Did you just jump on Airbnb and notice a big advertisement for “Airbnb Luxe”? You’re not alone. The company has done a widespread launch of an elite class of Airbnb that trumps even their new “Airbnb Plus” certified properties.

Airbnb Luxe is for properties where they, themselves, are destinations. Vineyard estates in wine country. Private villas overlooking majestic waters. Only the best of the best.

Aside from the million dollar views, what sets these hand-selected and expertly designed properties apart are the services layered on top of the physical property. For starters, you have a dedicated “trip designer” who can craft the perfect experience, incorporating options such as:

Many of these service professionals live on-site and are available on-demand, providing a hotel experience in a luxury Airbnb property. The Luxe concept stems from Airbnb’s 2017 acquisition of “Luxury Retreats”, the company clearly indicated as offering the above-and-beyond hospitality services on each Airbnb Luxe property listings.

This seems to be in direct response to Marriott’s announcement that they would take on Airbnb with their own home-sharing service. Marriott is the world’s largest hotel chain, Airbnb is the world’s largest home-sharing/renting service, and they’re converging upon a lucrative, emerging middleground that will offer the best of both worlds.

Airbnb Luxe is already available in a number of destinations around the world:

This is of special interest in locations such as Hawaii, where short-term rental regulations are a story still unfolding. They’ve been essentially banned in Oaha – the island that is home to Honolulu – whereas Hawai’i (the Big Island) is one of Airbnb Luxe’s launch cities.

This represents a huge moment for both the Short-Term Rental market and the hotel industry. Marriott has furiously lobbies to enforce regulations on business owners renting out entire properties, but they’re simultaneously rolling out Marriott Homes & Villas Program which do just that. And while Airbnb was built targeting consumers who didn’t want the hotel experience, they just recently acquired Hotels Tonight.

And now Airbnb Luxe.

Independent hosts have led the charge for Airbnb up to this point, but the company is pivoting in the face of slowing growth and regulation. Hosts would be wise to follow their lead.

Rob Jackson
Author: Rob Jackson

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