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Published on Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Airbnb adds new luxury tier


Airbnb is targeting the luxury market with a new category of high-end, vetted properties around the world.

Airbnb Luxe features more than 2,000 properties, which it says have all passed a 300-plus point inspection to qualify, including such qualities as highly-functional design, chef-grade appliances and the proper amount of bathrooms for the number of bedrooms.

The peer-to-peer booking platform said its new Luxe category included 'award-winning' homes in New Zealand and South Africa, French castles, and historic villas in Tuscany.

It said it had built on the deep expertise in luxury travel it had gained from its acquisition of Luxury Retreats in 2017.

Every Airbnb Luxe booking provides access to a dedicated 'trip designer' to assist with check-in and to co-ordinate bespoke experiences and activities, plus arrange services from childcare to private chefs to in-house massage therapists or personal trainers.

"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." said Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky.

"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."

In addition to chateaux, chalets and villas, Airbnb Luxe is also looking to expand into cities. Currently only featuring properties in London and Los Angeles, it is looking to add places in at least 12 more cities this year, including Milan, Paris and Austin, Texas.

It said the launch of Luxe will help meet increasing demand from Airbnb guests for luxury properties and experiences. In 2018, the number of Airbnb bookings for listings worth at least $1,000 per night increased more than 60%.

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