After careful consideration we decided not to include use of the kitchen for our listing, this is reflected in our listing price. Our listing also does not include the kitchen in the ammenities and states that the guests have access to the bedroom and bathroom. I am generally a flexible and easy going person. The problem is that out of my last 7 guests 4 have asked to use the kitchen or fridge. It is clearly becoming a very consistent issue and soon it will be 5 out of 9 guests. My last guest didn't ask to use the kitchen, they just used it, and whatever they ate had a very strong and lingering odor. I had one guest simply ask for ice for their lunchbox, which was completely fine. The problem is that people tend to assume that I am going to be ok with them using the kitchen once they arrive and I believe that when I say no it is hurting my feedback. I have a 4 star rating top to bottom from a guest when I initially started hosting, I was upset but you can't make everybody happy. All my other feedback has been 5 stars with the exception of one that rated me 5 stars on everything and 4 stars for overall experience(... how does that make sense?). My only reasoning is that this is due to the kitchen issue. Today I have added the following notation to my listing under guest access:
"Guest bedroom and bathroom. Please be mindful that we don't offer the use of the kitchen as a part of our listing. We do supply some water bottles in the room for your convenience."
Do you think it's worded delicately enough? Should I add it to my house rules as well? I feel like maybe my listing isn't clear enough, or people just don't take the time to read the listing. Should I just increase the price of my listing and include use of the kitchen? What are your suggestions and experiences? I have one more guest checking-in who assumed that the use of the kitchen was included and, unfortunately, I somehow missed responding quickly and decided to make a one time exception.
I apologize for the long winded post. Here are the reasons we originally decided not to include access to the kitchen. Are we being unreasonable?:
1. We work from home and our kitchen, work area, and livingroom is open concept. We thought that having guests coming in and out of our work area to access the kitchen would be disruptive and possibly uncomfortable for all parties.
2. We used to have roommates that did not clean up after themselves, lost our kitchen utensils (Idk how they managed that) and damaged our pots, pans, and appliances. My listing is competatively priced without access to the kitchen. If I were to allow guests to use the kitchen I feel I would have to raise the price for the extra work I would do cleaning and to budget for possible damage to my appliances.
3. We have a small kitchen and we use it multiple times daily.
4. We felt like it like it would be a little invasive to have strangers helping themselves to our kitchen. We also read about some guests helping themselves to the host's food, which seemed odd, and we just didn't want to potentially deal with that.
5. There are plenty of restaurants and coffee shops nearby, within a one mile radius.
6. All the furniture and bedding is relatively new, purchased not more than 6 months ago. I would prefer if guests didn't eat or drink in the bedroom to prevent potential stains, damage to the furniture, and criters. We do think allowing access to the kitchen would probably increase the likelyhood of guests eating in their room. We thought a no food in the bedroom rule was being too strict and "nit picky" so I actually allow for them to eat in their room, I just prefer that they don't. I also provide bottles of water because they don't have kitchen access and we all need to stay hydrated. I ultimately want my guests to feel comfortable.
7. Our guests tend to be short term guests and feel that for that reason access to the kitchen was not necessary. Our listing limits stays to 2 weeks because we do not want to have a situation were a guest ends up over staying and then obtains renter's rights. It also allows us to host our friends and family, who mostly live out of state and visit often. While we have been extremely lucky and have only hosted overall wonderful guests so far, we also thought it would reduce the time period we would potentially have to deal with any negative guest/host experience.
8. We always keep the house tidy and clean. I have a 5 star cleanliness rating. The guest's bedroom and bathroom are always spotless. Our kitchen is our personal space and because we use it so often it would be difficult to keep it spotless all the time. I would feel obligated to clean it to a higher standard then currently suits me. (Ex. I don't mind keeping a dirty cup in the sink for a few hours until I clean up after dinner but never allow dishes to pile up. I also like to let my dishes air dry on a drying mat or allow a dirty dish to soak for 30 minutes to an hour, when necessary. I would not do any that if a guest were permitted to use the kitchen because I think it would be rude on my part and when I had roommates they took that as an invitation for me to constantly clean up after them.)
I no longer attract arrogant people as I can smell the 'smoke' a mile away. I know what people from various countries are like, from experience (and from my university studies). Thanks for your time.
The arrogance of some hosts is really breathtaking. I had no idea what type of people rent their places because they want to make extra bucks but then actually don´t like people to stay there and mock them because they want to save money. Which is ironic because I am not the one who has to rent their home in order to get by...
