A hapless traveller recently booked himself a shipping container on Airbnb.
But there’s no chance of a calamity like that happening on the rental site’s new offering – Airbnb Luxe. This promises ‘five-star everything’ – ‘unique and spectacular places to stay’ that are bookable through a ‘beautifully designed’ website.
Properties listed on the site, for example, including a stunning 18th-century mansion, Chateau d’Estoublon, in Provence for £13,409 per night. The super rich can even book an entire island with its own time zone. It’s in French Polynesia and called Nukutepipi – and it’s yours for £114,934 per night. A hefty price tag, but one that can be split between 52 people.
Nukutepipi, pictured, is a private island in French Polynesia, featuring multiple houses and bungalows. It has its own self-declared time zone and has been curated by Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil. There is enough accommodation to sleep 52 guests and costs over £114,000 per night, with a minimum seven-night booking required
The stunning Chateau d’Estoublon – an 18th-century chateau in Provence. For £13,409 per night, guests get 10 designer suites, fitness and games rooms, a wine cave and 500 acres of manicured grounds
Also on offer is Casa Koko, an extravagant nine-bedroom beach house in Mexico, available for £2,747 per night.
While in New Zealand, there is a beautiful wooden cabin on the banks of Lake Wanaka on offer for £2,023 per night.
Airbnb says its new luxury section has more than 2,000 handpicked homes from around the world, with each one passing strict evaluation across over 300 criteria to meet standards in both design and function.
This includes ‘elevated design standards on a variety of elements, from premium materials and finishes to spaces that accommodate groups, chef-grade appliances and the proper amount of bathrooms corresponding to each bedroom’.
Each Airbnb Luxe booking opens up access to a dedicated trip designer who will ensure the stay is tailored to the traveller’s needs every step of the way.
Casa Koko in Punta Mita, Mexico is on Airbnb Luxe for £2,747 per night. It has nine bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and enough room for 22 guests as well as an infinity pool and a full staff, including a driver and a chef standing by
Inside the beautiful wood cabin on the banks of Lake Wanaka in New Zealand, which can be rented on Airbnb Luxe for £2,023 per night. It is set on 50 acres and the listing states that the architecture is ‘award-winning’
After booking a property, the trip designer can help ensure effortless check-in, coordinating local bespoke experiences and activities, and arranging a wide range of services from childcare to private chefs and in-house massage therapists to personal trainers.
Airbnb says the launch of Airbnb Luxe helps meet increasing demand from guests for luxury properties and experiences.
In 2018, the number of Airbnb bookings for listings worth at least $1,000 (£790) per night increased more than 60 per cent.
The increased interest in luxury travel on Airbnb, the rental listings company says, is consistent with broader trends as analysts believe the luxury travel market is worth more than $200 billion (£157 billion) and poised to grow in the years ahead.
Literary fans can seek inspiration and beachfront luxury at The Fleming Villa in Jamaica, pictured, where Ian Fleming wrote his famous spy novels. It has five bedrooms, its own pool, a butler, a housekeeper and a chef
Airbnb said: ‘The launch of Airbnb Luxe is also part of our continued effort to ensure Airbnb is for everyone.
‘In February 2018 we introduced Airbnb Plus, our first ever standalone tier intended for everyday Airbnb guests looking for beautiful homes, exceptional hosts and added peace of mind knowing homes are quality inspected and verified in person for cleanliness, comfort and design.
‘Launched initially in 13 markets around the world, Airbnb Plus is now available in over 300 markets.
‘Now, with Airbnb Luxe joining our portfolio, sitting above Airbnb Plus, we are closer to meeting the needs of every traveller at every price point by including the luxury category alongside our entire portfolio.’
This skyloft in Sydney boasts panoramic views across the city, earning it a place on Airbnb Luxe. It costs £655 per night and comes with three bedrooms and a balcony where guests can look out over the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Opera House, and Bondi Beach
Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder, CEO and head of community, added: ‘Today’s luxury traveller 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.
‘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 was founded 11 years ago by Brian along with Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk when they rented air beds out of their San Francisco apartment for $80 a night. It has certainly come a long way since then.