A mere two years since its acquisition of Luxury Retreats, and after seeing a 60 per cent increase last year in bookings for listings priced at more than US$1,000 per night, Airbnb launches Airbnb Luxe, a tier of rentals integrated into the Airbnb holiday let platform. Airbnb Luxe features more than 2,000 properties around the world, each strictly vetted on more than 300 criteria points covering design and function. Rentals include a 24-hour seven-days-a-week concierge-like service—access to "trip designers" for local activity bookings, childcare arrangements, and other amenities such as the services of a personal chef or an on-site massage therapist.
"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," Airbnb co-founder, CEO, and had of community Brian Chesky says in a statement. "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."
Among the luxury properties on offer for vacation rental are a farm-to-table experience at the Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany, a villa at Grace Bay Residences in Turks & Caicos (that comes complete with a driver and butler), and Te Kahu, an eco-friendly getaway set on 50 acres at Lake Wanaka in New Zealand.
Two properties on our favorites list?
The Chateau d'Estoublon, above—an 18th-century estate in Provence with a centuries-strong history of wine and olive oil production. The home is set on 500 acres, with a heated pool, wine cave, theater, hammam, forest, rose garden, and fitness and games rooms all on-site.