Airbnb Luxe: a first look
02/02/2019|2:35:45 PM|CNTraveler

Two years ago, we wrote about Airbnb's new acquisition, Luxury Retreats, a high-end mansion, villa, and penthouse rental company that they would eventually turn into Airbnb Luxe. We were excited. But then... Nothing. Radio silence. Until today, when poking around the homeshare booking site's London offerings, we found, well, Airbnb Luxe.

While there is no central page for Luxe homes around the world yet—nor are you actually able to book, since these listings are the beginning of Airbnb's tests—the site is already showcasing ten ultra-luxe homes in London alone. Among those listed? A four-bedroom penthouse in Mayfair, with an all-black dining room for up to 12; a modern two-bed in Fitzrovia with floor-to-ceiling windows and a large outdoor terrace; and light-filled suite in Piccadilly, with more windows than we can count and room for eight to sleep.

Tag-lined "extraordinary homes with five-star everything," the Luxe homes could offer a ton of amenities at additional cost, based on the information put up on the site now, all organized thorough a dedicated Luxury Retreats "Trip Designer," who acts as your travel agent/concierge to customize your trip. Want someone to pick you up from the airport? Done. Need childcare? They can do that, too. Want a chef? How about a butler? Or even just a fully stocked fridge with fresh groceries when you arrive? Yes, yes, and yes. There's no news yet as to how much each will cost, or if all will be an option at every home.

Over the years, Airbnb has been upping its luxury levels, first offering private rooms in hosts' homes and entire apartments under its regular Airbnbs, and then launching Airbnb Plus in 2018, which added personally inspected homes that meet a 100-point checklist for amenities and design. 

Now, Luxe seems to be joining the family, in theory, bringing in travelers who wouldn't have considered Airbnb's more basic options before. Of course, how the site looks and acts may completely change by the time it's fully up and running—so check back to see what the final Airbnb Luxe looks like soon.

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