April 17, 2018
By Adele Chan
All budding entrepreneurs should know the grand tale of Brian Chesky, the founder of Airbnb — he started it as “Airbed and Breakfast” while literally lying on an air mattress. And ask any travelling millennial (that’s almost all of them), you’ll see the Airbnb app installed in their iPhone / Samsung / Huawei / Oppo. People who stay at Airbnbs are usually after one of two things: 1) a cheaper stay than hotels, 2) an “authentic”, local and unique experience. I’ve stayed in a few Airbnbs, and I have to say — it’s not about luck how your accommodation will turn out; it’s just research. The review section is really important, and so is searching outside of Airbnb for actual, non-photoshopped pictures of the place. But I know what you’re thinking — it’s not a hotel! Those photos don’t exist! True. Which brings us to Airbnb’s newest offering: Airbnb Plus.
Photo credit: Airbnb
Airbnb Plus is like a more premium tier of homes offered, including apartments in boutique hotels. The service launched about a month ago and has already amassed 20,000 Hosts who have applied to be listed on it. But now with higher quality requirements, not everyone gets through; which means a better curated list for the rest of us. This video gives a good overview of what “Plus” means:
Perhaps even more exciting, later this year, Airbnb is launching what they call “Beyond”, which is their luxury arm. See here:
It looks like Airbnb is going to start listing rich people’s homes… and add on luxurious experiences to the package. And it’s not a bad thing if you have the money to spare! In fact, you can already find pretty amazing (and expensive) properties on the site now, but with this new categorisation of “Plus” and “Beyond”, Airbnb is grouping them together and recommending them to us upfront.
Many of the Airbnb Plus homes have an abundance of natural light streaming in to the properties, and that’s what contributes to such great pictures.
One of the main reasons why I would stay at an Airbnb instead of a hotel, would be SPACE. This Airbnb Plus home had two separate bedrooms and a full kitchen and living / dining area; needless to say, it was very comfortable for me and my travelling partner.
This particular unit is also located along Flinders Lane, which is adjacent to Melbourne’s famous Degraves Street, which is buzzing with cafes. It’s also a short walk to Flinders Street Station and Federation Square — the heart of town.
The above photo shows the view looking down from our apartment. This is a whole stretch of cafes — all of which make excellent toasties and coffee!
Although this Plus home was definitely a step up from the last “regular” Airbnb I stayed in, I’m more excited about the curation of “Beyond” properties. If they are a glorious list of places like this one (see photos below) that I just found on the site, Airbnb has certainly taken their business model and have gone up and beyond.
Photo credit: Airbnb
Airbnb Plus is available now at www.airbnb.com.sg, with Airbnb Beyond rolling out in full soon.
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