Airbnb extends its rental options today to include some of the priciest and most luxurious accommodations on the planet. The new level, called Airbnb Luxe, is designed for customers who are interested in spending more than $ 1,000 a night on carefully crafted, massive private homes with beautiful views and state-of-the-art amenities.
"Airbnb Luxe builds on the deep expertise of luxury traveler Airbnb has acquired Luxury Retreats 2017. This new tier is launched with more than 2,000 handpicked homes around the world, each rigorously evaluating over 300 plus criteria to meet standards in both design and function, "reads the company's blog post on the message. Airbnb says that housing must have "elevated design standards", including the introduction of "premium materials and finishes and rare and unique features." The homes will also need to have "kitchenware" and plenty of bathroom to satisfy each bedroom.
Of course, luxury home rental is a market that has been around for decades and is heated by competition from traditional hotel companies such as Marriott and Four Seasons, both of which want some of the short-term rental market. So why spend this kind of money on an Airbnb rental instead of just the nicest hotel you can find? Well, Airbnb believes it can do better:
Every Airbnb Luxe reservation gives 24/7 access to a dedicated, highly trained travel designer who will ensure that the stay is tailored to the traveler's unique needs every step of the way. This includes ensuring easy booking and check-in, coordination of locally-tailored experiences and activities, and arranging a wide range of services from childcare to private chefs to self-massage therapists – or, for the dedicated, personal training sessions in your own private gym.
The shift towards the travel agency style service is part of a shift that the company started to start in 2016, with the launch of Airbnb Trips, which means that contractors sign up to offer everything from travel guides to cooking courses on the airbanks platform. However, for Luxe, the company seems to go a few steps further and hire full-blown personal assistants to design all aspects of the journey and make sure it has a luxurious feel. Perhaps it should make price tags for thousands to tens of thousands more tasty, if you have that kind of money around.
And that is a point worth emphasizing. This is not for everyday consumers. Airbnb says it has seen a 60 percent increase in rental bookings exceeding $ 1,000 per night last year, but we do not know if it is 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.
It is not a bad thing for Airbb'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 mainly owned by boutique travel agents and service providers available only to wealthy individuals who know the right people. Now, with Airbnb Luxe, anyone (or any group of people) who wants to pay the money can access a villa in Tuscany, a mansion in Costa Rica or a chalet in the Swiss Alps.
The good news is that with enough friends or family on board to split the cost, it may not be as expensive as it seems to blush first. You can't say the same about a hotel.