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Airbnb moves into lavish and costly luxury bracket

June 27, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Airbnb has expanded its rental options to include ultra-luxurious and expensive urban and country accommodation options, arranged in a new tier called Airbnb Luxe – which may appeal to groups of well-heeled friends, or to those who don’t mind spending over AUD 1500 a night for a fabulous property in a dream location.

The sharing-economy platform said yesterday Airbnb Luxe came with “dedicated trip designers to arrange bespoke experiences and services to make every stay truly unique”.

Airbnb Luxe builds on the luxury travel portfolio Airbnb gained from its acquisition of Luxury Retreats in 2017. The new tier launches with more than 2000 opulent homes around the world.

According to Airbnb, each one is evaluated on over 300 criteria to meet standards in both design and function.

The range poses a potential challenge to high-end resorts, chalets and luxury boutique hotels. It comes after Airbnb Luxe looked at its bookings and found that, in 2108, the number of Airbnb bookings for listings worth at least USD 1000 per night had increased by more than 60%.

Analysts believe the luxury travel market, currently worth more than USD 200 billion, is poised to grow in the years ahead.

The Fleming Villa in Jamaica is on the Airbnb Luxe list

For Airbnb, the way was clear.

“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,” Airbnb says.

“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.”

Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky, who is also the platform’s chief executive and “head of community” (part of his Airbnb title) says Airbnb Luxe uses the same approach Airbnb has used since its launch 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”.

The range available includes castles in France, historic villas in Tuscany and what Airbnb terms “award-winning homes” in New Zealand and South Africa.

French country estate in the new Airbnb Luxe range

“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.”

As well as chateaux and chalets, Airbnb Luxe will also open the door to spectacular places to stay in cities. Options range from a Sloane Square penthouse to urban luxury in Los Milan, Paris and Austin.

Written by Peter Needham

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