Re: Guest room or cheap hotel?
From: Liz Ryan Cole (
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 10:14:28 -0800 (PST)
Ann says this so well.  I'd like to add two thoughts.  One - I love the idea of 
a network.  One use for this network is an internal home exchange so that 
grandparents with children in Portland, OR might be able to offer the exchange 
of their own home in cohousing in New Hampshire (just for example) for a week 
or two at a time.  There are many other uses for cohousing home exchanges but 
the grandparents one speaks to my own interests.  Second, I don't know why 
communities could not ask for a financial contribution to help offset the cost 
of keeping guest spaces comfortable and available.  I know some already do and 
think it's worth gathering information about cost to stay in guest rooms that 
would be available to all.


who says...send some of that snow North to us who want it!  

Liz Ryan Cole
lizryancole [at]
Pinnacle Cohousing at Loch Lyme Lodge
Lyme, NH
Home 802.785.4124
Work 802.831.1240
Lodge 603-795-2141

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire 
to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
― E.B. White

On Jan 29, 2014, at 12:03 PM, Ann Zabaldo wrote:

Hi Dianna and all —

One of my favorite cohousing philosophers, Zev Paiss, Nomad Cohousing, 
envisions a system of cohousing communities stretching across the continent 
within a day’s travel of each other.  Much the like the Spanish El Camino in 
the western US — each monastery or town a day’s walk away providing travelers 
w/ easy accommodations.

At Takoma Village we get lots and lots of cohousers from all over the US, 
Canada and other countries.  When I host I always try to create an opportunity 
for my community to meet these visitors.  With conferences, workshops or other 
opportunities to meet folks from other communities, the opportunity for cross 
fertilization of ideas is precious.  How does ___ work in your community?  How 
do you handle ___?  What’s it like living in _____?  How can we help each 
other? etc etc etc

If we restricted visits to just folks wanting to see TVC … well we would miss a 
lot of this interaction.  And we would be the poorer for it.

We created TVC to be a welcoming community of neighbors.  Why would we not do 
that for our cohousing sisters and brothers?  And for those seeking community 
whether ours or another community?  I consider staying in cohousing guest rooms 
to be one of the benefits of building and living in cohousing.  

And now for shameless politicking  … personally,  I would like to be able to 
visit and stay in more communities so if you are in the concept stage or are 
renovating your CH do please make your guest rooms accessible for wheelchair 
users.  Consider that one day you or a family member may need an accessible 
room if only because we are all growing older.  

To all cohousers and seekers of community … if  you’re coming to DC do consider 
staying here at TVC.  Happy to host you.

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church VA

On Jan 28, 2014, at 8:55 AM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at]> wrote:

> I was thinking about this question last night and realized that the
> distinguishing characteristic isn't whether the guests are friends, members
> or strangers; it's the purpose of the visit.  Are the guests staying in our
> guest room to visit US (either our community or someone in the community)
> or are they here for some other purpose and using our space as a "hotel"?
> It's the latter that I have mixed feelings about.
> This question arose for me because I'm on our "guest room team" and
> currently working on refurbishing the rooms, and while doing so I was
> musing on who would be enjoying the space I'm working on.   (It's really
> important to me that our rooms be warm, comfortable and welcoming, which at
> the moment they aren't. )
> Diana
> On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>
> wrote:
>> On Jan 27, 2014, at 11:43 PM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at] 
>> wrote:
>>> My question was about how
>>> people in your community feel about that.  Or perhaps you don't get
>>> requests from other cohousers, etc like we do.
>> We do get requests from other cohousers -- we are in DC, museum capitol of
>> the world. And from people attending conferences that know of us from one
>> source or another. To my knowledge it has only become an issue if the
>> "outsiders" are not using the facilities well or are obnoxious or
>> something. A family of 6 once tried our patience because it was six people
>> living in the common house.
>> The biggest problem has been when people were staying here and their host
>> is absent. Everyone else has to answer questions and explain things without
>> a clue who these people are. Stressing that residents are responsible for
>> their guests all the time they are here has reduced the number of
>> outsiders. People are not willing to take so much responsibility for people
>> they don't have a relationship with.
>> If so many people requested the rooms that residents were being squeezed
>> out, it would also be a problem.
>> Sharon
>> ----
>> Sharon Villines
>> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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