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4BR Sonoma country home-bocce &pool

Entire home/apt
8 Guests
4 Bedrooms
4 Beds

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About this listing

We have a great 4 bedroom, 4000 sq. ft country home on 5 acres with a pool and huge bocce ball court in Sonoma- comfortable, beautiful and rustic-- only 3 miles from the historic Sonoma Square and close to restaurants, wineries and more.

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the back of the house... great spot for relaxing!

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The Space
Property type: House
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 4.5
Beds: 4
Check In: 2:00 PM
Check Out: 11:00 AM


Cleaning Fee: $300
Security Deposit: $1000
Weekly Price: $6000 /week
Cancellation: Strict


House Rules

Safety Features
Smoke Detector
Carbon Monoxide Detector
First Aid Kit
Safety Card
Fire Extinguisher

2 nights minimum stay

21 Reviews

Check In
August 2015

August 2015
Response from Rusti:

We are so apologetic that Caren and her crew had a less than fabulous experience at our home. We really do try to ensure guests have a great time here, and therefore want to make sure that future guests know that this experience is not typical. We are friendly, easy-going people who just want our guests to experience Sonoma in a beautiful, relaxing and affordable setting.

Unfortunately, prior to the stay- based on a few prior conversations, we had a feeling this would be a 'tough to please' group that maybe wasn't really 'right' for our home. In three years of renting, I've never felt that way, and I think unfortunately- with their expectations and our dropping the ball on some things due to some extenuating circumstances- it wasn't the best experience for either party. I do hope that Caren gives Airbnb or others primary residences another chance, as some of the things she mentions above were absolute mistakes on our end, while others are absolutely things to consider when entering another person's home.

1) Unfortunately, we both travel pretty extensively for work, but have always been able to manage this while occasionally renting our home. Over the last few weeks, our travel schedules ramped up significantly (which was unknown to us when we accepted Caren’s reservation well over 6 months ago), and unfortunately both myself and my husband were not home during the week to properly prep the home. We tried to put some measures in place to ensure it would be good to go, but unfortunately some things fell through and my husband found himself running around much of the day on Friday (after getting in from a cross-country flight the night before) trying to ensure things were ready for their 2pm check in (while I was stuck at work having also traveled that week). Basically, the team that typically cleans the yard, hadn't picked up the dog mess as requested. Martin obviously found this unacceptable, and made sure to pick up the 'messes' prior to leaving the property. Unfortunately, the ladies had to witness some of this as they arrived (not the most welcoming of moments!). But, I will gladly tell others- yes, we have 2 giant dogs, and yes, they poop. We have 5 acres, and most of the poop isn't even in the main yard near the home, but Martin felt it was imperative he clean this up and not leave such a mess for the guests if they did decide to venture into the back.

As for the dishes, this was the same situation- there were still a few dishes in the sink when they arrived after Martin had cleaned some things out of the refrigerator. He wanted to make sure were put away prior to leaving-- so, he spent the time doing this while the ladies were getting settled in on the other side of the home. He unfortunately ended up leaving about :45 minutes after the 2pm check in.

As for the ants, unfortunately- the heat/ drought combo has caused raucous in many homes in Sonoma, and we are not immune to them out in the country. (Again, not something we knew about 6 months ago, or even a few weeks ago!) About a week prior to their arrival, we had some ant issues (nothing extreme)- which seemed to get cleared up through normal ant traps/ spraying. To try and ensure it would not be an issue for our guests stay, we paid to have a pest inspector over to the house the week of their stay. At the time, the ants were no where to be found and our fellow pest remover friend assumed that they were no longer an issue. The pest-man ensured us there was nothing he could do / spray if there weren’t any problems. Martin mentioned this to Caren and her group, and let them know that if there were ANY issues at all, to call us/ let us know immediately (which she didn't) so we could manage the problem if there was one. We had the pest maintenance gentleman on call for this reason exactly. Note, that we use our home and the outdoor space all the time, and never have had any issues that were outside of normal ant issues or that were so excessive that we couldn't enjoy our time there.

The toilet paper thing was a complete miss on our part! We've NEVER missed this one (but sometimes when it rains, it pours!). In the midst of my husband trying to prep the home, show them around, get them checked in, etc (which I normally do...and know the routine), my husband forgot to tell them where we store about a years supply of toilet paper!! Again, this is something we normally have several supplies of in each bathroom, but we were just so rushed trying to get this rental together after being out all week, we screwed up and didn't notice that there was not any 'backstock' in the house, and therefore didn't mention to them where they could find it. A screw up on our part, however, we always request that our guests let us know if there are any issues whatsoever-- and a quick call, text or message on airbnb would have quickly solved this!

And finally, as for the 'insistence' for entry to the home. We were flexible in a specific request Caren had in our rental agreement. We always try to be accommodating to our guests, and try to work with them on special circumstances, we realize this isn't a hotel, and every situation is different. Some guests want an early check in/ late check out, others want extra guests on the property, etc. I suppose because we have happily given that flexibility to so many of our guests, I didn't realize that requesting flexibility in return would be perceived so negatively. The week of their rental, I had a last minute business trip thrown on me where I needed to fly out Sunday and had to be on the road by 11:45am to make my flight (check out is 12pm). I explained to Caren that this was a last minute situation, not at all normal (I have never requested anything like this from a guest), and if there was any chance they could be flexible in letting me back into the house about an hour early on Sunday for about :30-:40 minutes. We planned on staying with friends in Napa while she and her friends were at ours. To avoid having to pack for the weekend AND a full additional week of business clothes, etc , it would be incredibly helpful if I could gain access to my room. I continued to explain that I could come in very discreetly if that would help – through a door of the house that essentially is removed from the main portion of the home and leads right to our room, therefore avoiding disrupting them if they were still enjoying themselves. The intent was for me to do a quick suitcase flip, gain a few things so I could get on my way. I also mentioned, we’d be happy to have them stay longer if that helped ease the situation and to thank them for being accommodating. Upon request, they were not interested in being considerate of the situation, so I ended up making different plans. It's a shame they left early-- as there was no need to.

We open our home to let people explore Sonoma because we love the town and sharing our beautiful space with others. Every other guest has shared pleasant and wonderful experiences.

I kind of feel like this situation was destined to be a poor one-- for a variety of reasons. But, no matter what we do to try to avoid these types of situations in the future, our home will probably be just that-- our home. There are times when we are really great hosts, and apparently there are times when we don't quite make the 5-star grade. These are the times where I realize being a host can be a real challenge-- it can put a serious damper on our already stretched time, our personal lives, and more. However, we'll always strive to do better, as we realize that often times our guests are on their vacations or weekends away, and just want the best possible experience.

For one less than perfect experience, there are a hundred perfectly positive ones. I love the sharing community of AirBnb, and what it stands for. We are not a hotel, nor an empty vacation rental-- and unfortunately, with our chaotic and busy lifestyle, our home will probably never feel like one. It feels like a home, because that is what it is. We put a considerable amount of time and effort into trying to make it a great space for others, and we want to welcome others as if they were our friends, not strangers. To me, that is what Airbnb is all about.

I sincerely hope Caren and her group have a better experience on their next trip.

August 2015

July 2015

May 2015

May 2015

April 2015

September 2014

This host has 18 reviews for other properties.

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About the Host, Rusti

Sonoma, California, United States
Member since July 2012
Response rate: 77% (past 30 days)
Response time: within a day


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