Airbnb offering customers chance to rent castles, private islands, other luxury sites

By Real EstateFOXBusiness

How Airbnb is changing how people vacation and live

More properties are becoming short-term rentals

Airbnb has launched a rental tier in which consumers have the chance to rent high-end properties including castles, beachfront villas, entire villages and private islands.

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The online rental service has introduced Airbnb Luxe for those looking for a special vacation. The portfolio includes 2,000 homes. The properties were chosen from Luxury Retreats, a rental company Airbnb acquired in 2017.

Some of the homes on the list include the Castello di Vicarello in the Tuscan countryside which includes 8 bedrooms and 11 baths. Travelers also have the choice to rent a private island in French Polynesia called Nukutepipi. A week on the island, with a private beach and spa amenities, will set you back $1 million.

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Airbnb Luxe bookings start at about $600 a night. Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s co-founder and CEO, said the average price of a Luxe listing cost $2,000 a night, according to The New York Times. He said the company has seen a 60 percent increase in bookings of properties costing an average of $1,000 a night.

“The increased interest in luxury travel on Airbnb is consistent with broader trends: analysts believe the luxury travel market is worth more than $200 billion and poised to grow in the years ahead,” Airbnb said in a statement.

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Airbnb said it would add more homes from 12 more cities by the end of the year. The homes chosen were evaluated based on the services provided and location. They needed to have passed the company’s “strict evaluation” in order to be considered. The company said a Luxe booking provides a consumer with a trip designer who “will ensure the stay is tailored to the traveler’s unique needs every step of the way."