Eleven years ago our founders, Brian and Joe, inflated three airbeds in the living room of their San Francisco apartment and Airbnb was born. From airbeds, we expanded to spare rooms and then to entire homes, to Airbnb Plus and even to boutique hotels. Today we’re 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 ensure 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 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 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.
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.
The homes are also evaluated by the special attributes they possess, their location and surroundings, as well as the services that come with them — like the medieval farm-to-table experience of Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany, or the cutting edge, yet eco-friendly design of Te Kahu in New Zealand, or the chef, driver and butler services that come with Grace Bay Residences in Turks and Caicos.
Each Airbnb Luxe booking provides 24/7 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. This includes ensuring effortless booking and 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.
Whether guests are island hopping in the Caribbean, or embarking on a ski holiday in the Alps, our trip designers ensure each getaway is as one-of-a-kind as the individuals taking it. Creating itineraries based on the guests’ specific goals paired with local insight from on-the-ground experts, trip designers are there to simplify the trip and make sure every traveler has a unique and memorable stay.
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 us. Building on the places to stay already available in cities like London — be it a Kensington oasis or a Sloane Square penthouse, and this French Country estate in Los Angeles — we will be adding 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 $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.