Airbnb now offers exorbitantly expensive home rentals as part of a new luxury push

Airbnb today expands its rental options with some of the most expensive and luxurious accommodations on the planet. The new layer, called Airbnb Luxe, is designed for customers who want to spend more than $ 1,000 a night on carefully designed, massive private homes with beautiful views and first-class amenities.

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"Airbnb Luxe is built on the in-depth expertise in luxury travel that Airbnb gained with the acquisition of Luxury Retreats in 2017. This new tier is being launched with more than 2,000 carefully selected homes around the world, each of which undergoes a rigorous evaluation over more more than 300 criteria to meet the standards both in design and function ", is the company's blog post about the announcement. Airbnb says the houses must have "increased design standards", including the use of "premium materials and finishes and rare and unique features." The houses will also need "chef-quality equipment" and lavish bathrooms to satisfy every bedroom.

Luxury is part of Airbnb's broader transformation into a full-service hotel and travel platform, by far from the start of bank surfing as part of the non-standard sharing economy that led to the use of ride services and countless others untested services. startup ideas. Airbnb will still let you rent a small bedroom in someone's house, almost everywhere on earth. But it wants to have a full offer to compete with websites such as Expedia and hotel and travel agencies around the world.

Of course this is a market that has been around for decades, and it is getting warmer with competition from everyone, from Marriott to Four Seasons, who all want a share of the luxury rental market. So why spend this kind of money on an Airbnb rental instead of just the nicest hotel you can find? Well, Airbnb thinks it could be better:

Every Airbnb Luxe booking offers 24/7 access to a dedicated, well-trained travel designer who ensures that every step of the stay is tailored to the unique needs of the traveler. This includes ensuring effortless booking and check-in, coordinating local tailor-made experiences and activities, and arranging a wide range of services, from childcare to private chefs to internal massage therapists – or, for the special, personal training sessions in your own privacy. Fitness center.

The shift to travel agency style service is part of a shift that the company started from 2016 with the launch of Airbnb Trips, which allows contractors to sign up to offer everything from Airbnb guides to cooking classes on the Airbnb platform. For Luxury, however, the company seems to go a step further and hire full personal assistants to design every facet of the trip and ensure that it has a luxurious feel. That should perhaps make the price tags in the thousands to tens of thousands more enjoyable, if you have that kind of money lying around.


And that is a point that is worth emphasizing. This is not for daily users. Airbnb says it saw rental bookings rise by 60 percent last year to more than $ 1,000 per night, but we don't know if that is a 60 percent increase on 100 bookings or 1,000 or 10,000. It is not clear how large this market is specifically for Airbnb, but make no mistake – this is for rich people.

That is of course not a bad thing for Airbnb. 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 boutique travel agents and service providers that are only accessible to wealthy people who know the right people. Now, with Airbnb Luxe, anyone (or a group of people) willing to pay the money can get access to a villa in Tuscany, a mansion in Costa Rica, or a chalet in the Swiss Alps.

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The good news is that, with enough friends or family on board to share the costs, it might not be as expensive as it seems to blush first. You can't say the same about a hotel.

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