Nukutepipi costs £115,000 a night
Nukutepipi costs £115,000 a night

Inside Airbnb's new luxury platform

Bookings come with dedicated ‘trip designer’

Helen Coffey
Wednesday 26 June 2019 10:42

Airbnb has announced the launch of Airbnb Luxe, a new luxury platform with more than 2,000 hand-picked properties around the world, including a $1m private island.

The accommodation platform selected homes that meet strict criteria, including superior design, high-quality fixtures and furnishings and chef-level kitchen appliances.

Guests will also get a dedicated “trip designer”, who will be on hand to ensure an effortless check-in, coordinate local bespoke experiences and activities and arrange services from childcare and private chefs to in-house massage therapists and personal trainers.

Stand-out homes include The Fleming Villa in Jamaica, where Ian Fleming wrote the Bond novels; and Nukutepipi, a private island in French Polynesia with its own self-declared time zone that’s curated by Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil and Lune Rouge.

Mind you, they don’t come cheap: the five-bedroom Jamaican property starts from £3,500 a night, while staying on your own private atoll costs a minimum of £115,000 a night, or £805,000 for a week (although it does house a whopping 52 guests).

The move has been prompted by the huge growth in luxury travel – according to the brand, the number of Airbnb bookings for listings worth at least $1,000 per night increased by more than 60 per cent last year.

“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 Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder.

“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.”

The launch builds on Airbnb Plus, which launched in 2018 as a booking platform for “everyday Airbnb guests looking for beautiful homes, exceptional hosts and added peace of mind knowing homes are quality inspected and verified in person for cleanliness, comfort and design”.

The brand says the two new products bring world domination within its grasp: “We are closer to meeting the needs of every traveller at every price point,” Airbnb said in a statement.

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