Airbnb Luxe is the luxury tier of Airbnb and is built on its acquisition of Luxury Retreats, a full-service luxury villa rental company, in 2017. Featuring residences that are considered to be extraordinary and rated as five-star across property, amenities, and service, Airbnb Luxe focuses on offering bespoke vacation experiences that attract luxury guests. To that end, every booking receives a dedicated trip designer, available 24/7, who will work with the guest to create their ideal experience.
Luxe properties encompass a variety of luxury residences, from villas and mansions to cabins, chalets, castles, and historically and architecturally significant properties like the villa in Jamaica where Ian Fleming worked on his James Bond novels or the Kellogg Doolittle estate that was designed by architect Ken Kellogg—in exotic locales and chic cities.
Airbnb Luxe properties can be found in an estimated 300 destinations in over 20 countries around the world. This includes North America; European nations such as England, Greece, France, Italy, and Croatia; the Caribbean; Australia and New Zealand; Morocco, South Africa, and the Middle East; Uruguay; and Thailand and Indonesia in Asia.
To be eligible to become an Airbnb Luxe home, vacation rentals must qualify as being extraordinary and providing exceptional service and are expected to pass a 300-point inspection. The review is broken down into categories such as:
Airbnb expects its Luxe properties to have elevated design standards. This includes interior décor, architectural elements such as high vaulted ceilings, and the smallest details attended to like ensuring matching hangers in closets. Luxe vacation rentals must also have socially enhancing spaces, where everyone in the guest party has ample space to interact and enjoy, from the dining room to the living room and gardens.
This covers everything from the mood of the place – do all the elements come together to present the promised ambience; to location – is it in an aspirational neighborhood in a city like Milan or an exotic island off the coast of the Pacific; and service – does the luxury vacation rental offer all the professional resources that the guest would require, from childcare and a butler to a restaurant concierge. Function also takes into account if all the premium appliances are working, if the pool is heated and the wine cellar has the rare wines the guest ordered, if everything from the kitchen to the fridge is fully stocked, if there are enough bathrooms to suit the number of bedrooms, adequate private parking and even electric car ports in cities like Los Angeles.
Picturesque geography is another requirement. Whether it’s rolling green estates, a historical English garden, or rare views of misty mountains, Airbnb Luxe homes must lay claim to geography that is both distinctive and exclusive.
In keeping with luxury market expectations, Airbnb expects its Luxe vacation rentals to provide a thematic experience, be that tranquility or excitement and for the collective experience to narrate a story. For example, the French Polynesian island with its own time zone that is available on Airbnb Luxe gives you a sense of being in your very own, beautiful, country.
Airbnb Luxe properties are expected to provide a slew of luxury services such as childcare, nanny, butler, concierge, restaurant concierge, chef, personal chef, massage therapist, yoga instructor, security guard, luxury guide, etc to be provided as part of the property’s standard service or be made available as an add-on. Hosts will work with trip designers to make sure all the special services and amenities requested by the guest are made available to them during their stay.
The in-person vetting process sees an Airbnb Home Consultant visit the property and perform a thorough walkthrough to make sure all the requisite standards of design and quality are met or being maintained. After the visit, the consultant will share their notes on areas that need to be upgraded or changed.
There are several scenarios in which Airbnb conducts inspections. These include:
All vacation rentals are inspected prior to their being accepted into Airbnb Luxe to ensure they meet the requisite standards as well as to ensure an accurate description of the listing.
Airbnb aims to vet each Luxe home prior to guest check-in. The team may schedule a visit a month ahead of the scheduled arrival or complete a pre-arrival readiness checklist instead.
Airbnb Luxe expects a 5-star review rating with each stay. If a listing does not receive a 5-star rating, Airbnb will evaluate the guest’s feedback, historical reviews, and inspection reports to decide if a quality check visit is required.
Based on the feedback shared by the guest to their dedicated trip designer, Airbnb may schedule another inspection if they have reported severe concerns or issues.
With Airbnb Luxe, guests first click on Contact a Trip Designer. This connects them with their dedicated Trip Designer who will try to ascertain what they are looking for so they can find them the right fit. For example, an accessible property for a guest with disabilities or a breathtaking, romantic, and secluded location for a couple planning their honeymoon.
