They say that a smile can save the world. Though it’s not a vaccine and won’t stop the ongoing global pandemic, it can certainly help us to cope with the stress and uncertainty we’re all feeling.
While a short-term rental business is a serious commitment that requires hosts to put in a lot of time and effort, it also brings funny moments and memories. To uplift the mood of the hosting community, we asked hosts and property managers to share the most unusual and funny guest requests that they’ve dealt with and tell us about what lessons they managed to learn from them.
Some guest requests will put a smile on your face or make you laugh out loud. Others will get you thinking about how diverse and unexpected guest demands can be.
Explore these stories and let your mind relax and unwind with a bit of fun!
“Being in the vacation rental business for nearly 40 years, we’ve had a range of unusual requests. The most unusual was a request of a framed photo of Chuck Norris to be placed on the nightstand in the master bedroom.
It was so strange, that we had to oblige. Later we did a search online – and I guess it stemmed from a Reddit thread.”
Richard Olivarez | Chief Marketing Officer at Ocean Reef Vacation Rentals & Real Estate
“We work with high-net-worth clients from all across the world and routinely organise special celebrations, private chefs and butlers, catamaran cruises, secure the best tables at the highest-end restaurants.
One of the stranger requests we had in recent years was to arrange some friends for our client. The property manager ended up taking him out to one of the bars where he met some fellow travellers who quickly became firm friends, they now return to the island twice a year to holiday together!”
George Hammerton | Director at Hammerton Barbados
“Recently I had a popular Airbnb Instagrammer visiting my property at Cutlus Lake. At this property, we only provide parking for two vehicles however, upon checking in, the guest called us to complain about parking.
The funny thing was it was largely a boast. He said, “I cannot park my Lamborghini outside on the street!”
He had already started moving things around in our garage, which is not for guest parking, in order to fit his Lambo. I found the whole interaction hilarious because based on his Instagram I had already figured out the guy was a “success guru” and sold online Airbnb courses that I’m sure were worthless. I’m 99% sure the guy leased the Lambo based on the deep discounts he had requested when inquiring on our property. That being said we obliged his request and he was a great guest during his stay.
I can’t say I learned anything from the experience but it made for a great laugh. His boastfulness and flash undoubtedly was an act used to impress followers.”
Connor Griffiths | CEO / Founder of Lifty Life Vacation Rental Management
“I cannot forget this one guest I encountered, who requested that the unit be decorated in pink. He stayed for about two weeks and, as a considerate host, I did everything possible to decorate the unit in pink colors. Bedsheets and even curtains were changed to pink fabrics, just so that I could satisfy that single guest.
Turns out he was working on a project, a book specifically, and since he was subject to pitching the work to a publication, he needed to get to New York earlier. He then decided to rent a unit, and finish the story there, thus his reasoning was that he thrives creatively and tends to concentrate keenly whenever he is surrounded by the color pink.
What I learned is that there are requests that might seem ridiculous and funny, and out of context but, as hosts, we should try to do all we can to satisfy them because we may never know the reason behind that odd request. Case in point, after that, he was very thankful and gave me a big tip for the kind gesture, in return.”
Alicia Hough | Airbnb Rental Property Manager / Corporate Wellness Expert at The Product Analyst
“We had guests staying with us recently in one of our mini-suite units which includes access to a large BBQ grill that is shared with 3 other units.
After they checked in, they called to ask where they might purchase a small bbq grill. I was surprised since we offer that amenity and I directed them on how to locate the BBQ grill. The gentleman said, “we need a kosher grill.” He was curious if anyone had ever asked for this in the past. Indeed, no!
We are located outside the tiny town of Seward, Alaska, but luckily we have a couple of hardware stores and a large Safeway grocery store, so we gave him directions to those places and he was able to purchase a small hibachi that suited his purpose. The lesson we learned is that we never know what to expect!”
Lynda Paquette | Managing Member at Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay LLC
One more amusing story was shared with us by the Evolve Vacation Rental hospitality company which included an excerpt from an email of an actual guest.
“We’re checking in next week on St. Patty’s day…we have some kiddos that are sad they will miss the leprechauns that their teachers have been bribing (for good behavior) them with….if there is any way you can buy a bag of random candies and dump it on the floor in the rental, we’d love it! My 6 yr old wanted to post this for the leprechauns.”
Although the request was rather bizzare, the Evolve Vacation Rental managers did their best to fulfill it:
“Our guests can count on us to make them feel welcome and we always aim to create experiences they would expect from the world’s top hospitality brands. Requests like this give us an opportunity to help make their trip memorable – and our homeowners are more than happy to go that extra mile.”
Ashley Stout | Social Media & Public Relations Manager at Evolve Vacation Rental
Hosting goes far beyond just providing guests with accommodation to temporarily stay in. Sometimes guest demands can leave hosts feeling bewildered. But seasoned hosts are always ready to go the extra mile and make their guests’ stay pleasant and unforgettable.
Have you ever struggled to ensure a perfect guest experience and at the same time manage your vacation rentals effectively? With vacation rental software, such as iGMS, you can streamline and automate routine tasks and boost your guest satisfaction. With iGMS, you will be able to:
Are you ready to put your business on autopilot? Join thousands of other hosts who are already enjoying the benefits of business automation.