You can now search Airbnb for listings with incredible views - just one of a raft of new search categories and functions that have gone live in a major overhaul of the accommodation booking website.
A major update to the travel platform’s user experience includes being able to search listings via 56 categories, including design (for iconic architecture and interiors), amazing pools, countryside, amazing views or historical homes.
Airbnb’s team says these were inspired by the trends they’re seeing from customers - user wishlists containing “design” in their title grew by 175 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019, for example.
It has also introduced an “I’m flexible” search option similar to Skyscanner’s “Everywhere” option for flights - bringing up random listings you might like, how far away they are and the dates they’re available.
The platform has also launched a “Split Stays” feature to help travellers book accommodation at two different rentals for a trip, as well as AirCover, a booking protection option that helps protect customers’ cash if a host cancels last minute or if the listing is not as described.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky called the overhaul of the homepage and search function “the biggest change in a decade”.
Other delightfully specific categories you can now search by include Cycladic houses, creative spaces, vineyards, houseboats and “OMG!” - this last rounding up digs with a bit of extra wow-factor.
The AirCover protection feature will be included, free, in all Airbnb stays going forward - the company has in the past come under fire for poor customer protection and last-minute cancellations.
“In the unlikely event a Host needs to cancel your booking within 30 days of check-in, we’ll find you a similar or better home, or we’ll refund you,” says a user description from Airbnb. “In addition, we’ll provide a full credit that you can instantly apply to your rebooking.”
It comes with a “24-hour safety” hotline where the booking platform says “specialists will respond within an average of 30 seconds”.
Last week the rentals website launched a competition to win a €1 overnight stay in the iconic red windmill atop Paris’s Moulin Rouge nightclub.
The infamous Paris nightspot is collaborating with Airbnb on three limited-edition, “once in a lifetime” stays within the instantly recognisable landmark, all in June 2022.
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