see: that list of items with "did you get" and yes and no beside each, and each needing to be answered before you can get to the next screen. If my guests didn't read that they needed to request the sheets, they will say no to that one, won't they? I guess I am trying to preempt that. I'm not keen on jumping through the hoops of proving there were sheets waiting, all ironed and folded, or of the extreme of getting a sudden notice that my listing is being shut down for not coming up to the new standard. What else could those questions be for but another reason to nag or, gulp, to cull hosts?
I wouldn't be paranoid if... :)
Ouch, Ange! But yes. I wonder whether a bunch of the "unique" listings are being culled before introduction of the promised Unique category.
I'm fighting back with memory foam and bedsheets. Nerf war!
If the next demand is wifi, though, it will take me out completely.
Lawrene, there was another post recently a fantastic remote off-the-grid place in Norway, you have to ski in! - sounds idyllic! Eco-friendly, environmentally responsible, magical... Crazy to have sheets there too, and of course all the beach houses etc.. He posted about the same insanity and being told he is not meeting Airbnb's ill-thought out requirements.
it really is absurd that what began as an "anything goes" platform is being homogenized.
How silly. Beds with sheets exist anywhere. Your treehouse is special.
ABB is shortsighted to not see the difference.
I agree that we're special, Kelly. We're more suited to a Minus category than a Plus, and absolutely not for everybody, but I estimate 80% of my guests are new to Airbnb. They signed up because they read about us on Narcity or Ontario By Bike or a "best of" list and Airbnb is the only way I book. Some are afraid of Airbnb, having read horror stories in the news. So it is only after being "forced" to verify in order to book, asking me hours of questions, and waking up safe in an axe-murderer-free space that they trust the platform and go on to use it to travel everywhere else.
I am positive this is the case with the other places - the beach houses and mountain cabins - who will find it a lot harder to have bed linens in place upon guest arrival. I'm okay. It's absurd to be required to give bedsheets to guests who don't want them, but it's not the end of the world here. It will be for some places, and that does sound shortsighted.
I wonder if AirBnB execs are even aware of this problem they are causing. Is anyone reading all of these discussions? Do they know, do they care????
I'm a beach house owner whose guests don't want sheets and towels, especially if it costs them MORE (it will). But if ABB upholds these requirements I will be forced to increase all of my rates by $300 regardless of length of stay. I guess instead of offering the $300 optional linen and towel service that in 3 years a total of 2 guests have chosen.....I will have to offer a $300 credit for anyone who "opts out" and brings their own. Nevertheless, my rate is going to look much higher thanks to this stupid policy....and will result in fewer rentals and less money for both myself and AirBnB.
Tim, the odd thing is this could be a niche market and sold as such.
What was fantanstic about Airbnb was it offered places that many more people could afford and unique experiences, it catered to myriad people: the adventurous, the outdoor types, the luxe types, the I just want a home from home, the I want to explore types. Many of my guests say they could never have afforded a vacation if not for Airbnb. But it seems that Airbnb is narrowing the field to a "one size fits all" and heading towards the luxe end.