(CNN) — Airbnb is growing up.
The popular (and sometimes controversial) home-sharing service announced a new tier of ultra luxurious accommodations in February.
And yes, every property will be thoroughly vetted. What you see will be what you actually get. (Unlike those dubious apartment listings.)
More options, more locations
However hip it may be with millennials, Airbnb is a little late to the luxury rental party.
Quite a few companies have been providing luxury homes for several years now. Which is actually great news for travelers as that means more options in more locations.
And since both are owned by Expedia, it’s now possible to book your entire trip — flights and rental cars included — on one site. Plus, with nearly two million vacation rentals in 190 countries, your options are seemingly endless.
Fortunately, there are plenty of search filters to utilize to narrow down the options, from the number of bedrooms to the type of location (beach or downtown) to the in-house amenities like an outdoor grill and a hot tub.
This three-bedroom residence, offered by Exclusive Resorts, is located on Hawaii’s Kohala Coast.
Courtesy Exclusive Resorts
One advantage that Onefinestay and Oasis Collections have over Airbnb is that they both have connections to and investments from major hotel brands. Onefinestay is now part of Accor Hotels, which count Sofitel and Fairmont as their brands, while Oasis Collections is linked up with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. (Hyatt was also an early investor in Onefinestay and Accor was an early investor in Oasis but they’ve since switched positions.)
Guests who book with Oasis can actually earn World of Hyatt loyalty program points for their stay.
“With World of Hyatt extending to Oasis, we are able to provide our members with more unique experiences, while still delivering the peace of mind, personalized service and care that is expected from experiences backed by Hyatt,” said Amy Weinberg, senior vice president of World of Hyatt on the partnership with Oasis.
Onefinestay is also a preferred partner of the American Express Travel Program and Virtuoso, which means if you book using an American Express card or with a Virtuoso travel planner, you’re able to get added amenities like an upgraded property or a $100 credit to a “Fridge Fill” service.
Meanwhile, Airbnb has announced a loyalty program for its users, which will debut later this year, but details are sparse.
This elegant two-bedroom Rome property is available from Onefinestay for $254 per night.
(In reality though, super-wealthy guests probably have a travel adviser working on their behalf to book an exclusive residence that can’t be booked, let alone found, online.)
And of course, regular old luxury hotels are still very much in the booking mix.
“A third of travelers who booked a rental property stay also considered luxury/upscale hotels (four or five-star) for the same trip,” he says.
Yet as millennials grow older and start to earn more (fingers crossed), as well as travel with their own families and thus require more space, booking through Airbnb, a brand they’ve used since their youth, may seem easier and more comfortable.
News credit : Cnn