There are a few reasons why I have chosen this topic today:
1. It's the Holiday Season which is always a good time to share the love 🙂
2. I have seen lots of great descriptions of amazing guests in the Host Stories competition (which is sadly now closed)
3. As we are nearing the end of 2016 this is a good time to reflect on our Airbnb year - especially the positives!
So, I would love to hear about your favourite guests (from this year or earlier if you wish!) - maybe you have a funny story or you hosted someone particularly inspiring or kind, I'm sure you've got a story to share!
It would also be lovely to see your nicest reviews - I know how important these are to you as hosts!
Please keep your descriptions general and avoid putting any of your guests' personal details (e.g. First names)
I look forward to reading your responses!
@Kirstie We are in the midst of a 'love affair' with Airbnb! It is really hard to pick out a particular guest when they all deserve a guernsey! We have been truly amazed at the wonderful people who populate this world.....and thanks to Airbnb we have met a few of them.
Across my 70+ hostings I have had really funny ones, sad ones but, I guess if I am really pushed I would have to say a couple from Queensland would rank as my favourites. This couple have set up a medical centre in Ethiopia! Are currently building a centre for homeless, disadvantaged children under 10 in Cambodia! They spend their lives doing something for someone else! The review probably speaks for itself but, the nights I spent with this couple, being able to share a meal and a few wines long into the night are some of the nicest moments I have had in my life!!
I am sure that, despite the growth of Airbnb, this epitomises the concept of home hosting. The world disappeared while these people were here. We were just 4 strangers revelling in each others company.
Life doesn't get any better than that!
@Robin4 it's great to hear how much you enjoy meeting and hosting guests from all over the world. This couple does sound really lovely and selfless, and what a glowing review they gave you! Thanks for sharing 🙂
p.s. If you have any other guest stories you want to share, we'd love to hear them! Your stories are renowned in the CC 😉
I hope you are still looking for favourite reviews because I got a nice one just before Xmas. Here is my favourite. Netherland couple travelling around Australia with their 2 children.
"Lisa is the best host we've had so far. The house was clean, there was a welcome pack with biscuits, wine and a lovely cheese. Lisa welcomed us and explained how everything worked. She had good suggestions on what to do in the vicinity. The kids didn't want to leave, so that's always a good sign!"
I have a couple from US booked in at end of January, and I'm a bit nervous as they have travelled the world and Australia on Airbnb and mine will be the last stop before heading home. They always go into detail about their stays so we'll see what they have to say to about my service and listing!
Yes we are still interested in hearing your favourite reviews! That's a great one, it sounds like this family really enjoyed their stay :). I wouldn't worry too much about the couple coming at the end of Jan, it sounds like if you keep hosting as you do now they'll love it!
Lisa, just do what you do! You have wonderful reviews and you obviously have an empathy with your guests.
Your US guests will love you, I am sure of that because you are humble, and yet host with a lovely style that appeals to everyone!
You did not become a superhost by dismissing your guests!
Your listings look wonderfully inviting and as a neighbouring host I wish you every success in this beautiful part of the world that we live in.
Good luck Lisa.....and don't worry!
Why how can hosts be expected to give a review of guests if host is not present? Some of us have second homes where we relocate to accommodate guests particularly at Holiday season... I am asked to review them and said ' not present' which now is public and guest feels it reflects that they
Welcome to the Community Center!
I think your post cut off the end of your sentence - what did you want to say about the guests?
In terms of your question, I am sure it must be difficult to know what to say if you didn't meet the guests. I would suggest that you base your review on your communications with them before and during their stay and whether they left your listing in a good state or not. Have a look at this great Community Help Guide created by another host all about reviews - you may find it useful.
Yeah your post did get cut off but, I think what you were trying to say was a 'not present' response was in some way a derogatory statement on the guests stay which you did not particulary want to give! Is that right Peggy??
Peggy, it is really hard to get a sense of warmth and feel from your guests and portray that in a review when you have not been on hand to look them in the eye and shake their hand!
In most instances having guests is a 'leap of faith' as far as the host is concerned...Allowing complete strangers into your space!
I would suggest that it is the same for guests....they have absolutely no idea of what they have got themselves into....Is not like booking a Hilton or an Intercontinental where they know what they are going to get!!
About all you can do is make the guest feel comfortable from the outset that they have made a good decision to book your listing!
Although I am not in your situation and I am a 'hands on' host, I make sure that I have that neccessay empathy with the guest right from the first message. Although I have posted this message before it does reflect what I am saying!
This is a recent booking......and how I responded to it!
Within a couple of minutes this guest fired back this response.......
So Peggy, when these people arrive, they will arrive as friends and there will not be that fear of..."What have I got myself into"!! They will feel comfortable with the decision they have made.
And this is something that may help you if you host from afar! Get the guest 'onside' from the outset and get them to feel they have made a good decision to come your way! And keep up a steady stream of communication so the guests feels that you are truly interested in what is best for them.
