top of page

Airbnb's Luxury Select Program

Updated: Jun 18, 2018

Select is just the latest example of Airbnb’s effort to create a more standardized offering. Even its conventional hosts have reportedly come under pressure from the company to dial back on the idiosyncrasies that the site was famous for in its early days, when the key selling point for many tourists was the ability to “live like a local”, as one recent ad campaign put it.

Hosts are urged, for instance, to “learn from hotel bathrooms” – clearing bathroom counters of their own products and placing rolled-up towels in a basket – and “show personality, not personal items”. “Too many pictures of your dog and family might make [guests] feel uncomfortable,” the company notes.

Airbnb’s attempt to build a hotel-like experience goes further than simply pushing hosts to refine their homes, though. In a number of locations around the world, the company is actively partnering on the creation of hotel-like properties from construction onwards.

In Florida, for instance, an apartment building branded as “Niido powered by Airbnb” will see tenants in the 324 new-build flats, located just outside Orlando, encouraged to sublet their properties for up to half the year in exchange for paying a portion of the income to their landlord.

Partnering at the point of construction allows Airbnb hosts to offer the perks of their luxury apartments, such as swimming pools and other communal areas, to visitors without falling foul of their building’s regulations. And, of course, it allows Airbnb to dictate the design of the building to suit its travelers’ needs.

“This partnership shows how landlords, developers, and Airbnb can work together to create value for everyone and better serve tenants,” Jaja Jackson, Airbnb’s director of global multifamily housing partnerships, said in a statement on Thursday.

In Japan in 2016, Airbnb took an even more forthright step, experimenting with building a “community centre where travellers can also stay” in the village of Yoshino. The company responded forcefully to media reports that called the experiment a “hotel”, however, arguing that it wasn’t one, since “the Yoshino house is managed by and for the community, and 97% of the price charged by the hosts goes directly to the community”.

7 views0 comments


bottom of page