Airbnb today announced a new hotel-like tier of service on its platform the company is calling Airbnb Plus. The news, which went live on Airbnb’s website in conjunction with a story in The New York Times ahead of a big reveal event in San Francisco this morning, confirms rumors that Airbnb has been working on a higher-end accommodations offering that would let it more easily compete with hotels. Airbnb Plus is being marketed as a more standardized style of service that is “verified for quality” and includes a set of amenities one might typically find in a hotel.
“Every Airbnb Plus home is one-of-a-kind, thoughtfully designed, and equipped with a standard set of amenities — whether you’re in a private room or have the entire place to yourself,” reads the company’s website for Airbnb Plus. “All Airbnb Plus homes are visited in person to ensure comfort, consistency, and design. They are checked for 100-plus things that guests told us they love, from must-have amenities to the art on the walls.” Airbnb says hosts of the properties must have a 4.8 out of 5-star rating or higher.
The service is launching today to mark Airbnb’s 10th anniversary. It will be live with more than 2,000 listings across 13 cities, including Austin, Barcelona, Cape Town, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Milan, Rome, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney, and Toronto. According to The New York Times, the average nightly rate for an Airbnb Plus listing will be $200, instead of $100 for standard listings.
Airbnb hosts must apply to be part of the program, and a photographer and inspector are then sent to the home to capture professional-quality photographs and inspect the property to see if it meets Airbnb’s new 100-point quality checklist. The checklist includes a clean refrigerator, full cooking equipment, and stocked toiletries, among many other small and subtle details.