There are some people who are under the impression that Airbnb is still the same as it was when the company first began in 2008. But if anyone is in any doubt that the company has come a long way since its early days then a quick look at Airbnb Luxe will show exactly what the situation is these days.
For years now Airbnb has been trying to get away from the image it started life with – that of cheap-and-cheerful accommodation and budget places to stay.
Airbnb Luxe still offers great value for money and isn’t remotely like booking yourself a room at the handiest chain hotel. However, the company has made the most of the fact that today’s traveller is looking for something different, for an experience that’s out of the ordinary. And people today aren’t expecting, or accepting, budget travel in the same way we once used to.
Let’s look, as an example, at the world of hostels. In the last ten or twenty years, hostels have improved hugely. The real budget accommodation, the places that you’ll remember too if you are as old as me, are very different these days. They offer so much more when it comes to amenities and often have stylish or stunning decor.
Maybe there will always be a place for budget rentals but Airbnb has been in the hospitality industry for long enough to know that the real market, for real travellers, lies elsewhere.
But Airbnb Luxe offers much more that truly gorgeous, well-equipped homes. You’ll also get the services of a trip planner who will help you with every aspect of your trip, should you need it. Need a chauffeur, masseuse, luxury restaurant reservations, car rental? Whatever you need your trip designer is there to help. You’ll also find that some of the places on offer include:
- Staff. Such as butlers, maids and so on
- Personal chef to cater for you
- Properties in luxury locations such as on the beach, in a vineyard, in the mountains…
- Private pickup from the airport or cruise port
- A fully stocked home with fresh groceries, wines etc.
- Outdoor kitchens
- Services such as massage or beauty therapy
You’ll notice that I haven’t added such amenities as pools, barbecue grills, modern appliances, fitness rooms and many more features because these are of course included with most homes. Airbnb inspects every home with a three-hundred point checklist to ensure that the place is pr\istine.
Are these places just for the rich and famous? Some of them yes, but certainly not all. Particularly if there’s a group of you, nightly prices can be less than a nice-quality hotel. If you want a super-splurge, for a honeymoon or the holiday of a lifetime, you’ll find private islands, historic chateaux, five-star tropical villas and properties that you’ve probably only imagined in your dreams.
The example above sleeps 14 people and costs around $350 per person, per night. The example below is about one-third of that price.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.