Accommodation platform Airbnb is making a move on the luxury market with the launch of its Luxe brand.
The company said Airbnb Luxe will feature more than 2,000 homes around the world as it seeks to offer “a new luxury experience that makes personal and bespoke travel more accessible to everyone”.
Properties include castles in France, historic villas in Tuscany, an eco-lodge in New Zealand, a private island in French Polynesia and The Fleming Villa in Jamaica where Ian Fleming wrote his James Bond books. Properties in London’s upmarket areas of Kensington and Sloane Square are also on offer.
The concept of “trip designers” has also been introduced in order to help customers tailor their stay, including booking, check-in and arranging experiences such as activities, childcare and meals prepared by private chefs.
Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s co-founder and chief executive, said: “Whether guests are island-hopping in the Caribbean, or embarking on a ski holiday in the Alps, our trip designers ensure each getaway is as one-of-a-kind as the individuals taking it.
“Creating itineraries based on the guests’ specific goals paired with local insight from on-the-ground experts, trip designers are there to simplify the trip and make sure every traveller has a unique and memorable stay.”
The creation of Airbnb Luxe comes two years after the company acquired Luxury Retreats, which Airbnb said had given it a “deep expertise in luxury travel”. The company added it had seen a surge in demand for high-end properties with bookings for listings costing at least $1,000 per night rising by more than 60% in 2018.
Each Airbnb Luxe property is evaluated using more than 300 criteria covering design, functionality, attributes such as their location and surroundings, as well as the services on offer.
Other properties include a nine-bedroom French-style country club mansion in Los Angeles, with Airbnb Luxe planning to add homes in 12 more cities later this year, including Paris, Milan and Austin, Texas.