Airbnb has given travelers a new option—and it's one they're taking advantage of. Life to date, the company, which is ranked No. 5 in CNBC's 2015 Disruptor's list, says it has booked 30 million nights with guests and is approaching 1 million guests per night.
Venture capitalists have put in more than $682 million in funding, and talk of an IPO is heating up fast. And the company's growth in Europe has now surpassed that of its domestic expansion.
There are plenty of budget options for travelers on Airbnb, ranging from renting a couch or room in someone's home to leasing a modest house. But there are also plenty of luxury offerings as well.
With more than 1 million listings on the site—and accounting for people's varying tastes—it's impossible to declaratively say these are the most luxurious properties available, but odds are, you won't be too upset with any of these accommodations.
—By Chris Morris
Posted 05 June 2015
Pictured here: The Villa Machiavelli, on the outskirts of Florence in the Chianti Classico region, can accommodate 20 guests.
Want to live like a celebrity? This 6,000-square-foot six-bedroom house off Mulholland Drive boasts glass walls, a heated saltwater pool, three fireplaces and 12 decks. And according to the owner, the neighbors are celebrities (though, naturally, no names are given). Luxury like this isn't cheap, though. The nightly rate is $1,395.
Adjacent to both an olive grove and a vineyard in the Chianit Classico region, this 10-bedroom villa sleeps up to 20 people. It's got everything you need to feel like European royalty, including chandeliers, fresco-lined walls, antique furniture and large, open terraces.
Designed by Michelangelo, Villa Machiavelli (yep, built by family of the Renaissance master) was constructed in the 14th century. The current owners took over in 2001 and invested several million dollars to bring it back to its former glory. That might explain the $7,782 nightly rate.
Get away from it all in this five-bedroom villa overlooking the Nosy Be sea. This facility, located in a gated community on the island republic, has a pool, outdoor cinema/projector and a staff that's at your disposal during the day to help with planning and arranging trips, cleaning and cooking. The cost is a reasonable $324 per night.
Looking out over the Atlantic Ocean from any house on the Massachusetts coast sounds great, but here's your chance to do so from the historic Wings Neck Lighthouse. Located in the Pocasset village of Bourne, the facility was built in 1889 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Guests stay in the adjacent three-bedroom keepers home and can access the 360-degree ocean views by way of a mahogany spiral staircase. It's a private facility—with its own private beach—and rents for $500 per night.
The Sintra region of Portugal has been home to several summer palaces throughout its history. Quinta dos Cisnes didn't house kings or queens, but you might not realize that at first glance.
Located on a three-acre estate, with tended gardens and an in-house butler, it's just 30 minutes from Lisbon and 15 minutes from Guincho beach and puts the focus squarely on romance. Cost is $1,760 per night.
Set on a shore at the southern tip of this island nation, Thalpe House is six-bedroom getaway that's as well suited for families as it is for adults. It features a nursery and large selection of children's books and games—and has an alarm on the pool for parental peace of mind.
Traveling without kids? The fully staffed house comes with a chef, house manager and three houseboys to cater to your whims. There's a nearby protected beach, with a larger, public one a short walk away. The price tag: $800 per night.
Offering stunning panoramic views of Lake Lucerne and the surrounding mountains, this seven-bedroom villa is convenient to the nearby city and its variety of offerings. It's set on a 1.5-acre property and offers outdoor dining options as well as a pool to cool your heels in (though you won't be able to swim in it). A $731-per-night experience.
Built in 1968 and restored in 2011, this five-bedroom villa, situated right outside of Santa Barbara, features a Moorish design. Gilded ceilings and French doors set the tone, with a 1904 Steinway Baby Grand punctuating the luxury.
Cook your meals at either the massive indoor kitchen or the outdoor kitchen, near a courtyard pool that offers seating for 10. Afterward trek over to the open sand fire pit to enjoy the sunset—all for $950 per night.
Two miles away from the heart of Music City, this five-bedroom home is within walking distance of several music venues. There's nothing country about the accommodations, though, which boast 15-foot ceilings and a hand-carved staircase and several Victorian features. The house's convenience and individuality will cost you $1,500 per night.
A home in the clouds overlooking an elephant sanctuary might seem like a candidate for a hefty price tag, but this $227-per-night abode defies the odds, perhaps because of its remote location (south of Mombasa). The four-bedroom house sits on the Shimba Hills ridge—and is so high up that some mornings find you in the clouds, which burn off and let you look for elephants, monkeys and more in the wild below. And if you get tired of watching wildlife, a beach is roughly half an hour away.