Airbnb has announced Airbnb Plus, a new premium service that aims to attract wealthier guests and “exceptional” hosts.
The hospitality company has created a “100+ point quality” system for grading Airbnb Plus rentals, which inspectors will visit in person. The hosts themselves must be rated at least 4.8 (out of 5) before Airbnb grants them the “Plus” badge on their profiles.
With the “Plus” rating comes guaranteed amenities such as fast WiFi, kitchen essentials, bottled water, and extra-comfy beds. The point system also accounts for things that are more difficult to measure on a checklist, such as decoration consistency, manicured outdoor spaces, general tidiness, and “personal character.”
Despite the luxury branding, Airbnb Plus locations won’t necessarily have over-the-top prices. CEO Brian Chesky said the average Plus location won’t set you back more than $250 USD per night.
Airbnb hosts will have to fork over $149 USD to join the new service, but they will see benefits on their end as well. Plus hosts will get a higher ranking in Airbnb searches and can charge higher rates.
The announcement of Airbnb Plus in San Francisco was accompanied with previews of “Airbnb Beyond”, which bundles local experiences with rentals, and “Collections”, lists of homes suited for specific kinds of travel, like business trips and family vacations Both services promise new luxury experiences for the kind of traveler Airbnb is hoping to attract with Airbnb Plus.
Explaining the reason for the launch, Airbnb Director of Engineering Surabhi Gupta said, “There are a bunch of guests that aren’t considering us today, they’ve written us off because they think ‘Airbnb doesn’t have a product for me.'”
“We do believe that we have a product for a whole spectrum of travelers, but we haven’t made it easy for you as a guest to find those options.”
At this moment there are over 2,000 Airbnb Plus locations in 13 cities across the globe, from Los Angeles to London to Shanghai.
Here are five freshly minted Plus locations for you to drool over: