Lonely Planet Writer

More lavish Airbnb rentals are on the way as company acquires Luxury Retreats

Many budgets travellers scour Airbnb to find a cheap spare room to sleep in, but high-end travellers will soon have more selection on the home-rental site as Airbnb expands its luxury offerings.

Airbnb has acquired Luxury Retreats, a Montreal-based luxury vacation rental company, which offers more than 4000 homes in 100 destinations around the world. Naturally, those destinations are favourites among the rich and famous, as the company’s lists among its top spots St-Barthe, Barbados, Tuscany, Palm Springs, and Turks and Caicos.

The luxury site offers “high-quality listings, world class concierge service and a range of amenities,” according to an Airbnb statement. For the time being, Luxury Retreats will remain its own entity and those properties will be available through their platform, but all its offerings will eventually be integrated into Airbnb.

Setting itself apart from a humble Airbnb rental, Luxury Retreats employs “dedicated villa specialists” who help guests find the perfect place to stay. Even as it joins Airbnb, that support will remain for those travellers in search of the perfect high-end rental.

Airbnb is not without its own list of incredibly luxurious properties – ranging from lavish yurts, one-of-a-kind treehouses and historic castles. But the acquisition of Luxury Retreats will take things to the next level, with some incredibly swanky offerings, such as Richard Branson’s private Necker Island in the Caribbean – which will set guests back $80,000 per night.

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