In 2007, two roommates living in San Francisco couldn’t afford to pay rent. So, they decided to put three air mattresses in their loft, converting it into an area where three people could live for the period of a conference, which had seen all the hotels in the area being booked. The pair also offered breakfast to their guests. They created a website, airbreadandbreakfast.com, for the same. Once they realized the value of the idea they had, they decided to create a company that would eventually become the most highly valued start-up of all time.
In this article, we will look at some of the facts and statistics related to this immensely successful company. We will then take a look at some of the weirdest places that you can book on Airbnb, then follow it up by looking at places that can cost hundreds of thousand dollars for just a single night!
Booking on Airbnb can be as easy as picking a house, and then paying for it immediately. Quick and convenient, just like this section of the listicle!
- Paris was the first non-American city for Airbnb to host a home.
- Airbnb hosted nearly 100,000 guests during the Rio World Cup.
- The first capital that was raised by Airbnb was via selling cereal for Barack Obama!
- Airbnb hosts have earned over 65 billion dollars via the platform.
- Over 100 cities across the world see more than 1 million Airbnb travelers each year.
- The air in the name comes from the fact that the founders rented out their air mattresses.
Quirky and Beautiful Places on Airbnb
Airbnb’s unique model of allowing anyone to host their homes on the platform allows for some genuinely wacky and quirky places to be rented. Here we will look at some of the wackiest and somehow beautifully weird locations that can be booked for a vacation on Airbnb. Keep in mind that this list was created in February of 2020, so there might help me some even more creative homes that one can rent when you read this!
1. You can rent an authentic Igloo made of snow for just $121/night!
Igloos are the traditional houses for any people living in the coldest regions of the world. The igloo is usually made up of ice blocks and can keep its insides more than 15 degrees warmer than the outside. You can rent an authentic igloo like the ones used by Eskimos. The igloo has 2 warm thermal sleeping bags and a fire pit to keep warm, along with LED lights. It is even possible to see the northern lights if you’re fortunate. The owner also has an apartment with heating available at all times of the day in case the guests feels like they cannot adjust to the cold of the igloo.
2. An actual hut made of mud, with no electric lighting, heating, or indoor plumbing:
If you’re not feeling up to the task of living in a fully furnished city home, and are tired of living in the 21st century, then you can always book this hut made of mud! This mud hut was hand-built by the hosts and their friends and family and is in the backyard of the hosts’ home. The hosts promise to provide the guest with home-brewed beer. The hut does not have any electric wiring whatsoever, with the only light coming in from the skylight built into the roof of the home. The hut is heated using a fireplace, for which the hosts are happy to provide the firewood. The guests can roam the gardens and pick berries, forgetting about their civilized life altogether.
3. Live life in the 800 AD in a Tipi and get 4 tickets to the Music Festival in Ponderosa:
A tipi is the traditional housing of the native American people, which consists of a triangular wooden frame with cloth and leather stretched over it. If you’ve been fascinated with the native American history and culture, then you will love this particular listing. It promises to provide the renter with a private six-person tipi, which would be pitched on the banks of the Kettle River. However, the main draw of this listing comes not from living in the 800 AD, but in the fact that the tipis are in the middle of the freshest new independent music festivals in Ponderosa, British Columbia. The package also includes a private camping ground, parking, and picnic table. It also includes four passes for the festival.
4. Private Island can be yours for just $695/night:
Have you ever read the news about a celebrity buying yet another private island for their personal news and felt really bad that you couldn’t do the same? This listing might cheer you up in that case! The Bird Island is listed on Airbnb for just $695 a night for one person, with $100 extra for every other guest. The listing is the entire bird Island, along with its neighbouring uninhabited islands for your own personal use. There is no one else except the guests on the island, not even the staff. The guests must cook and clean themselves, but when the prize is a private island with no other human for tens of miles around, it is definitely worth it!
5. You can rent an 1870s windmill in Amsterdam:
Amsterdam is known for its singular beauty, its hospitable people, and the peace and calm of its countryside. One of the best ways to experience this serene countryside is by staying in a building that was built in the 1870s for use by a miller. The windmill eventually stopped being used for milling and lay unused until the current owner bought it and turned it into a comfortable house for 6 people. The windmill features its original architecture with 3 beds, Wi-Fi, a balcony, and a garden. Guests can even rent bicycles and go on a biking tour of the nearby countryside and enjoy the picturesque locale.
