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Preserving the Luxe: Necessary Shifts to Prevent Airbnb Luxe from Echoing Plus’s Downfall

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By: Brad Greiner, CEO of Open Air Homes and OpenAiRE Brokerage

Decoding Airbnb Luxe: Luxury, Personalization, and a Price to Pay

Ever strolled through the virtual alleys of Airbnb and come across properties that make your jaw drop, not just because of their ostentatious allure but also their staggering price points? 

Welcome to Airbnb Luxe, a category that extends far beyond a simple stay by weaving experiences that are bespoke, extravagant, and notably distinct from the regular and Plus listings on the platform.

In 2019, Airbnb, intertwining Luxury Retreats International’s properties into its offerings, unveiled Luxe, aiming to not just provide a place to stay but to curate a journey.  A short two years after their purchase of Luxury Retreats.  

Luxe offers more than just opulent stays, it crafts personal experiences, offering amenities that may range from a chauffeured airport pick-up to a private butler, ensuring that the journey is as much a luxury as the stay itself. From penthouses and manors to islands, the properties under Luxe are a spectacle of luxury and personalized travel experiences, where each detail is meticulously crafted to meet the desires of the guest. 

Luxe Benefits: Affluence Tailored to Individual Needs

With Airbnb Luxe, guests receive a dedicated trip designer, intended to tailor the journey from booking to checkout, available 24/7 to ensure a seamless, trouble-free experience. These listings are not merely vetted but meticulously scrutinized, with over 300 criteria to be met, ensuring that guests are not just paying for luxury in terms of property but in every stitch of their experience, from balanced bedroom-to-bathroom ratios to additional, tailored amenities.

This “bespoke travel” model ensures a customizable experience. Imagine requesting a temporary volleyball court at your beachfront property or having the kitchen stocked with your favorites upon arrival – Luxe aims to personalize your stay in extravagantly meticulous detail. 

The Critic’s Lens: What Needs Reconsideration?

With a personalized trip designer, customizable experiences, and properties that speak of unparalleled luxury, Airbnb Luxe has woven a unique narrative in the travel industry. But the true question is, does it need some re-tuning to ensure it does not mirror the fate of the now-defunct Plus program?

While Luxe is undeniably an enthralling offering, it commands a higher fee from hosts, forcing them into using their concierge services and disrupting the traditional, familiar system hosts have grown accustomed to in the standard marketplace. Luxe, in its current format, seems to demand a premium not just from the guests but also from the hosts, necessitating a rethink in its operational model.

The Path Forward: Retaining Luxe, Enhancing Experience, Ensuring Profitability

For Luxe to ensure it does not walk down the path carved by Plus, a recalibration of its model is essential, aligning it with the needs and profitability matrix of the hosts while ensuring guests continue to bask in the luxury it promises. The solution may lie in charging identical fees to hosts on Luxe as it does on the regular marketplace, ensuring hosts are not financially disincentivized to offer their properties under this category. This, coupled with enhancing the program to ensure guests continue to experience unparalleled luxury, could be the key to ensuring the longevity and success of Luxe.

In summary, while Airbnb Luxe has beautifully redefined luxury travel with its personalized, bespoke experiences, ensuring its sustainability and success will require a careful re-evaluation and perhaps a re-adjustment of its operational model to ensure it remains lucrative for hosts while continuing to offer guests the sumptuous, personalized experiences it has become synonymous with.

In the upcoming segments, we will delve deeper into the components that define Luxe, exploring stories of experiences, and charting out the critical changes that could redefine its trajectory in the future. Stay tuned as we embark on this luxurious journey together.

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