Airbnb Launches New Tier of Luxury Travel
Eleven years ago, Airbnb founders Brian and Joe inflated three airbeds in the living room of their San Francisco apartment and the company was born. From airbeds, Airbnb expanded to spare rooms and then to entire homes, to Airbnb Plus and even to boutique hotels. Today Airbnb is bringing the same innovative approach to luxury travel by introducing Airbnb Luxe — a new luxury experience that makes personal and bespoke travel more accessible to everyone.
Airbnb Luxe provides access to unique and spectacular properties with dedicated trip designers to arrange bespoke experiences and services to make every stay truly magical. With homes that are destinations in themselves, travelers can stay at incredible places, including award-winning homes in New Zealand and South Africa, castles in France, breathtaking historic villas in Tuscany and modern luxury villas in Thailand’s hottest resort destinations.
Airbnb Luxe is built on the deep expertise in luxury travel Airbnb gained from its acquisition of Luxury Retreats in 2017. This new tier launches with more than 2,000 handpicked homes around the world, each one passing strict evaluation across 300+ criteria to meet standards in both design and function. This includes elevated design standards on a variety of elements, from premium materials and finishes and rare and unique features, to spaces that accommodate groups, highly functional design, chef-grade appliances and the proper amount of bathrooms corresponding to each bedroom.
Each Airbnb Luxe booking provides access to a dedicated, highly trained trip designer who will ensure the stay is tailored to the traveler’s unique needs every step of the way. After booking a property, the trip designer can help ensure effortless check-in, coordinating local bespoke experiences and activities, and arranging a wide range of services from childcare to private chefs to in-house massage therapists – or, for the dedicated, personal training sessions in your own private gym.
“Today’s luxury traveler is craving more than just high-end accommodations; they seek transformation and experiences that leave them feeling more connected to each other and to their destination,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community. “With Airbnb Luxe we are applying the same approach we’ve used since we launched Airbnb more than 11 years ago — creating local, authentic and magical travel moments now in amazing places to stay — to reimagine the way people think and experience luxury travel.”
In addition to chateaux and chalets, Airbnb Luxe will also open the door to spectacular places to stay in cities, a new area of focus. Building on the places to stay already available in cities like London — be it a Kensington oasis or a Sloane Square penthouse; and Los Angeles — like this French Country estate, we plan to add incredible properties in at least 12 more cities this year, including Milan, Paris and Austin.
Literary fans can seek inspiration and beachfront luxury at The Fleming Villa in Jamaica where Ian Fleming wrote his famous spy novels. Others may prefer complete privacy and exclusivity by booking an entire island with its very own self-declared time zone at the incredible private atoll in French Polynesia, Nukutepipi, curated by Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil and Lune Rouge.
The launch of Airbnb Luxe also helps meet increasing demand from Airbnb guests for luxury properties and experiences. In 2018, the number of Airbnb bookings for listings worth at least US$1,000 per night increased more than 60 percent. The increased interest in luxury travel on Airbnb is consistent with broader trends: analysts believe the luxury travel market is worth more than US$200 billion and poised to grow in the years ahead.
The launch of Airbnb Luxe is also part of our continued effort to ensure Airbnb is for everyone. In February 2018, we introduced Airbnb Plus, our first ever standalone tier intended for everyday Airbnb guests looking for beautiful homes, exceptional hosts and added peace of mind knowing homes are quality inspected and verified in person for cleanliness, comfort and design. Launched initially in 13 markets around the world, Airbnb Plus is now available in over 300 markets. Now, with Airbnb Luxe joining our portfolio, sitting above Airbnb Plus, we are closer to meeting the needs of every traveler at every price point by including the luxury category alongside our entire portfolio.
Find out more about Airbnb Luxe at airbnb.com/luxe