6. Argghh Matey, yer could book a pirate’s ship on ArrrrBnB:
We have seen private islands and igloos for rent. We will go on to see chalets and mansions worth hundreds of thousand dollars with top-notch luxury. However, probably the most unique and weird property that one can book on Airbnb is an authentic pirate ship that currently sits on the Mississippi River. The ship has 3 bedrooms and can house 6 people comfortably. The ship has modern plumbing and kitchen spaces and can host up to 15 people for the purposes of a party. The ship even comes with a TV, a fireplace to stay warm, and even high-speed Wi-Fi! The only thing that the ship doesn’t do is sail, as it has been permanently grounded and supported to ensure that guests don’t have to have sea legs to enjoy their stay.
Expensive and Luxurious places on Airbnb
Airbnb is usually the go-to for people looking to vacation away from the structure of a staffed hotel or without being bothered by other individuals. These options are usually always cheaper than their equivalent hotel rooms. However, the locations mentioned in this section are not your run of the mill Airbnbs with a host catering to your needs. These locations are the most expensive places that can be rented on Airbnb as of the time of writing. These are villas, estates, and even entire islands for rent by groups of multiple people!
7. The most expensive property to be rented on Airbnb costs over $157,000 each night!:
Yes, that’s right. A single night in this place can cost you as much as the yearly salary of a Silicon Valley engineer. However, you do get full value for your money. The property is an entire island that has space for 52 guests, who are waited for hand on foot by a staff of 100 people. The island is called Nukutepipi and belongs to the co-founder of Cirque du Soleil who transformed the island into the perfect getaway for a billionaire. The island has everything, from a theatre to complimentary jet skis, to a team of gourmet chefs and a team of butlers to bring it to you. The island can only be booked for 7 days at a time, costing around 1.1 million dollars in total.
8. River Lodge in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa allows you to live in luxury and watch leopards for just $65,115 per night:
The Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa is the most famous game reserve in all of South Africa. The reserve boasts of the largest density of game population, with the Big 5, The Lion, The Leopard, The Cheetah, The Elephants, and The Cape Buffalo being represented strongly. If one wants to live the life of a billionaire while going to view these magnificent creatures, and one has around 400,000 dollars to throw around for a vacation, the River Lodge is the place to go. It can house up to 36 guests in 18 bedrooms, each with their own bathroom attached. The bedrooms all have king-sized beds and a private balcony that overlooks unique aspects of The Savannah. The rooms also come equipped with rain-showers, minibars, and a walk-in closet with dual vanities. The master bedroom also features a private pool and a hot tub. Along with all these amenities, the lodge also features 2 fully trained gourmet chefs to prepare all your meals for you, as well as providing a picnic basket to take along with yourself for safaris and other outings. All this and more can be yours for as little as $65,115 a night! The lodge has a 4-day minimum stay requirement.
9. Amilla Villa Estate located on the Baa Atoll in the Maldives is available for up to $59,000/night: Do you fancy a luxurious beach escape from your city life? Do you want to sit a mocktail from a coconut while sitting in the lap of opulence? Look no further than the Amilla Villa Estate on the Baa Atoll in the Maldives. This villa estate only has six bedrooms and can host a maximum of twelve guests. There is a staff of 20 associated with the villa, including a chef, a butler, and even a lifeguard in case you desire to use his services. The villa features a fully stocked gourmet kitchen, with a separate breakfast bar, a terrace to sunbath, two pools, indoor and outdoor, and outdoor balconies for all the bedrooms. The Villa also comes with its own private beachfront, where no-one other than the villa residents is allowed to go. There is even a private theatre so you can sit down and enjoy a movie with your friends and family.
10. The Stein Residence Ski Lodges in Park City, Utah are rented for $50,000/night:
People pay a hefty amount of money to take ski vacations, but if one goes to this particular Stein Residence Ski Lodge, you can expect the absolute last word in opulent luxury. The lodge sits right on top of the ski route, which flows around the entire chain of properties, making them ski in – ski outhouses. The lodge features an outdoor infinity pool, indoor warm pool, both indoor and outdoor hot tubs, outdoor spa and massage parlor, gourmet kitchens, 5 bedrooms, a Gym, and private access to the ski run. You also get a staff of 15 people waiting on your every need, including a gourmet chef, housekeepers, and a butler. All this will cost you, though! A single night in a Stein Residence lodge can cost as much as 50,000 dollars, with tax separate! Most of these lodges require a minimum period of 5 days to be booked, as the staff and equipment need to be prepared, so a vacation at this luxurious mansion might set you as much as 300,000 dollars back.