If you do these things you can get a good review without having to actually be there to walk them around!
I am a writer and, as such, my guests provide a wealth of material. Here is a true story from 2016:
When David Whyte came to visit
When I received the Airbnb reservation request from David Whyte I was momentarily disoriented. (Where was I? Who was I? How was this possible?...) In accepting the request, I warned, “I will be very disappointed if you are not the famous poet!” Unknown David Whyte responded, “Thank you, but please note that it’s hard when I find I disappoint even before having a chance to be known. I have written some unpublished short stories, if that redeems me in any way.” “Well, never mind - short story writers are also most welcome here. What time do you expect to arrive?”
David Whyte posed as a self-employed travelling salesman for spare parts for industrial machinery. His business card announced that he specialised in:
Plasma cutting torches and consumables
Laser cutting optics and consumables
Water jet cutting consumables and spares
Oxy fuel cutting torches, nozzles and accessories
Thermal spray powder, wires and spares
Robotic and handheld mig guns and consumables
Tig welding torches and consumables
In spite of this clever, bamboozling cover, I quickly saw through it and began to suspect that he was, in fact, a poet in disguise. Poets are feeling people, poets connect with Nature, poets philosophise, poets synthesise experience, with perspicacity and perspicuity, into just the right words....
Over a cup of tea, I asked about his journey to my corner of the world and learned that, during his 2,946.4km sales trip from Melbourne to Cairns, he had taken the opportunity to join the crew of a yacht sailing from Brisbane to Airlie Beach. His work schedule was interrupted with a two-week “sails trip”: time out from “real life” to ride the heaving ocean, wrestle ropes and rigging, explore uninhabited islands, enjoy anchorages in sheltered lagoons, lean into the comfortable companionship of like-minded souls; time for new experiences, discoveries and challenges; time to stretch, to replenish, to celebrate, to appreciate, to play. David described the creaminess of the Milky Way, spilled and smeared across the heavens above Lady Musgrave Island and dripping stars. Three of the photos he chose to share from his phone were of spectacular and varied skies by day, and I was reminded of Brother David Steindl-Rast’s video “A Good Day”. Another was an underwater close-up shot of a fish looking him straight in the eye.
Later, over a glass of wine, we talked again, this time about writing. I told him that I write for my children, so that I might live on for them and indirectly “speak” to them when I’m gone. I explained my sadness when my mother died that there was nothing more I could learn or glean about her - what I’d had of her was all I’d ever have. David asked if we’d been close and I had to confess that, like my own girls, I hadn’t offered my mother much space in my world. I had been so busy living my own full life, and I saw her as only marginally relevant - someone for us to love and honour in an abstract way, but not truly engage with....
David spoke of his most recent work - his father’s eulogy, delivered at the funeral just three weeks earlier. He spoke of his need, as a final show of respect to his father, to be authentic: to try to summarise and honour the life of an imperfect man. I don’t know how it was worded, or what it said about this man who had adopted, raised and inspired four children (including David), but it was much appreciated by his mother, bringing her comfort and joy at this saddest of times. What a precious gift a eulogy can be - working its magic for loved ones through all the lonely times.
During dinner, we talked of values, of what seemed to matter in life. None of it was about money and all of it was about simplicity and connection. He mentioned two previous marriages - not as “mistakes” or “failures”, but as important steps in the sometimes painful process of growing and becoming who you are meant to be. Most of the pain, it seems, comes with acknowledging that, although there is still caring, there is simply no point in maintaining a married connection. When we “fail” to find a way to continue to grow individually and to support each other’s growth, perhaps we need to “succeed” in letting go - carefully, gently, respectfully...
David’s gone now. Not exactly a ship that passed in the night - more a bird that perched momentarily alongside me on my branch, but I feel I can say without a doubt that David Whyte, the poet, stayed at my house!
I am getting away from the thread here but there are many on this forum that will tell you I love a short story. I have never been one to say in ten words what can be said in fifteen!
So, can I tell you a story....
Although I had more than my fair share of girlfriends throughout my teenage years and my early twenties by the age of 25 that ‘right girl’ had not come along. That is no big deal now, but, back in the 60s, the “Malboro” man reigned supreme riding his steed across the high country and anyone single over the age of 24 was like a non-smoker….a real oddity!!
In September of 1969 a friend of mine organised a ‘blind date’ outing for all the single people he knew. He was like all little men, small in stature, but big on personality! He arranged for twenty, or so, of us to meet for a dinner one evening and Kay, as soon as I saw her I knew she was the one for me. Although we were not paired together I made a point of engineering myself near her all night and by the end of that evening we had a date, and our romance began. She was so beautiful, and my heart was so full of love for her I felt the cup was full and there would never be room left for anyone else.
