Airbnb goes high-end with listings in castles and private islands

Chateau d’Estoublon, Provence, France


The online property rental broker Airbnb has launched a new site dedicated to high-end listings that includes castles, entire villages, and beachfront villas in the U.S. or Caribbean.

One listing – an entire medieval village in Buonconvento, Italy that can accommodate 44 guests – costs around $23,140 per night while a home in Punta Mita, Mexico, comes with a nightly price tag of $60,410 but only has room for eight people.

Casa Koko, Punta Mita, Mexico


The new tier of luxury properties consists of more than 2,000 homes and rates will average around $2,000 per night, . The firm said each has passed a “strict evaluation” across more than 300 criteria to meet Airbnb’s standards in areas such as rare features, chef-grade appliances and premium materials.

Homes are also evaluated on their location, surroundings and services that come with them – like the chef, driver and butler services that come with stays in one of the listings in the Caribbean.

The new site also offers luxury city stays, which Airbnb said was a new focus for the company. Urban listings currently include high-end homes in London, LA and Sydney, but Airbnb Luxe will add homes in at least 12 more cities, including Milan, Paris and Austin, by the end of 2019.

Te Kahu, Wanaka, New Zealand


Any cash rich travelers who book a property listed on Airbnb Luxe will pay for access to a “trip designer,” whose job is to tailor a unique itinerary around the guests’ individual needs. That could include organizing local activities, arranging childcare, hiring an in-house private chef or calling in a massage therapist.

“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,” Airbnb Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky said in a press release Tuesday.

Last year, Airbnb bookings of homes that cost more than $1,000 per night increased by more than 60%.

According to a report published in February by U.S. research firm Analytical Research Cognizance, the global luxury travel market will be worth almost $8.5 billion by 2024 – up from an estimated $5.2 billion in 2019.

The launch of Airbnb Luxe comes after the company’s 2017 acquisition of high-end travel site Luxury Retreats.

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