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Too many religious icons in rental unit

My wife and I have been California vacation property hosts for the past 18 months, with nearly all positive reviews from our many guests.  We never discuss politics and religion with our guests.


As an American, I did ask one visiting British couple about Brexit; but they told me they are sick of talking about it.  So, no more chats about international politics.


This week, my wife and I are renting a six-night vacation condo in Arizona, USA.


During my past month's communication with the condo property host, the host often told me how Jesus is praying for me.  I mentioned I was in a near-fatal car accident two years ago, and requested handicap-accessible features in her Arizona condo.


When we checked-in yesterday, every room in the condo has religious crucifixes on the walls and the Bible on every table.


It's not that my wife and I are anti-religious, but we think it is presumptuous of the property host to display so many religious items in our rented condo.  It would be more offensive if we were faithful Muslims, Jews, Hindus or Buddhists. 


To show our displeasure upon check-out, I might cover each wall crucifix with paper napkins and place the Bibles in one drawer.


P.S.:  The host failed to tell me there are several outdoor steps leading to the condo unit, which made it very difficult for me to carry my heavy luggage from our car to our room.

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Don Burns 3 years ago

Another odd vacation property host my wife and I encountered was last June on the California seacoast.  We rented a bedroom, with private bathroom, in a couple's four-bedroom house for three nights to celebrate my wife's birthday.


The wife of the hosting couple was in a car accident 20 years earlier, who is confined to a wheelchair.


When my wife and I would tell our day's sightseeing plans to the property hosts at breakfast, the handicapped wife asked if she could join us.  She said, she rarely leaves her house; although her husband owns a large van with a wheelchair-lift door.


I don't believe property hosts should intrude on their guests' tourist plans and privacy.

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Isle of Wight … 3 years ago

You could turn the crosses upside down and leave a couple of witchcraft or devil worship books for them to enjoy ....

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Don Burns 3 years ago

I have a wicked sense of humor and that did "cross" my mind.


However, the vacation condo host has my $400 cleaning deposit, which she might not refund to me, if I anger her.


Among the MANY rental agreement points in her lengthy condo contract is:  Guests may not move the condo furnishings, or they could lose their cleaning deposit refund.


This might be a reference to include the condo's many religious icons.

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fluff 3 years ago

It's an interesting one!

As you are not offended by the icons there is little point in covering or stowing them. You would only be displaying the same lack of thought for other peoples sensibilities.

I would concur that as a host it would be better to restrict such displays to what is sufficient to make one feel comfortable about ones property if of a religious nature. In this case maybe an icon on the front door or entrance hall and a single prominently displayed bible. Otherwise a statement in the listing making such displays clear.

For example, my wife is Buddhist and it is very normal to have appropriate religious icon(s) facing out to the entrance of the business as respect/thanks/offering to Buddha. However, there are none elsewhere and we have guests and re-visiting guests of pretty much all major religions.

Such extreme displays, as you describe, say either, this house is of religion X and we want you to know it and abide by it OR other religions are less than welcome.

As an agnostic myself I think what you described is a poor move and feel most religious people would agree that it is unnecessary and counter productive business wise.

It would seem, however, that coupled to not telling you about entrance steps when accessibility was requested, points to a lack of thought by the host.

Your best tactic would be to message the host directly by e.g. email and politely inform them of the omission regarding the steps and very softly suggesting that the plethora of religious icons may be offensive to some and could be limiting their custom.

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Aaltje B. 3 years ago

I am sure that these crosses are visible on her photos before you checked in. Did you see them?  

Just ask her to replace the stairs into a ramp type access. That's helpful. 



Aaltje B. 

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pibomarco 3 years ago

It should have been. If you didn't look at the property/room pictures that's all on you Burns. :) 

The lowest scores/reviews are from guests, that don't properly look at what they actually booked and then they act negativetly surprised because not meeting their expectations when they arrive.

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M Adamopoulou 3 years ago

Hi Aaltje!!! What a pleasant surprise!!! Long time no see!!!

Your comments always very helpful...

Wish you well my dear!!!