It appears that you made your accusations in anger and frustration. In my original post I clearly state that I make it clear in my listing that the kitchen is not available yet guests were still asking to use it or on occassion they were just helping themselves. My listing does not include a picture of the livingroom or kitchen strictly because I do not want to send mixed messages. I find that first time users do not take the time to read the full description of the listing and sometimes make inaccurate assumptions. I am saying this based on my personal experience and the number of times I have to answer questions that are clearly already answered on the listing and the itinerary. I never meant to make anybody feel disrespected and my intention was solely to try to find a solution to what appears to be a common and uncomfortable issue. I started this post to specifically avoid the situation you are currently facing. Like your host I want to polite, deal with situations tactfully, and provide excellent customer service. I do enjoy hosting guests in my home and it does help me to pay my bills otherwise I would not be doing this. I think Airbnb is financially benefial to both the guests and the hosts. I don't feel it is greedy to offer a private room and bathroom with no access to the livingroom and kitchen as long as I price it fairly. If I were ever to include kitchen access I would increase the cost of staying in my home because it would increase my workload and costs for replacing items that could be damaged or suffer from ware and tear at a faster rate, this is not unreasonable. If you book a hotel room vs. a hotel suite or an entire home I would expect to pay more. Guests are in full control of whether or not they want to book with me or not and when they do they are agreeing to my terms. After reading your post I fear that you may not have taken the time to read the entire listing description because you did not take the time to read my entire post because as you stated:
"Yes, when there is a kitchen advertised, I will have the impression I can cook there. That is the reason I book that room! I always cook !"
My posting and a lot of the hosts that responded to my post either advertise LIMITED use of their kitchen or make it clear on their listing that the kitchen is NOT available. The fact that some guests are not respecting the terms of their booking by fully disregarding the limitations of the hosts access to the kitchen is the entire reason for the posting. If I had allowed for kitchen use and guests were using my kitchen there would not be a reason for my original post and the responses that followed. I suspect that your host may allow limited kitchen access, but this is just a guess. If I were a guest with your specific critiria I would be looking for a full apartment, in-law unit, or home to book because it would be more ideal for your needs, listing for rooms do not typically allow for full kitchen access. The beauty of Airbnb is that there are a lot of options and your situation can be easily resolved. You have the freedom to cancel your booking and book with another host with a listing that better suits your individual needs.
Hi Rayana &Matt,
no sorry, I must have posted it wrongly. I am totally with you. When a kitchen is not advertised or especially made clear that there is no access to it, then yes, I would consider it very rude for people despite this ignore the rules and use it or even ask for it.
But when a kitchen is advertised, if the host only allows
a limited access to it - again it must be specified, or otherwise it will be misleading.
It is my first time I booked with airbnb, and of course even if the kitchen is advertised with a full access, it is common sense you are just a gues, and of course I would not cook my Christmas dinners there, or cook every night. But I would definitely expect to have my breakfast and a few light lunches or dinners for a long stay.
Thank you for being polite. You must be a great host.
You're right all around. It is a tad arrogant not allowing use of kitchen or being upset for folks bringing back groceries . Not everyone wants to eat out a.m., lunch& p.m & there's folks with health issues who are on specific diets...or just simply want to eat healthier. Just simply ask folks to clean up after themselves. I also really doubt folks will raid your fridge. You can outline what is free for them ie condiments, coffee, oil. In any case, hosts' priorities should be on providing comfort. Some folks I feel here have lost their way on that point. I'm planning on hosting & absolutely don't want to make their stay like a prison sentence with all these "rules." I have faith that folks will clean up after themselves & I don't mind vacuuming when they are gone... those few crumbs they may leave behind. I want them to enjoy their stay but be respectful. I'm pretty certain most folks can handle that.
Enjoy hosting Poonam, but remember my post after you know what it is really like. I wish you good luck as you are going to need it. I don't mean this in a nasty way - I have friends who were previously my guests and now host and they say they can't believe what people are like. I don't host any more, but I've just bought two properties with the proceeds, so it is worth it from that point of view.
I completely agreed with Jason not having to use a kitchen is not such a big deal with i have options to make myself cup of tea or store soft drinks and plate for any take away i might bring in the room
if 1/2 nights i can stay without kitchen but if longer it would impact on my stay
I agree with you and fortunately most of our guests are only in town for a short time so it is not a problem. I have had several requests for longer stays and I always make sure to inform them that the kitchen is not available, just in case it is a deal breaker for them. We also do not accept guests for longer then 2 week periods because we do have family and friends that visit quite frequently. Our guests usually only book for 1 to 3 nights and on a very rare occassion 5+ days. We have yet to actually host a guest for longer then a week and I think it is due to not allowing kitchen access and this works for us and our location.