(Source: Stein Erikson)
11. The Kinloch Estate in the Acacia Bay New Zealand rents for $34,565 for one night!:
After watching Lord of the Rings, one cannot be faulted for wanting to visit the breathtaking vistas of New Zealand. The best way to experience these vistas is directly from living in the landscape itself, which is exactly what the Kinloch Estate offers to its guests. The estate features 20 bedrooms, with a capacity of housing 56 guests. These guests all get to stay in private villas, most of which have one or two bedrooms. Each villa has its own set of amenities from private terraces, to fully stocked minibars, to even an Alfresco Rain Shower, if one desires to experience nature while lying immersed in a tub of hot water.
12. The Hidden Palace in Bali, Indonesia, can be yours for just $32,250 a night!:
Bali has long since been known as a paradise for anyone who loves nature and being in the outdoors. For the nature enthusiasts who desire extreme luxury while going out to look elephants and rhinos, there is The Hidden Palace. The Palace has two outdoor infinity pools, fully equipped chef’s kitchen, dishwasher, ice maker, cable television, integrated sound system, Wi-Fi, air-conditioned bedrooms, security camera – bar/living area, 2 Infinity swimming pools – unheated, Alfresco dining with seating for 10, outdoor living area, sauna bed, sun loungers, mountain bikes. There are a minimum number of walls to allow seamless access from the outside to the inside.
13. Contemporary Caribbean Villa on the beach at the Caicos Islands costs $31,050 for a single night: The ocean laps the pristine white sands of the Grace Bay, just steps away from this massive and well-appointed villa situated at the Caicos Islands. This villa features a large infinity pool surrounded by 3 large buildings, with a combined total of 10 bedrooms. These bedrooms can house up to 20 guests, with all of them getting private balconies with unique vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. The villa can be host to a small private wedding or birthday party, with an event manager available to plan any and all events. They even provide a professional sommelier if the guests desire to have a tequila or wine tasting. Not all of the features of the villa can be mentioned in this short article, but all of them will set you back nearly 31,050 dollars for each night.
14. La Chartreuse de Cos d’Estournel is a castle in Saint-Estèphe, France and costs $29,690 per night to rent:
A full staff, vintage wine collection, and authentic French architecture transform the Cos d’Estournel vineyard into a fairytale. Roam the stately mansion with antique furnishings and chandeliers, walk the formal gardens with decorative fountains and tasting nooks, and observe every aspect of the historic vineyard. A full spa, library, and pools add diversions, and charming Bordeaux is your playground.
Facts and Statistics
Now that we understand the weird and opulent side of Airbnb, we can take a look at the business side of the operation. Here we will mention the various statistics and facts about the company that you may not have known about the multi-billion dollar company.
15. Airbnb has been valued at 38 billion dollars according to the most recent reports:
Airbnb is one of the most successful start-ups in the world, with only Uber and Xiaomi being valued higher than it. As of 2018, Airbnb purchased the last minute hotel booking website, hoteltonight.com, the release of documents that the deal caused revealed that Airbnb was valued at nearly 35 billion dollars. This was 10 billion dollars more than their earlier valuation of 25 billion dollars when they managed to raise 1.5 billion dollars in a private funding round, the biggest of the time. However, Airbnb surpassed all expectations when in 2019, they paid out dividends to their shareholders, revealing in the process that their company has been valued at an astounding 38 billion dollars, marking it as the third most profitable in the world, far ahead of their hotel counterparts.
16. There are more than 7 million listings available across the globe:
To understand the rapid spread of Airbnb in today’s world, the best statistic to keep in mind is the total number of listing across the world. Airbnb has steadily increased the number of hosts that host properties on its platform, which went from just the founder’s old air mattresses to much more than 7 million listings across the world. There are over 3 million people who list their properties on Airbnb. Except for homes and rooms for rent on Airbnb, there are even 40,000 experiences listed on the platform.
17. Airbnb has been adopted by hosts in over one hundred thousand cities:
The 7 million listings on Airbnb are spread out over 100,000 cities, in over 220 countries, across the world, with a majority of these listings being in the United States of America and the United Kingdom. The most commonly listed kind of property on Airbnb are one-bedroom apartments, with the second most typical property being spare bedrooms in standalone houses. Airbnb’s most recent addition to the platform is ‘Experiences,’ which entail hosts leading the guests through a specific activity or experience, like pottery or even samurai sword arts. These experiences can be found in over 1,000 cities across the world.
