19 Jul 2019

Thirteen sprawling New Zealand properties have made it onto Airbnb’s new website, Airbnb Luxe, with one home costing $18,696 NZD per night. 

All located in the South Island near Queenstown and Wanaka, the Kiwi luxury homes start at $1,200 per night. 

“Given New Zealand has long set the benchmark for award-winning architecture and design, we’re delighted that a number of exceptional Kiwi properties have been included in this outstanding selection of homes,” an Airbnb spokesperson said. 

The homes listed in the South Island include an eco-friendly, architecture award-winning, three-bedroom home sitting on 50 acres by Lake Wanaka. 

It boasts heated floors, geometric wood-clad ceilings and an alfresco fireplace, just 11km from Treble Cone. 

Holiday home in Lake Wanaka

Inside an award-winning home in Lake Wanaka which is $3,900 NZD per night

The homes come with optional add-ons such as private chef and butler services, spa services, drivers and childcare 

Although an Airbnb spokesperson couldn’t confirm how many bookings the Kiwi mansions have had so far, they said, “All the New Zealand properties have been very well received”. 

Other locations for the extravagant handpicked homes are spread worldwide from Tuscany to Bali and were acquired from a different rental website, Luxury Retreats, that Airbnb bought in 2017. 

It’s a far cry from how Airbnb’s co-founders, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, started the company 11 years ago, which was launched by renting three inflated airbeds out of their San Francisco apartment. 

Airbeds developed into spare rooms, to homes for rent, and now luxury mansions that are available by the night. 

They even have The Fleming Villa in Jamaica on their listings, where Ian Fleming wrote his famous James Bond novels. 

The online market place for hospitality reported a 60% increase in bookings for listings worth at least $1,000USD per night in 2018 

“Today’s luxury traveler is craving more than just high-end accommodation; they seek transformation and experiences that leave them feeling more connected to each other and to their destination,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in a press release. 

One of the most exclusive options on the site is a whole private island in French Polynesia, Nukutepipi, that costs $150,000 per night.  It sleeps up to 52 guests in its 21 bedrooms.