Airbnb, which grew to a multi-billion-dollar business offering budget-friendly accommodations, just launched a new luxury travel experience.

By Andrea Romano
June 25, 2019
Credit: Courtesy of Airbnb

Airbnb announced on Tuesday a new luxury rental tier, Airbnb Luxe, with thousands of glamorous, high-end listings around the world.

Properties listed on Airbnb Luxe are hand-picked by trip designers in order to bring a more bespoke approach to travel, according to the company. Some of the highlighted rentals include an ultra-modern home in New Zealand, a well-appointed chateau in France, and historic villas in Tuscany.

Credit: Courtesy of Airbnb
Credit: Courtesy of Airbnb

To qualify for Luxe, each home must pass all of Airbnb’s new 300+ criteria, including elevated design elements, premium building materials, and rare or unique features. More than 2,000 homes have already been added to the luxury tier, according to the company. Airbnb Luxe listing must also include local experiences or activities, such as helping harvest olives or grapes with local farmers in Tuscany, or being close to cultural meccas like some of the urban listings available in London, New York, or Los Angeles.

“Today’s luxury traveler is craving more than just high-end accommodations,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb Co-Founder, in a statement. “They seek transformation and experiences that leave them feeling more connected to each other and to their destination.”

Airbnb has been offering more and more upscale options to travelers in the last few years. Since its launch 11 years ago, the company has expanded to offer full homes, experiences hosted by locals, and most recently, fully planned and curated trips through Airbnb Adventures.

According to Airbnb, bookings for $1,000+ per night listings have gone up by 60 percent in the last year.

According to The New York Times, the average listing on Luxe is $2,000 per night. The most expensive listing, currently, is a private island in French Polynesia for $1 million per week.

In addition to getting to stay in a luxury home, travelers who book through Airbnb Luxe have 24/7 access to a trip designer, sort of like a concierge, who helps them arrange every detail of their stay.