18. Airbnb was one of the first American companies to do business in Cuba after the Obama administration lifted business restrictions:
Cuba has been under a commercial, economic, and financial embargo by the United States of America since 1958. This embargo completely envelopes all businesses and exports to Cuba, except for food, medicine, and other humanitarian supplies. However, in 2015, the Obama administration relaxed the embargo to allow some businesses to operate offices and services in Havana, Cuba. Airbnb took advantage of this relaxation to be one of the first American companies to work in the country. Airbnb stated that they would “aggressively expand” in Cuba, and soon were drawing nearly 60 million dollars in revenue from Havana alone. The country welcomed the tremendous boom in business, as homeowners found a steady source of income owing to Havana’s tourism economy. However, Airbnb saw a fall in revenue after the Trump administration tightened these restrictions again.
19. Airbnb can be as much as 50% cheaper than hotels in the same area of a city:
Airbnb is known as a cheaper alternative to hotels. However, the most surprising fact is that in some city Airbnbs can be as much as 50% less expensive than hotel offering to house the same number of people. The average rates for Airbnbs are usually around 12% cheaper than their so-called professional counterparts.
20. Hotel chains are adopting home shares, and Airbnb allows for booking hotel rooms:
Airbnb was long known to be the major competition for major hotel chains. The two industries, home-sharing and hotel, are fundamentally different as they tend to focus on different types of travelers, with business travelers going for hotel chains and the vacationers opting to go for home-sharing. There have been many articles written about the differences between the two, and about how Airbnb was causing the hotel industry to tank, or even how Airbnb will cause all hotels to shut down. However, instead of one industry killing another, they simply decided to co-exist. Most hotel companies are establishing home-sharing options on their online platforms, and Airbnb has started to allow hotels to put their rooms on their platform.
21. Airbnb purchased the luxury travel booking agency Luxury Retreats for 200 million dollars:
While Airbnb might be intent on maintaining its image as a platform that allows people to rent out their houses on the cheap and earn some revenue on the side. These houses are typically owned and managed by individuals looking to supplement their income. However, this image took a big hit when Airbnb decided to purchase the luxury villa rental service luxuryretreats.com. This platform excels in owning and operating location which caters to medium-sized groups (up to 50 – 70 people) who want to live in opulent luxury. These properties tend to rent for around 15,000 to 20,000 dollars on average.
22. Airbnb has hosted over 500 million guests across its lifetime: As more and more homes are put for rent on the Airbnb platform, the number of people who can vacation using the platform is rising. In the 11 years of its existence, Airbnb has allowed more than 500 million guests to find houses to stay in for their vacation trips. The number has been rising steadily, with most recent estimates suggesting that, on average, more than 2 million people stay on Airbnb every night.
23. There are over 4,900 castles listed on Airbnb, and even 2,400 tree houses!:
Castles are essentially just homes for the royalty, and of course, since they are homes, they can be listed on Airbnb. In fact, there are early 4,900 castles listed on Airbnb at the current moment. These castles come in all sizes from small-sized housing just a couple of people to large-sized housing, nearly 45 – 50 people in complete luxury. However, castles are not the only weird kinds of houses that are available on the platform. There are even tree houses! There are more than 2,400 treehouses available to rent on Airbnb.
24. Each host with Airbnb is covered with insurance worth 1 million dollars:
When inviting strangers from the internet to live in their houses, it is natural to feel apprehension for the safety of the host and house that the guest would be living in. However, to prevent any untoward incident, Airbnb has something called a ‘host guarantee.’ This is a 1 million dollar insurance policy that covers all house rentals in every country around the world, except Japan, which has very stringent rules about rental insurance. Japanese Airbnbs are covered by a different insurance policy, which still covers them for 1 million dollars.
25. Airbnb hosted free apartments and houses in New York after Hurricane Sandy hit:
While it might seem that Airbnb has been embroiled in plenty of controversies within the recent few years, it is valuable to know that they still try to do some good in the communities that they have houses in. After hurricane Sandy hit the coast of New York City, it devasted a large amount of infrastructure, causing a large number of people to lose their homes and become homeless. However, Airbnb decided to offer all their properties in New York City for free, obviously with the consent of the owners of the said properties.
(Source: CNN Business)