Airbnb furthers expansion into luxury rental market with Luxe launch

Airbnb furthers expansion into luxury rental market with Luxe launch

Airbnb has continued its push into luxury travel with the launch of Luxe, capitalising on a growing top-end market.

After acquiring Luxury Retreats in 2017, Airbnb has taken its next step in the direction of catering to the top-end market, with the introduction of Airbnb Luxe – its new luxury brand for accessible and bespoke luxury travel.

The logo for Airbnb's latest luxury travel product, Luxe.

Airbnb’s luxury travel product, Luxe, is the company’s latest and most fervent push into a growing multi-billion dollar luxury travel industry.

Airbnb co-founder, CEO and head of community Brian Chesky said the product would offer the same values that he and co-founder Joe Gebbia developed when they opened the company more than 11 years ago:

“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,” Chesky said. “With Airbnb Luxe we are applying the same approach we’ve used since we launched Airbnb … creating local, authentic and magical travel moments now in amazing places to stay — to reimagine the way people think and experience luxury travel.”

Luxe opens with more than 2,000 handpicked homes from around the world – including sites in New Zealand, French Polynesia and Jamaica. Luxe will also open the door to luxury urban lodgings, building on Airbnb’s city line-up in places like London and Los Angeles; the company plans to add properties in at least 12 more cities this year, including Austin, Milan and Paris.

Airbnb NZ Luxe house interior

Cedar woodwork meets cutting-edge design at this architectural masterpiece on 50 acres at Lake Wanaka, New Zealand.

“With homes that are destinations in themselves, travellers can stay at incredible places, including award-winning homes in New Zealand and South Africa, castles in France and breathtaking historic villas in Tuscany. Literary fans can seek inspiration and beachfront luxury at The Fleming Villa in Jamaica where Ian Fleming wrote his famous spy novels. Others may prefer complete privacy and exclusivity by booking an entire island with its very own self-declared time zone at the incredible private atoll in French Polynesia, Nukutepipi, curated by Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil and Lune Rouge,” Airbnb said.

Furthermore, Luxe bookings all have access to their own all-hours, “dedicated, highly trained” trip designer; someone who takes care of bookings, check-in and bespoke experiences, including childcare and private chefs, among other things.

In 2018, the number of Airbnb bookings for listings worth at least $1,000 per night increased more than 60 percent. And Airbnb says the increased interest in luxury travel is consistent with broader trends, namely that the luxury travel market is worth more than $200 billion and poised to grow in the years ahead, according to analysts.

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