The 8 Most Extraordinary Airbnbs Around the World
The online platform has launched a new Luxe venture stocked with lavish getaways, from a rustic Italian villa to an entire island in French Polynesia
Last June, vacation rental website Airbnb made its debut in the luxury market with the launch of Airbnb Luxe, a platform dedicated to high-end homes that not only feature impeccable design but also stellar service. Its 2,000-plus listings across the world are culled from the offerings of Luxury Retreats, a company purchased by Airbnb back in 2017, and range from posh penthouses to paradisical tropical villas to regal châteaux. It is a far cry from Airbnb’s early days, when it was a tech start-up favored by the couch-surfing community looking for cheap stays in spare rooms around the world. With each Airbnb Luxe booking, guests are treated to a dedicated trip designer, who can organize any number of services, from personal chefs to airport transfers to private spa treatments.
We’ve perused the rentals—all of which are spectacular in their own right—to bring you our favorites.
A Provençal dream, the 18th-century Château d’Estoublon is renowned for its olive oil and its wines, which it has produced for centuries. After arriving at the 500-acre property, drive down the cypress-lined allée in the rolling hills of the countryside to discover a ten-bedroom manse that perfectly blends historic architecture with modern interiors. Though the château is conveniently located between Avignon and Arles, there may not be a reason to leave its grounds—you can stroll through the rose garden, take a dip in the pool, or relax in the Turkish hammam. $11,026 per night
Though it’s only 15 minutes from bustling Ubud, Villa Kelusa’s location on eight private acres in the Balinese hills feels delightfully secluded. The property comprises 2 two-bedroom pavilions, Pondok Sapi and Pondok Surya, which both have indoor-outdoor living spaces with infinity pools overlooking rice paddies; truly spectacular baths, including one with an open-air stone shower and another with an elegant teak tub; and contemporary chef’s kitchens. $684 per night
This former 19th-century artist’s cottage in London has been transformed into the luxe Wetherby Place, a five-bedroom holiday home with impeccable modern decor. Most impressive of its many features is the private garden, which connects to the living room through a retractable glass wall. Though the property feels like a secluded oasis, it’s within walking distance of shopping and dining in Kensington and Chelsea, as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum. $2,353 per night
As far as scenic landscapes go, New Zealand’s South Island is one of the best destinations in the world, and the Hawk House in Queensberry puts you right in the middle of some pretty gorgeous views. Tucked into a hillside overlooking the vineyards and mountains of the region, the three-bedroom house features striking modern architecture, most notably an angled wood ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows. Hawk House is just a 25-minute drive from Wanaka and an hour from Queenstown, so it’s easy to access shopping and dining as well as more adventurous outdoor activities. $770 per night
If a stand-alone villa isn’t secluded enough for you, how about renting your own private island in French Polynesia? Nukutepipi, owned by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, can accommodate up to 52 guests across 21 bedrooms housed in beachfront bungalows and jungle villas. There’s also a staff of 100 to tend to guests, including a private chef and housekeepers, whose services are included in the rental fee—rates start at about one million dollars per night. Spend the day biking around the island, going whale watching, or indulging in treatments at the spa. At night, head to the observation deck to take in the stars. Price upon request
Indulge in old-world Tuscany at the rustic-luxe San Regolo villa just 30 minutes from Siena, nestled among hillside olive groves. The five-bedroom property has all you’d expect from a quintessential Tuscan home—exposed stone walls, plenty of arches, and wood-beamed ceilings, to name a few touches—as well as contemporary details like an infinity pool and a chef’s kitchen. $2,226 per night
Set just a few miles outside of Marrakech, the Dar Moucha villa is surrounded by gardens and anchored by a sprawling pool complex centered around an island of loungers. Inside, the home is decidedly modern: Take, for instance, the double-height central hall with all-white walls adorned with geometric patterns that recall Moorish tile work, a polished-concrete floor, and a sculptural water feature. $1,389 per night
It’s all about the view at the Burj Gate Penthouse, a luxurious four-bedroom duplex apartment that overlooks nearby Downtown Dubai, including the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The decor here is a bit over the top—par for the course in opulent Dubai—with a combination of Art Deco, midcentury, and contemporary details. But if you want to feel like a member of the Emirati elite for a day, this is the place to do it. $545 per night