I'm completely floored and hurt by this shocking review that I don't believe represents our place at all. I hope that prospective guests will take into consideration all of the 5 star reviews both before and after this one.
I feel absolutely devastated that the guests felt they had such a poor experience, but the most hurtful part of their review is that they chose to give such a poor review without having communicated any of these problems to me and giving me the opportunity to correct them.
All problems except their check in issues could have been easily remedied had they simply sent a text. But the only issues I heard about were on day 5 of a 6 day stay when they mentioned the heat and the check in issues. This might be a bit long, but I feel a detailed explanation is needed so prospective guests understand the issues.
Bedding: Upon cleaning, I did notice a dime-sized hole in what were otherwise brand new looking clean sheets without any other wear. The sheets and mattress cover were both cream-colored and I missed it. However, we have literally dozens of extra sheet sets in the apartment and I could have directed them where to find them, or even had my aunt who lives 4 doors down change the sheets for them.
Extra Toilet tissue: I put 5 rolls in a drawer immediately next to the toilet before they checked in. Perhaps they looked under the sink and didn't see any, and assumed there weren't any extra? A text would have remedied this.
Paper towels: I did forget to stock extra under the sink, but I could have had this replenished had they let me know, as there are more upstairs.
Pillows: I provide several different types of pillows as not everyone likes large bulky pillows. I put two (admittedly flattish) on the bed and there were two more in the closet that was set up for their use, along with extra blankets. That's where one would expect extra pillows and blankets in a hotel and that's why I put them there. Perhaps they didn't use the closet for their stay or used a different closet (there are 3 closets)? Again, a text or call would have directed them to the extra pillows.
Heat: I suspect this was probably the most upsetting issue for them, but again, was needless frustration that a text would have remedied. They said that we had the registers closed, but we don't have central heat or registers, and this is in the listing.
There is a very small portable space heater right out in the open on the floor in the living room that that could have been used to pre-warm the bathroom, and there is a large waist-high black cast iron electric faux 'wood-burning' stove in the corner of the bedroom that the person going to the far side of the bed would have had to squeeze past to get to their side of the bed!
It puts out such good heat that when we moved in and tried it out, we joked that instead of using the apartment for AirBNB, we could rent it out as a hot yoga studio! I also checked with the guests who moved in immediately after this couple and they said it was working fine and they were warm.
On the instructions that are left on the kitchen table along with the keys and the wi-fi code (which they found) were instructions for where the heater is and how to use it. The heater simply couldn't have been overlooked, so all that I can think of is that they thought it was ornamental and missed the instructions on the kitchen table?
And since we had so few communications (they texted me about recycling and how to use a coffee press after the first night) I can only speculate they thought I was being 'snarky' and disrespectful when they texted me on Day 5 that they were cold, and I asked if they had found the heaters (they didn't respond).
I can imagine they could have felt I was being inconsiderate or disrespectful about the heat situation if they thought I was only talking about the little tiny heater that is intended for bathroom use, and they thought the large 'wood burning' stove was ornamental!
BBQ: I checked into the lava rocks issue on the internet and at our local home depot and the consensus was that adding lava rocks to a gas BBQ can cause dangerous fat flare ups and is not recommended.
Check in: We live in one of the few places left in the US with very little light pollution. Part of the beauty of our town (and our property) is the gorgeous dark skies where you can stargaze from the deck and the hot tub at night.
I'm sorry they felt I should have left a light on in the house for them, but I wasn't home for 3 days prior to their arrival and would have felt environmentally irresponsible leaving a light on for 3 days unnecessarily. To be honest, it simply didn't occur to me , but I can see how it would be a feel welcoming.
The path to the apartment is about 100 feet of uneven concrete without path lighting that drops over it's length the equivalent of one floor of stairs. Our neighborhood is a very high end, quiet suburban neighborhood that a need for night lights for fear of intruders is unnecessary, and the yard is fenced so fear of falling off the bluff is non-existent.
I should have mentioned that the guests might want to have their cell-phone flashlights at the ready if they need to have them, and I will do so in the future, but the guests mentioned they had a flashlight when they arrived, so I'm confused about what dangers two active hikers felt they were experiencing walking in a fenced yard in a quiet and safe suburban neighborhood on a short concrete path with a flashlight.
I recognize that some of their inconveniences were my my responsibility, and for the future, I'll:
- Check the sheets more carefully
- Put all available pillows on the bed instead of having the extras in the closet
- Remember to put extra paper towels under the sink and stash extras in the storage closet
- Label the drawer with the toilet tissue
- Remind guests to have their cell-phone flashlight for the walk down to the apartment if they check in at night
- Turn the lights on in the apartment for late arrivals (my aunt can do this on her evening walk on rare occasions we aren't home)
- On the instructions on the kitchen table, perhaps make it more clear that what looks like a cast iron wood-burning stove in the bedroom is actually an electric heater
- Make a 'walk-through' video of the apartment for when I'm not there to greet guests
- Check in with the guest after the first night and specifically ask them if they are having any issues.
I truly apologize that these guests felt they had a poor experience and I readily agreed to partial recompense through AirBNB's dispute system for our role in the problems they experienced and frustration they felt. Any future guests, please feel free to drop me a message if you have any problems or issues.