I found myself yesterday in a tricky situation after my guests came back several hours later after an 11 am check out to pick up their luggage ( which i kindly stored for then due to their late flight ) and they requested to have a quick shower . I was in the middle of cleaning the bedroom for another guest , but haven’t started the bathroom yet . I must admit I was a bit startled and didn’t expect this request at all to use the shower , so I just swallowed and said “ Yes but just because I haven’t cleaned the shower yet and that would be an exception “ I was pretty upset since I have been going out of my way to make the guest welcome and comfortable I did’t Even complain when they used my standing lamp as a towel rack or left the towels on the floor in the shared bathroom like a and I very much feelt taken advantage of at the end . I didn’t even get a thank you for allowing them to have a shower. I now wonder how I should respond with the review ? Can any of you kind pople give me some advice?
Asking to use the shower wouldn't be a transgression on behalf of the guests but accepting it and then penalising them in a review would be.
If you didn't want them to use the shower, tell them no.
If it was convenient as you hadn't yet cleaned for the next guests then no harm could be done and you might score some brownie points in their review of you.
@Armin39 The standard response is "this person may not be suitable for the sharing community" to which you might add that his concept of checking out was misunderstood as he requested the use of your shower several hours later when he returned to pick up his luggage.
Many guests think home sharing is a cheaper version of a hotel and set expectations to hotel levels, but even a hotel would not be this accommodating. You were gracious and he didn't cost you much more than your time, but his sense of entitlement is annoying, especially since he didn't even thank you, and disturbed your work.
As host, your best defense from this nonsense is to set your rules and perhaps explain them when the favor of holding luggage for free comes up. You could them you'd be happy to hold their luggage until a specified time, as you will be there cleaning for your next guest. When they ask for more favors you could tell them that because the other guest was expected so soon you would be unable to accommodate them, since you had to hurry and finish the cleaning. No one could give you a bad review for that. I have had guests request a shower when they returned at the end of the day to retrieve their luggage and have allowed it, but would not if I had a short turnover time or they had any sense of entitlement or did anything to bother me like hanging a damp towel on my lamp, or asking at the last minute. We do enough!
Let your feelings be your guide. For me, my subjective view of the guest is the sole factor as to what I'll offer the guest. Wants a shower? Wants a late checkout? Wants something not on the "menu"? Did/do I like them. I'd so yes, if no no. For me the towels on the lamp would have burnt all their bridges for me and I'd send them packing.
You already did them a favour by storing their luggage - by asking to take a shower they are just taking liberties. In future, keep any stored luggage right by the front door so you can pass it to them without even letting them over the threshold!
Completely agree with @Kathie21 - they've got a lot of nerve expecting to take a shower when coming to pick up bags which you were kind enough to store. Next time, you should totally make them stand outside while you fetch their luggage. Better yet...... point them towards luggage storage services or storage lockers.
Your review should be an honest but factual statement of what it was like for you as a host, hosting these particular guests. I see nothing wrong with saying something along the lines of "The saying "no good deed goes unpunished" is how I would summarize my hosting experience of these guests. Overall I felt very taken advantage of, therefore I would not recommend them for shared listings."
@Armin39 I agree with Ian and Marie in that you should not punish the guest in a review for your agreeing to a request which may reflect all the negative motives as suggested by many other hosts. If you think the guest was otherwise a good guest, you might send a private message to the guest to alert him to the impropriety of the request. If you think the request was part of a general behavior that does not fit the shared home listing, you could provide a review that would warn other hosts that the guest may be better served either by a hotel or a self-contained whole unit.
@Armin39 Guests who willfully deceive you, violate your rules, steal your property, or overstay without your permission are taking advantage of you.
But it's not the guests' fault when their host agrees to requests that they're uncomfortable with. In this regard, it's important to remember that good hospitality does not mean "whatever the guest wants, the answer is always yes." Rather, I'd say it's all about delivering well on everything that your listing offers and being resourceful with advice for wishes that aren't inclusive.
Fortunately, you're in Central London, where virtually anything a guest can want can be found. If they're arriving before your check-in time, you can suggest a free museum, park, or brunch spot to enjoy the time before their room is ready. Need storage for bags? Forward them this list of storage facilities: https://www.visitlondon.com/traveller-information/essential-information/baggage-left-luggage
Need a shower after checkout? Have a recommendation on hand for a local pool, spa, or Turkish bath that offers an affordable day pass. The same thinking can go for any amenity that they need outside of your time and scope of offer, and most guests will be pleased that your local expertise led them to a unique experience. If you find yourself bending over backward, it doesn't mean you're making guests more welcome, it just means you need to see a chiropractor.
As for the towel situation - it's actually a frequent complaint of guests that they couldn't figure out where to hang their towels, so be sure that your check-in tour includes instructions about where the wet towels go.
I know that feeling of being a deer in the headlights. My brain seizes up and I agree whatever, even tho I know it's not right.
The next time you can be prepared:
"Oh sorry, I just finished cleaning it for the next guest"
"Oh sorry, the next guest is using it"
"Sorry, the plumber has turned off the water. I'm hoping he'll be done before the next guest's arrival."
@Paul154 Sure, sometimes it is easiest to make up an excuse. But I find that being cheerfully upfront about my boundaries commands more respect:
Q: "May I do [thing Andrew doesn't like]?"
A: "What you can do instead is [something that involves going away]...good luck!"
Hi I think I will decline. I'll tell them I would very much wish I could allow, but since it's already beyond check out time, my insurer and ABB's insurance just won't cover this situation, so blabla.
I've also turned down guests who wished to have hot pot in my kitchen. The excuse I've used was "my smoke detector is set to over sensitive since we are in a heritage listed building".
I mean, try to make a third-party for them to blame. In most cases, they won't really investigate.
@Armin39 been there, I also let them use the shower and in my case it was already cleaned so worse :) You shouldn't mention it in the review though since you allowed it. If they used it without your permission, then you should mention it but not this way. But the good thing is, next time you will be more prepared hopefully, just tell them it is already prepared and the next guests are a few minutes away.
@Armin39 why not put in the review but with no emotion attached, only facts.
"XX stayed in good communication about their travel plans and left the room tidy. XX returned after check out to retrieve luggage and shower before heading on to their next destination."
Let whoever is reading it decide if it is positive or negative. And if the guest it offended by such a review then they obviously know they were wrong to ask.
I have allowed guests to shower after checkout before... ONLY because I had not cleaned it. I would not allow then if it had been cleaned.
My feeling on this is that when you sense that the guest might desire extra services and post-checkout options that you're happy to provide, it's great to offer them before they have a chance to ask.
Prior to the guest's checkout date, you can inquire about their onward travel plans. If they mention that they're leaving town later in the day, you can say something like "you're welcome to stay until xx:00 if you'd like to sleep in," or "checkout time is 11:00 but you're welcome to leave your bags until 14:00 while I clean the rooms." This does the double duty of making the guests feel you've gone an extra step to accommodate their needs while also conveying the limitations of what you're willing to offer.