Re: Guest Rooms - Holiday Demand Conflicts - Ideas for Fairness?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2015 07:12:30 -0700 (PDT)
> On Aug 13, 2015, at 12:18 AM, Teresa Milly <tmilly [at]> wrote:
> Has anyone had multiple requests for using your Guest Rooms for visiting 
> family/friends over multiple year holiday seasons and found a way to mitigate 
> conflict fairly on high demand weeks/weekends?
> We only started our CoHo community in December and the requests are coming in 
> and overlaps and conflicts are already tentatively there.
> Any suggestions on length of time ahead to firm up reservations as well since 
> that is important to getting the cheapest flights.

Based on our experience, you don’t need to worry about this as much as you 
might think. 

First, we have a calendar to reserve each or both of the rooms. A stay is 
limited to 10 days at a time and can’t be made more than 4 months in advance 
without permission. “Permission" means posting a request to the members list 
asking for objections. I don’t think any request for exceptions has been denied 
but there aren’t very many requests — I can’t remember the last one. 

Sometimes if a guest wants to stay longer than 10 days, the room will be 
reserved for them by two different  people.

We have a queue so one person will be inline in case a reservation is 
cancelled. It isn’t often used, but like many things in cohousing it may not be 
often used but is very important when it is. 

Conflicts are often resolved privately.

The reason I say  you don’t have to worry is because as time went by, over 
almost 15 years, demand has declined. Many people made reservations for guests 
who never showed up. I found this so frequent that I no longer reserve the room 
unless I’m absolutely sure they will arrive — like the tickets are bought. But 
even then, people will decide to stay at a hotel.

When the community is new and when new people move in, relatives and friends 
will want to come see what it is all about. Like visiting the zoo. That levels 
off pretty quickly.

When people cancel reservations at the last minute the member will announce to 
the community that the rooms are free.

Now that people know each other better, a guest may also stay in someone else’s 
extra room or in my case, I might sleep on someone’s couch while my guests stay 
in my unit. I bought an extra long couch that was very comfortable to sleep on 
because single guests preferred to sleep in my apartment than in the guest 
rooms. (Our two guest rooms share a bath and they don’t like that. We don’t 
have good sound proofing and sometimes that is a problem — like when people 
talk on the phone all night. Or take showers at 4 am.)

Holidays are no exception. There was a big brouhaha because I had reserved the 
rooms at Christmas for my daughter 2-3 years running. It was the only time 
during the year that I used the room. That prompted the purchase of the couch. 
The room has not been used at Christmas since then — I haven’t checked every 
year but basically family holidays mean people go elsewhere. This may vary in 
different parts of the country.

One person’s guests prefer to sleep on her living room floor because she often 
has several and they stay up all night talking. We also have a roll-away bed 
that people use temporarily in their own units.

In an emergency, a person has slept on the couch in the living room. I suspect 
they have also slept on the floor in the game room. But this is discouraged and 
not necessary anyway. Young people who haven’t made other arrangements.

So, basically I wouldn’t get too crazy over it. The first few months won’t be 

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.