I realized I was wrong when my first daughter arrived Christmas 1973. The first moment I saw her little wrinkled face I knew love is boundless and the heart will always make room. She grew to be the most beautiful girl, just like her mother. A second came along in 1976, and although I was possibly had a yearning for a son, seeing her for the first time washed away any fears of regret and she also has become such a joy in our lives.
We were keen snow skiers...chased the 'powder' to America, Japan, Europe and all over the world. On one of our regular trips to 'Falls Creek' in ‘78 Adrienne could not stand up on her skis....as soon as she tried she fell flat on her back...frustrated her so much she has never tried to ski since. Lots of little things continued to happen after that. Her balance deteriorated to the point of dreadful….she lost her sight a couple of times......once for 6 weeks! Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be to need another’s help each time you go to the toilet....you become utterly dependent. Your life reduces to the lowest common denominator! Medicos' tried to convince her she was a nut case, was suffering from Panic Anxiety and doled out minor tranquilisers like they were going out of style. At one stage she had over a 1,500 Valium stashed around the house and life for us was a drug induced downhill spiral until she ended up in a rehab centre! The only constant in all of this was our love for each other, and the kids.
In 1994 she had an MRI scan and all of a sudden all these little events fitted into place. There was the scarring in the brain.... she had Multiple Sclerosis. Although shattered by this news we now at least had a positive diagnosis. It made things easier to handle and we knew we were going to make the best of it. We started to go to the MS support group meetings, and I have to tell you Kay, those people are about as useful as a bicycle to a goldfish. The people who run those organisations are not sufferers and they have no idea of what goes on in the mind of a sufferer. The first thing you would see as you 'walked' through the front door of the MS society building is a plethora of wheel chairs on the right hand side....That's the last thing a mobile sufferer needs to be confronted with.....Put said plethora out of sight somewhere! The second thing is, the worst sufferers garnered the most attention...the meetings seem to focus around them. You are continually being confronted by your destiny, what is to come down the track. The third thing, and the most 'salient' point for me was, the number of single sufferers....as soon as the partner finds out what the problem is, they 'urinate off’, they’re gone, move to greener pastures, and I vowed and declared I would never do that, I would never leave this woman in the lurch!
It's been tough...compromises....Jesus, I can't tell you how many compromises I have had to make. The lowest point probably came for me in 1998. A mate of mine rang to say "Dennis and Lorraine, Suzie and I are going down on the boat on Lake Albert over Easter, would you and Ade like to come?", and I automatically had to say "Thanks Pete but no, we can’t". She feels like she is on a small boat bobbing around in the middle of a large ocean all the time, why would she want to complicate things by actually being on one!!! But I thought, faeces, I would love to have been able to do that, but that was the way it was...you have to make these sacrifices, and that's that.
But on the flip side Kay, I have never fallen out of love with this woman of my dreams. We have worked our way through these obstacles. And it hasn’t all been one sided…..for many years I was not good with money in many ways! We always had to have the best and latest, and she has had to cope with that, at odd times not knowing where next week’s housekeeping would come from. But throughout my working life I would leave for work each morning before she woke, and never once in all those years did I ever miss giving her a kiss goodbye and thinking how beautiful she looked just lying sleeping there.
....Last year on the 27th May we celebrated our forty fifth wedding anniversary on Santorini...and I still love her just as much today as the day I married her! It is so hard to watch that 'wall' that MS progressively builds around that person who, with the passing of time, is becoming more of a patient than a partner! And I am continually drawing ever deeper into that well of understanding to find the strength to continue supporting her towards the inevitable.
Along with age comes experience and when you get to my age, let me tell you, memory lane becomes an eight lane super highway……but Kay, this **bleep** of a disease, I am sure, made a man out of me. Would we have remained together if there had not been this cementing force between us? Would we have fallen by the wayside, like so many other couples of our vintage? Who knows! lt has taught me that times will get tough, and the measure of one’s character is how we handle those tough times
So Kay........Love stories are not just for the movies….they are life.
We had the pleasure of hosting a Chinese father and daughter who now live in New Zealand. We invited them to join us for our Christmas celebration. The joy was all ours. I am a total believer in the richness that diversity brings. Here is what they wrote:
What a fantastic experience! I cannot think of a better host and Airbnb experience. Everything went extremely smoothly. The location was easy to find, with safe off-street parking. We were greeted at the door, despite arriving earlier than we had agreed. The room looks exactly as depicted, and we were given everything we needed, including milk, cereal and butter. Sally was even nice enough to invite us for Christmas dinner and we had an amazing experience meeting her wonderful family and friends. Big thank you to Sally and her family!
A simple review but one that sums up the relational nature of airbnb hosting. This is what sets the platform apart!
This year, we selected to add some holiday touches (artificial small tree w/petite set of decorations, snowman musical snowman globe on entry table, snowman shower curtain, green wresth w/blue accent. Holiday dish towel with the word Joy on it...