Airbnb announced Thursday the acquisition of Luxury Retreats, a Montreal, Canada based luxury vacation-rental service. Airbnb’s purchase highlights the focus on the upscale vacation-rental industry, undergoing increased consolidation.
According to Luxury Retreats, the company will remain as-is in the near term, and eventually be merged into the Airbnb system. This makes plenty of sense as Airbnb works to expand its reach and widen its range of offerings. Luxury Retreats CEO Joe Poulin, per the article, will lead Airbnb’s luxury-homes business.
This represents Airbnb’s first luxury acquisition, expanding its “core urban-accommodations” market into luxury, exotic locales, and fancy destinations. Currently, Luxury Retreats operates over 4,000 luxury villas in 100+ destinations. It has served over half a million travelers with its army of 200+ travel experts. These experts are tasked to find the “perfect home” for guests.
Unfortunately, no acquisition price was disclosed, but the company reports roughly $200 million per year in gross bookings. At a 5-10% profit rate, that comes to between $10 and $20 million per year.
Airbnb’s New Specialty Villa Listings
Some notable Luxury Retreats listings include magnate Richard Branson’s Necker Island retreat in the British Virgin Islands, which accommodates as many as 34 guests and rents out at $80,000 a night; Chateau Petit Versailles, a 14-bedroom French chateau in Vienna, also sleeping 34 guests and renting out at $27,002 a night; and Amilla Villa Estate, a six-bedroom property on Baa Atoll in the Maldives with room for up to 11 guests, with rates from $25,330 to $50,330 per night.
I could see splitting the stays makes it a more manageable cost, for several hundred to a couple thousand per person per night in these amazing locations. For the wealthy, these villas represent a luxurious way to travel, accompanied by Luxury Retreats’ full-service concierges to handle all requests. What a life to live!
I previously wrote about AccorHotels acquiring Travel Keys, another similar luxury-villa rental company. Travel Keys operates in many of the same destinations, with a slightly larger portfolio of villas. Who will win this eventual battle of luxury rentals? I would currently give the nod to Airbnb, as their experience in the rental market most likely gives it an edge of AccorHotels.
As in the last luxury-rental company article, I still struggle to find an occasion where I would use these services. I am more than happy in a hotel (thus, the Hotelion moniker). Although, I hope to have the resources to eventually take advantage of these services. Then I will know that I’d have made it successfully. Lastly, if you have an opportunity to use Luxury Retreats or Travel Keys, be sure to let me know how your experience went!
What do you think of my writing? Let me know in the comments, or reach me directly at TheHotelion@gmail.com! Like my posts? See more here, on TravelUpdate! Follow me on Facebook (The Hotelion) or on Twitter and Instagram: @TheHotelion