I am English, living in France, have done a variety of jobs and quite a bit of translating but working increasingly less these days & hoping to have a bit of FUN from 2012 onwards!
Sarah is a great guest! We were very happy to hear that she was returning to DC and chose to stay with us again. She is a pleasure to host -- completely self-sufficient, kind, and interesting. We hope she continues to build strong ties in the US so that she can come stay with us again. Highly recommend Sarah as a guest!
I didn't have a chance to meet Sarah as her visit coincided with a business trip I had to take. Nevertheless, and despite my absence, I opted for not cancelling her reservation. Instead, I went beyond my way - asking friends to assist her upon arrival and constantly staying in touch over email and text messages - in order to ensure that she is well accommodated. Needless to say, in addition to having the entire apartment to herself for most of her stay, she was also given full flexibility with check-in/out.
To my surprise, and contrary to her emails and texts expressing satisfaction with the place, Sarah was not happy with her stay. Although not horrible, her review was in no way flattering and definitely did not seem it was worthwhile for me to go through all the trouble to accommodate her. Most importantly however, it seems her dissatisfaction is based on her own unrealistic expectations of Manhattan than anything that I could or could not offer.
Let me elaborate: In her review, she complained about the size of the apartment (this is Manhattan, if available, a smaller hotel room with the same location would be at least three times as expensive!), that she had to climb up the stairs (although the description explicitly states that the building is a walk-up AND my friends were kind enough to carry her suitcase!), and that it is noisy (again, this is Manhattan, the home and work place of millions and where excessive noise is part of the package; in fact, I would be interested to know of a city with these proportions that is not excessively noisy - I would be the first to move there!)
Bottom line - I should have not gone through all the trouble and try to accommodate Sarah. I should have simply cancelled the reservation - even if this were to lower my rating as a host!
We really enjoyed having Sarah as our guest. She is self-sufficient, unfussy, and friendly. We'd love to have her back.
Sarah is a very fine lady....Sophisticated clean and discreet....She loved our NYC archetecture and seemed to be pleased with her short trip....She is welcome here anytime....