I recently had a brief stay in a lovely Airbnb suite. 

It was a great stay. Comfortable, convenient, and thoughtful, it was obvious that the host had put great care into his space. In my 5-star review, I used words like “perfect,” “amazing,” and “would definitely stay again.” 

But there were also a few things that I felt like I should make other guests aware of.

what NOT to do with a review you don't like!

Not that there was anything wrong, and it didn’t affect the quality of my stay, but I just wanted future guests to know so that they could make an informed decision about booking. 

The day after my review was published, I got a long message from the host. He apparently had gotten very upset with my review and felt a need to defend himself. He laid out all of his reasons for doing things the way he does, saying that I was hurting his business by saying the things I did, yadda, yadda, yadda. 

Y’all. Don’t be like that guy. 

The review process is a vital component of what makes Airbnb work.

Some guests will just say a word or two. Some will say things that sound like they loved the place but only give you 3 stars. And some, like myself, try to give reviews that give future guests more information about the place that the listing might not have. You have to live with all types. 

Don’t be an overly sensitive host. If someone says something in a review that’s inaccurate or misleading, you always have the right to post a comment below it explaining further. If it’s a flat-out lie, you can even call Airbnb and try to get the review removed. 

There are other much more professional ways to handle reviews you don’t like than messaging the guest after they’ve left to explain all the reasons their review was unacceptable.

In my case, this left a bad aftertaste from a stay that was really quite lovely. I was planning on returning there whenever I was in the area, but now I’m not so sure. His need to defend himself has probably cost him much more business than it saved him.

Hopefully, his story can keep us from making the same mistake in the future!