Airbnb is launching a new tier of properties - Airbnb Luxe - with 2,000 high-end properties around the world that come with the services of
a dedicated concierge.
The launch of Airbnb Luxe is built on the company’s acquisition
of Montreal-based Luxury Retreats in February 2017 and is an evolution of what
had been called “Beyond by Airbnb.”
Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky announced Beyond by
Airbnb in February 2018 as the home of the platform’s luxury properties that came
with custom trip-planning services.
But then rather than moving ahead with Beyond by Airbnb, the
company says it decided to capitalize on its two existing brands - Airbnb and
Luxury Retreats - and rename the luxury tier Airbnb Luxe.
On Airbnb Luxe, travelers will find a curated subset of
Luxury Retreat’s 5,000 properties, selected after being evaluated on more than
300 criteria for both design and function, such as premium materials and
finishes, rare and unique features, chef-grade appliances and the ratio of bathrooms
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Guests booking a Luxe property also will have access to what
Airbnb is calling a “trip designer," an employee of Luxury Retreats
available to book everything from airport transfers and car rentals to childcare,
chef and spa services and activities and experiences - including ones not offered on Airbnb's Experiences platform.
Payments for the services will be done through Airbnb’s platform. Air tickets will still need to be sourced and bought by the customer themselves.
“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.” says Chesky.
“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.”
While most of Luxury Retreats’ inventory is in traditional
resort and high-end leisure locations, Airbnb says with the launch of Luxe, it will
begin adding luxury inventory in major metropolitan cities, starting with the
addition of at least 12 cities this year including Milan, Paris and Austin,
The company says fees for Airbnb Luxe listings
will vary by location. Sitting below the Airbnb Luxe tier is Airbnb Plus,
standalone homes inspected for quality and cleanliness that launched in
February 2018 and are now available in more than 300 markets.
Airbnb says it saw a 60% jump in bookings of listings costing at
least $1,000 per night in 2018, and it expects interest in luxury travel to continue
to grow in the near future.
And apparently other hospitality brands are equally optimistic.
Last week Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts announced the expansion of Four
Seasons Private Retreats, a collection of rental homes and villas. The brand offers
750 properties in 21 locations around the world and plans to add properties in
Napa Valley and Los Cabos, Mexico. And in April, Marriott launched Homes and
Villas by Marriott International,
offering 2,000 premium and luxury rentals in more than 100 destinations in
the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.