Eleven years ago, Airbnb founders Brian and Joe inflated three airbeds in the living room of their San Francisco apartment and Airbnb was born. From airbeds, Airbnb expanded to spare rooms and then to entire homes, to Airbnb Plus and even to boutique hotels. Today the platform 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, travellers can stay at incredible places, including award-winning homes in New Zealand and South Africa, castles in France and breathtaking historic villas in Tuscany.
Literary fans can seek inspiration and beachfront luxury at The Fleming Villa in Jamaica where Ian Fleming wrote his favourite 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.
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 traveller’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.
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 for the company. 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, Airbnb plans to add incredible properties in at least 12 more cities this year, including Milan, Paris, and Austin.
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 by more than 60%. 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.
Now, with Airbnb Luxe joining the portfolio, sitting above Airbnb Plus, the platform is closer to meeting the needs of every traveller at every price point by including the luxury category alongside its entire portfolio.