Thanks for the review, there is a lot to take in here and certainly things to improve on. This review is very much at odds with almost every other review or comment the house has ever received on this site or others that I use to rent it out. There were people there a few days before you who left a glowing review on another popular rental website. They mentioned none of the things that you found and this disparity raises some red flags for me especially when you had a lot of complaints including misrepresenting my price when it is very clearly posted on this site. Allow me to provide explanations for each of your complaints with the house:
It is 109$ a night, not $150. This critique is not even an exaggeration, it is just flat out untrue. The fees airbnb charge you do raise that but I know they don’t raise it that much. You compare this to $40 spots in Thailand. This is a small island; you are comparing apples to starfruit. I would implore you to check out other places in this price range on Utila and Roatan for a more accurate comparison. In fact, I have had multiple guests say I charge too little.
I’m unsure how dust would be everywhere when there were guests there for 9 days and 14 days back to back a few days before your stay. I know it was cleaned the day before your arrival and if it was somehow not up to par, Mike is always there to check in as you stated in your review. You could have mentioned this to him and it would have been fixed. The “film” you talk of is called salt spray. It is a reality of being so close to the ocean. You were there during a large Northwester storm. The winds spray saltwater and then the water evaporates leaving salt on many surfaces. It typically isn’t as bad as when you got there and what you saw was build up from one night of strong winds. Since you asked to check in shortly after your plane arrived early in the AM, the normal cleaning schedule got disrupted. Mike usually gets the windows and place cleaned the day of the arrival but with your request he did it the day before. Regardless, we need to review the cleaning procedures if it was even a ¼ as bad your review implies.
toilet paper/light bulbs/shower:
We keep extras of these stocked in the shed outside because the house is not large and we use the limited closet space for linens, snorkel gear and for guests to store their clothes. The extra bulbs and about 24 rolls of tp were right there the whole time and Mike would have replaced the bulbs and given you as much toilet paper as you needed immediately. He comes around daily to check on things but he also wants to give guests their space so guests need to let him know if there is an issue. Small things that may need replacing like batteries are in the drawer in the bureau. The power situation on Utila is much improved but still proves problematic from time to time and bulbs seem to go more frequently than any other place I’ve lived. The first both of us heard that these were issues was with this review which really is too bad as it was an easy fix. We will be stocking two rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom from now on because that obviously makes more sense and I will make sure to put a note about it in the guide so that guests are aware of the extra supplies. That was a stupid oversight on my end, I am not in Utila most of the year and some things get by me. The hot water part of the shower is electric and that is actually being changed to an on demand tankless system as I write this. The one you are describing having issues with is the typical Honduras “suicide shower” that we have access to on the island, I had to replace that thing several times but that issue is fixed for all future guests as the new shower is from the US and functions as a “normal” shower with a hot and cold water handle.
As for the blankets, that actually has to do with Utila’s climate. January is the coolest month of the year on Utila. The average temperature during January is 82 F degrees and and the average low is 74 F. I believe it was “cold” your first night there as Mike said he wore pants for the first time in years. The temperature on the coolest night of January 2016 got down to the mid 60’s F (18-20C) overnight. For this reason, we don’t use down blankets at all but keep two blankets (one of them in the photos) in the linen/clothing/snorkel gear closet. We stopped keeping a blanket on the bed after we noticed guests kept putting it in the closet or draping it over a chair. I am going to ask Mike to make sure that the bed is made with a blanket during the cooler months again since this review. After you messaged me that first morning saying you were cold and the pillows were uncomfortable I told you to check in the attic to see if I had some there. January also comes after the rainy season, which this year was exceptionally rainy. Apparently some of the fabric from pillows did get a little musty with all the moisture from the excessive rain, that went away as soon as there was a couple days of sun. As I told you that morning, the replacement pillows were on the cargo ship and have since arrived to the house. Ironically, you said our beach towels are nice. I sent down replacement beach towels with the pillows and sheets. I replace them all twice a year and you were the last guests before my parents got there with said replacements. I know that when I left the house in September the pillows were comfortable. Something must have happened in the interim to get them really thin because they were pretty supple when I left (pictures of bed, blanket, and pillows on this site and others). I have never heard complaints about the bed and my picky New Yorker parents actually prefer it to their bed at home when they come down every year. This is a matter of opinion I guess.
television and final thoughts:
The TV is a wall mounted Samsung 32 inch flat screen that was added brand new in August 2015 when I went down. The volume works perfectly, it worked flawlessly when I was there, when my friend was there in December, and when Mike checked it after your review. Perhaps your issue was the volume on your computer. Since the TV didn’t have a Roku stick yet, you needed to use a computer to connect to the HDMI cable and you must have forgot to turn your volume higher on your laptop first. That is the only logical conclusion I can come up with as it is a mistake I’ve made before myself when using my laptop to watch movies on a TV. The Roku stick that is there now makes hooking up a laptop unnecessary although the HDMI cable is there if guests want to still do that.
We have a very positive record with guests overall and try extremely hard to make sure the experience is as advertised. As you can see by my reviews, I have always let them speak for themselves but really needed to reply to this one. I sincerely thank you for the constructive criticism even though I felt it was hyperbolic and at odds with other reviews. I’ll admit it was difficult to read when I’ve worked so hard on this place and know what it looked like before renovations I bought it. In the end, this review shows me exactly what I need to do to satisfy even the most discerning of guests.