Avoiding Hospitality Blunders: The Bed Size Mistake Every Host Should Know

Oops, I messed up on bed size! Lessons learned + tips to keep guests comfy.

Avoiding Hospitality Blunders: The Bed Size Mistake Every Host Should Know
Bed too small? My hosting nightmare and how to avoid yours.

"Do you put the bed size on your listing?" A Belgian Cebu-based host once asked me while I was attending the first-ever Mandaue Airbnb host meet-up. Just 5 of us turned up, by the way. (Here’s a quick read about it, in case you want to know more.)

Proudly, I replied “yes.” But I should have been more honest.

Our condo, like many others in the Philippines, is on the smaller side—it's a cozy 25-square-meter one-bedroom apartment. Because of this limited space, the only bed that fits comfortably is a double. Neil, my partner, took great care to measure the space accurately and had a bed custom-made before we moved into our home in April 2019.

When our baby arrived in October, standing tall at 5'11", Neil found himself relegated to the sofa as we navigated the challenges of our compact living quarters and concerns about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). As our child grew and the struggle for bathroom time intensified, we realized it was time for a larger living space. That's when we decided to try short-term rentals.

I thought I had addressed all concerns by providing the bed's dimensions after noticing it was a common inquiry. However, I made a critical mistake by assuming the bedsheet size equated to the mattress size.

See, I got kind of cocky because other guests from the US and Europe were fine when I said it was almost queen-sized.But I truly understood the seriousness of my mistake when a tall guest expressed discomfort because of the bed's size.

I felt awful! The guest had been clear about his height, and I totally messed up the bed measurements. I knew I had to do whatever it took to fix things. Even though I scrambled to get him more comfortable, I still felt like I'd let him down.

This was a wake-up call. Since then, I've become much more careful, especially when hosting guests from countries known for their taller people:

  • Step 1: Numbers matter; be thorough. I measured the bed carefully (both inches and centimeters!) and put those numbers right up front on my listing. No guessing games for international guests!
Listing description detailing the bed size
  • Step 2: Extra sleeping spot = happy guests. I got a futon (you know, those space-savers that turn into beds) and made sure guests knew it was an option. This way, those who need extra stretch-out space are covered.
  • Step 3: Ask questions upfront. Communication is everything! Now, whenever someone books, I ask straight-up if they're cool with the bed size. Sorting that out early saves everyone headaches later.

Here are the sample messages I sent:

"Hi (Guest's Name)! We're thrilled you're coming to Issa Suites! Just wanted to confirm the bed size for your stay—it's a comfortable 125 cm x 188cm. If you'd prefer a slightly larger sleeping arrangement, we'd be happy to set up two single floor mattresses for you."
"Hello, (Guest's Name)! Thanks for your interest in staying at my place. I'd be happy to host you both during your Cebu vacation! To make sure you'll be comfortable, I wanted to mention that the bed is a double with dimensions of 49.21 inches x 74.02 inches. Would this be a good fit for you?"

These tips helped me avoid further disappointments and ensure a better guest experience.

Feedback from the unhappy guest - my biggest hosting mistake (that you can easily avoid.)

Bad reviews are tough, but they're also how you get better at hosting. That first 4-star definitely pushed me to double-check those details and communicate more clearly.

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