Hosts with the most

Airbnb opens doors to exclusive new high-end rental service in Austin

Airbnb opens doors to exclusive new high-end rental service in Austin

Airbnb Austin apartment downtown skyline view
Airbnb has launched the exclusive service in only 13 cities across the world — including Austin. Photo courtesy of Airbnb

Do you have friends coming to Austin who are hunting for Airbnb rentals? Do you live in Austin and list your home on Airbnb? Both groups of people can take advantage of a new top-tier service from Airbnb.

Austin is one of only 13 cities around the world where Airbnb has launched Airbnb Plus, which features properties that “have been personally verified for quality and comfort,” the company says.

Airbnb says all Airbnb Plus homes have been inspected to ensure they comply with a more than 100-point checklist based on cleanliness, comfort, and design. “Airbnb Plus is intended for guests looking for beautiful homes, exceptional hosts, and added peace of mind,” the company says.

Among other things, an Airbnb Plus property must have:

  • Thoughtful, cohesive interior design.
  • A neutral or pleasant aroma in each room.
  • Two sets of plush towels, hand towels, and washcloths in each bathroom.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • At least eight hangers and an empty drawer or shelf for guests’ clothes.

Although Airbnb Plus homes bear a stamp of approval from Airbnb, they’re not necessarily expensive to rent. For instance, a “cheerful” three-bedroom, one-bathroom Barton Springs bungalow was going for a little over $100 per night on February 26, whereas an “eclectic” two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom home in East Austin was priced around $200 per night.

Aside from Austin, Airbnb Plus has been rolled out in Chicago; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Barcelona, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa; London; Melbourne and Sydney, Australia; Milan and Rome, Italy; Shanghai, China; and Toronto. In all, about 2,000 Airbnb Plus homes are currently available.

While guests are treated to well-vetted accommodations, Airbnb Plus hosts gain top placement on the company’s website, access to in-home services such as design consultation and high-quality photography, and top-level customer service.

To qualify for the Airbnb Plus program, a host must:

  • Have at least one stay.
  • Have reviews with an average rating of at least 4.8 stars.
  • Accept 95 percent of reservations.
  • Have not had any last-minute cancellations in the past year.
  • Rent out an entire home, or a private room with a private bathroom.

In mid-2018, Airbnb plans to add 13 more locations to the Airbnb Plus program: Athens, Greece; Auckland, New Zealand; Bali; Beijing and Chengdu, China; Crete; Lisbon, Portugal; Mexico City; Montreal; Phoenix; Prague, Czech Republic; Riviera Maya, Mexico; and Seattle.

By the end of this year, Airbnb envisions having more than 75,000 Airbnb Plus homes in over 50 markets around the world.