Airbnb expands the rental options today to include some of the most expensive and most luxurious accommodations on the planet. Designed for customers interested in spending more than $ 1,000 a night on thought-provoking, massive private homes with scenic views and state-of-the-art amenities, the new tiger, called Airbnb Luxe.
"Airbnb Luxe is built on the deep expertise of luxury travel Airbnb has gained from the acquisition of Luxury Retreats in 2017. This new tier is launched with more than 2,000 hand-picked homes around the world, each passing stringent evaluation over 300 plus criteria to Meet standards in both design and function, "reads the company's blog post on the announcement. Airbnb says housing must have "elevated design standards", including including the use of "premium materials and finishes and rare and unique features." The homes must also have "cook-grade appliances" and plenty of bath to satisfy each bedroom.
Of course, luxury homes are a market that existed for decades, and it is heated by competition from traditional hotel companies such as Marriott and Four Seasons, both of which will have a slice of the short-term rental market. So why use this kind of money on Airbnb rentals, rather than just the nicest hotel you find? Well, Airbnb believes it can do better:
Every Airbnb Luxe order provides 24/7 access to a dedicated, highly trained tour designer who will make sure your stay is tailored to travelers' unique needs every step. This includes ensuring easy ordering and check-in, coordinating local, tailor-made experiences and activities, and arranging a wide range of child care services, private chefs for in-house massage therapists – or for the dedicated, personal training sessions at your own private gym.
The shift towards travel agency style is part of a shift company started to start back in 2016, with the launch of Airbnb Trips, which allows contractors to sign up to offer everything from travel guides to cooking classes on the airline platform. For Luxe, however, the company seems to go a few steps further and hire full blown personal assistants to design every facet of the trip and make sure it has a luxurious feel. It might make price tags in the thousands of tens of thousands more tasty, if you have the kind of money around.
And it's a point worth stressing. This is not for everyday users. Airbnb says it's seen a 60 percent increase in bookings for rentals that are more than $ 1,000 a night last year, but we don't know if it's a 60 percent increase in 100 bookings or 1,000 or 10,000. How big this market is for Airbnb, but make no mistake – this is for rich people.
That is not a bad thing for the airline's business, of course. It bought Luxury Retreats for a reason, and this is a smart game for the company to take advantage of an untapped market that is mainly occupied by travel agents and service providers available only to wealthy people who know the right people. Now, with Airbnb Luxe, someone (or any group) may be willing to pay the money to access a villa in Tuscany, a mansion in Costa Rica, or a cottage in the Swiss Alps.
The good news is that with enough friends or family on board to share the price, it may not be as expensive as it seems to be first blush. You can't say the same about a hotel.