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New Zealand Home by Touch of Spice – The Face of the New Global Airbnb Luxe Platform

July 10, 2019 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Airbnb have launched an exhilarating new tier of homes that are a cut above – showcasing properties with “elevated design standards” and “rare and unique” features amongst other elements that make up the 300 strong criteria. The face (or should we say front door) of this new launch is ‘Te kahu’ – currently the homepageof Airbnb Luxe – a stunning architecturally designed home in Wanaka, in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Lakes, managed by New Zealand based luxury stays & experiences company Touch of Spice.

Jacqui Spice, who founded Touch of Spice in 2005 says; “We are thrilled to be a part of this new platform, showcasing New Zealand’s selection of luxury residences to the world. New Zealand hosts some of the most exquisite properties in the South Pacific. True to kiwi form, most of these homes aren’t commercial enterprises, but are homes to real people, open to sharing their own private space with travellers. We have been the pioneers in promoting luxury stays in New Zealand (and more recently the South Pacific) for 14 years and this new global recognition is fantastic.”

Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community Brian Chesky explains why unique properties such as Te Kahu appeal to its travellers: “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.”

A background to Airbnb Luxe

“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 & finishes and rare & unique features, to spaces that accommodate groups, highly functional design, chef-grade appliances and the proper amount of bathrooms corresponding to each bedroom.”

New Zealand homes in the spotlight

Airbnb Luxe in partnership with Touch of Spice as hosts, provides access to unique and spectacular properties in homes that go beyond the extraordinary. Te Kahu, as a perfect example, is no ordinary home. “Cedar woodwork meets cutting-edge design on 50 acres bordering Lake Wanaka. Walk the heated floors beneath geometric wood-clad ceilings, slide open vanishing doors to a private courtyard, and clink glasses by the alfresco fireplace as the sun dances over the edge of the lake. A telescope, 4-poster beds and a crafty skylight up the ante.”

Also featuring on Airbnb Luxe and a flagship property in The Residence Collection by Touch of Spice is Lodge at The Hills at $38,000NZD per night. Here guests are encouraged to “Land on the helipad and take the golf cart around this astonishing feat of architecture that abuts Arrowtown Golf Club and Feehly Hill Scenic Reserve. The fully-staffed compound curves around a multi-tier infinity pool, alfresco dining looks onto the tennis court and private 3-par golf hole, and wood, glass, and steel define the soaring modern interiors.”

Increase in luxury travellers and seeking authenticity 

For almost 15 years, Touch of Spice founder Jacqui Spice has been carefully curating stays and experiences to meet the increasing demand for luxury travel to this part of the world. “It is exciting for us that the rest of the world is beginning to sit up and take note of what New Zealand has to offer luxury travellers,” explains Jacqui. “Not only do our travellers desire luxury, they also want privacy and exclusivity in equal measure. Unlike a hotel stay, in our villas you can run down the hallways, bomb in the pool and eat breakfast in your board shorts. It’s all about having the space to create memories.”

Airbnb state that “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.”

They note that “In 2018, the number of Airbnb bookings for listings worth at least $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 $200 billion and poised to grow in the years ahead.”

Jacqui Spice says; “We couldn’t agree more with the trends in increased luxury travel in recent years. The team and I look forward to the exciting possibilities that Airbnb Luxe brings, both for us at Touch of Spice as well as its potential to increase global exposure to New Zealand’s most exclusive luxury homes.”

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