Once the right property has been found, the guest can make a booking request. Hosts will receive an email and have 24 hours to accept or decline the request before it expires. The booking dates are blocked on the calendar until the host declines the pending request or it expires.
Hosts can also opt to utilize Instant Book, which confirms bookings immediately without the host’s involvement.
Airbnb Luxe hosts are expected to be a consummate professional. Many hosts also act as the concierge, coordinating with the trip designer and guests to ensure all requirements are met, that each stay goes smoothly and all services are provided. They also help set up luxe experiences like touring a vineyard in a helicopter or having a local chef cook up an authentic, gourmet tasting menu.
Airbnb charges its commission on the base/listing price, i.e. the amount entered into the calendar of the listing. Extra guest fees are also commissionable.
Similar to the regular Airbnb tier, Airbnb automatically collects and remits most Airbnb taxes in most cities. However, for areas that Airbnb does not, hosts can manually add the local tax to be collected and then remitted by them.
Luxe hosts cannot automatically cancel a confirmed reservation. Instead, they must reach out to the designated trip designer to do so. Airbnb expects Luxe hosts who are forced to cancel do so in a timely manner in order to allow their guests time to adjust their plans.
Being the luxury tier, the consequences of cancellation are much higher for hosts.
Luxe hosts are charged a cancellation fee, deducted from their first payout after cancellation, based on the terms of their Luxe Hosting agreement. However, if the host has completed at least 10 consecutive bookings without canceling or does so for reasons accepted by Airbnb, the cancellation fee may be waived.
Canceling a confirmed reservation may also result in those dates being blocked on your calendar so that you cannot accept a new booking with dates that overlap the canceled reservation.
If an Airbnb Luxe host cancels before the day of check-in, they are penalized with the posting of an automated review on their profile indicating they canceled a confirmed reservation. These reviews cannot be removed but hosts can write a public response explaining why they had to cancel.
If the host cancels on the day of check-in or later, guests can leave a public review on their profile.
If a host cancels 3 or more reservations in a year, Airbnb may suspend or deactivate their listing.
Airbnb Luxe hosts are allowed to cancel Instant Book reservations without incurring a penalty under certain circumstances such as
If a guest makes it clear they will break a house rule, such as smoking inside the home or bring their pets
If the listing does not fit the guest’s needs
If the guest has several bad reviews
If the guest’s profile lacks information that concerns the host
Upon contacting the trip designer with your request and reason to cancel, the final decision to apply an exception will be made by Airbnb.
Hosts who cancel too many Instant Book reservations may be required to turn off Instant Book.
Guests can cancel their reservation through the platform based on the cancellation policy active at the time of booking. The host receives notification of the cancellation and the dates are unblocked in the listing calendar.
Airbnb Luxe offers a number of cancellation policies. They are:
Guests can cancel up to 95 days before the check-in date to receive a full refund. After that the reservation is non-refundable.
Guests pay only 50% of the total accommodation fee if they cancel up to 30 days before the check-in date. After that the reservation is non-refundable.
Guests pay only 50% of the total accommodation fee if they cancel up to 60 days before the check-in date. After that the reservation is non-refundable.
Guests pay only 50% of the total accommodation fee if they cancel up to 95 days before the check-in date. After that the reservation is non-refundable.
Guests pay only 50% of the total accommodation fee if they cancel up to 125 days before the check-in date. After that the reservation is non-refundable.
The reservation is non-refundable.
Other aspects of canceling a reservation on Airbnb Luxe include:
All Airbnb Luxe trips are considered to begin at 3pm, local time, of the date of check-in, regardless of the guest’s scheduled check-in time. All cancellations are calculated based on this cutoff time.
Hospitality fees are refunded to guests when they cancel before the cutoff time of the check-in date.
Airbnb service fees are not refunded for any cancellations.
Both guests and hosts have the option to review each other and the stay experience. Luxe hosts can also publicly respond to their guest reviews on their listing.
Listings on Airbnb Luxe are rated on 6 values: