Airbnb is collaborating with RXR
Realty, a New York-based real estate developer, owner and operator, to convert
portions of commercial properties into luxury rentals available exclusively on
the Airbnb platform.
The first of these rentals will be 200
units opening next year on 10 upper floors of New York’s 75 Rockefeller Plaza,
a 33-story building in Midtown Manhattan built in 1947.
The apartment-style suites will have digitally enabled,
dedicated concierge service, technology-enabled access and fully stocked
kitchens. Guests will also have access to a private social club and business
center on the building’s top floor that will offer meeting and event space and
co-working areas. The building will also have a restaurant and bar on the
In a statement, Airbnb says the units
will “blend the features of a luxury hotel with all the comforts of a home.”
“When we launched Airbnb over 10 years
ago, it was immediately clear how people opening their homes could make guests
feel like locals,” says Airbnb co-founder, CEO and head of community Brian
“With this new partnership with RXR,
we hope to provide that same unique feeling, in the form of new spaces in the
heart of Midtown Manhattan and elsewhere so that everyone can enjoy an
authentic New York experience.”
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Airbnb says this "new category of
urban lodging" will be executed and operated by RXR, but the two companies will
collaborate on room and building design, the development of a concierge program
staffed by “local and knowledgeable ‘hosts’,” the curation of local
experiences, services and amenities and innovations in technologies and
processes for travelers.
“With the lines between business
travel and leisure travel becoming increasingly blurred, RXR and Airbnb are
offering a travel experience that immerses guests in a dynamic, thriving
community in the heart of Rockefeller Center that's vastly different than
anything else in the market today,” says Scott Rechler, chairman and CEO of RXR
The two companies are also considering
creating similar rentals in other RXR properties, including its 10-building
development in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
As to whether Airbnb will expand this
concept to other cities, the company’s senior communication manager, Liz DuBold
Fusco, says, “Certainly we are interested in this vision for this new form of
urban hospitality as one that’s important to us, but for now we are focusing on
this new partnership with RXR.”
This is Airbnb’s latest move that takes
the home-sharing platform deeper into the traditional hotel space. In March, Airbnb boosted its inventory of hotels with its acquisition of HotelTonight, a
booking platform that works with properties around the world. And since February
2018, Airbnb has been connecting with accommodation distribution networks
including SiteMinder, Cloudbeds and Availpro.
Executive Interview: Airbnb
Jeroen Merchiers, managing
director for EMEA at Airbnb, speaks at Phocuswright Europe 2019.