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Airbnb Launches Luxe: Start Competition at Luxury Hotels?

Airbnb launches Luxe, the new luxury accommodation offer. The new tier, called Airbnb Luxe, is designed for customers interested in spending more than $1,000 a night on thoughtfully designed, massive private homes with scenic views and top-of-the-line amenities.

This new tier launches with more than 2,000 handpicked homes around the world, each one passing strict evaluation across 300-plus criteria to meet standards in both design and function,” reads the company’s blog post on the announcement.

We have over 200 Airbnb Luxe homes across Europe, but we are increasing the offer in many other locations,” who also explains how prices vary a lot: “They can depend on the particular destination and season fluctuations. At the low end, there are homes in the Caribbean and Bali that start at $ 600 a night during the low season. While the entire private island in French Polynesia is offered at over 150.000 € per night”.

Every Airbnb Luxe reservation provides a trip designer who takes care of the travel arrangements, with personalized experiences and services, including airport transfers, babysitting, private chef, butler, driver, sports equipment and family rental.

“Today’s luxury travelers want much more than just exclusive accommodation. They are looking for a kind of change, and experiences that make them feel more connected to each other and to their destination, “said Brian Chesky, co-founder, CEO and head of the Airbnb community, which with today’s launch aims to reinvent this segment.

Luxe is part of Airbnb’s broader transformation into a full-service hotel and travel platform, a far cry from its couch-surfing beginnings as part of the out-of-style sharing economy that gave birth to ride-hailing services and scores of other untested startup ideas. Airbnb will still let you rent a tiny bedroom in someone’s home pretty much anywhere on Earth.

Of course, luxury home rentals is a market that’s existed for decades, and it’s heating up with competition from traditional hotel companies like Marriott and Four Seasons, both of which want a slice of the short-term rental market. So why spend this kind of cash on an Airbnb rental, instead of just the nicest hotel you can find?

Well, Airbnb thinks it can do better:

Each Airbnb Luxe booking provides 24/7 access to a dedicated, highly trained trip designer who will ensure the stay is tailored to the traveler’s unique needs every step of the way. This includes ensuring effortless booking and check-in, coordinating local bespoke experiences and activities, and arranging a wide range of services from childcare, to private chefs to in-house massage therapists – or, for the dedicated, personal training sessions in your own private gym.

While luxury may be new to Airbnb, the company has already branched out to different segments of travel

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