What is Airbnb Plus and is it worth it?

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As travelers begin to feel more comfortable taking trips after closures and travel disruptions due to the novel coronavirus, many are turning to vacation rental sites like Airbnb for accommodation.

In fact, experts have actually noted that Airbnbs may be a safer option than hotels since you can choose to book an entire private house. Airbnb also recently rolled out a new and improved cleaning initiative so that customers can easily identify Airbnb listings that adhere to the tough new standards.

But when it comes to accommodations listed on Airbnb, the offers can certainly be mixed. On the same platform where you can rent a refurbished lighthouse or Tyler Perry’s former mansion, you’ll also find drab little rooms and even the occasional scam.

Likewise, hosts can go from Superhosts that go above and beyond uninvolved third parties. Sure, savvy travelers know to be vigilant when it comes to checking ratings and reading guest reviews before booking and looking at other home booking sites as well, but even Airbnb users have them. more seasoned people may find themselves in a dilapidated house when they were hoping for a sophisticated stay.

Plus, not everyone has the time to spend hours sifting through hundreds of listings and reading multiple reviews to compare each potential stay. For travelers who want the guarantee of quality hotel design and hospitality, Airbnb Plus is the answer.

Airbnb Plus was officially launched by Airbnb in 2018 to showcase the real crème de la crème of Airbnb listings, homes renowned for their designer aesthetics, magazine-worthy styling, and thoughtful amenities provided by hosts for a upper level living.

It is important to keep in mind that there is no guarantee of safety for travel at this time. But for users looking to book an Airbnb and are interested in controlled accommodations, there is an option to filter Airbnb listings to show only Plus stays. This can dramatically reduce the time it takes to find your next top-notch accommodation. This is how it works.

What is Airbnb Plus?

Airbnb Plus is a special collection of homes that have been verified in person by a third party inspector.

According to Airbnb, it includes a “selection of the highest quality accommodations with hosts known for their excellent reviews and attention to detail.” Hosts must meet the following requirements before they can even apply:

  • The ad must be either an entire accommodation or a private room with private bathroom.
  • The host must have maintained an average rating of at least 4.8 in the past year.
  • The host must not have canceled any reservation, except in extenuating circumstances.
  • The host must have accepted 95% of booking requests in the past year.

Once the host meets these requirements, a third-party inspector will come to the house to check the list on style, design and hospitality (more details below). If the home is accepted, then a professional photographer is provided to take new photos to showcase the property and ensure all photos in the listing are of high quality in terms of appearance and resolution.

Once the home is officially part of Airbnb Plus, hosts must also agree not to list it on any other booking platform, which means all Plus listings are exclusive to Airbnb.

As an added bonus, when you book a Plus home, you’ll also have access to the Airbnb Plus support team, which focuses on serving Plus customers with faster response times.

What is the difference between Airbnb and Airbnb Plus?

The main difference between a regular Airbnb and an Airbnb Plus is that the properties are checked in person and subject to more stringent standards. However, eligibility to apply for Plus certification is not available in all destinations.

Airbnb currently lists Plus Homes on all six continents, but these are typically found in large cities like Los Angeles or island countries like the Dominican Republic. The program is constantly expanding but is still lacking in some major cities around the world. For example, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are the only destinations where there are Plus listings throughout South America. And while you can find a Plus home on the Hawaiian island of Maui, you won’t find one in Oahu.

A verified Plus rating doesn’t necessarily mean the home is better than Non Plus listings, especially because the distinction doesn’t cover all destinations on the platform. However, it can offer greater peace of mind that someone has verified the ad in person and what you get will at least match the quality of the photos.

It’s also worth noting that Airbnb Plus is also a different service from Airbnb Luxe, which lists private villas exclusively and includes a personal trip planner and airport pickup in the price.

What is the difference between Airbnb Plus and a Superhost?

Superhost status is achieved by maintaining at least an average rating of 4.8 with zero cancellations in the past year. You don’t need to operate an Airbnb Plus listing to be a Superhost.

Additionally, guests must have 10 stays or three bookings totaling at least 100 nights. They must also maintain a 90% response rate. Superhost status will be automatically obtained if the host meets all of these criteria at the end of a given quarter.

However, Airbnb Plus status must be requested and verified in person. However, Plus hosts are required to maintain their level of Superhost hospitality, in addition to having a well-designed, equipped and maintained roster.

How are Airbnb Plus listings verified?

The houses are checked against three standards: style, comfort and hospitality.

By being eligible for Airbnb Plus, the host already meets hospitality standards, but an in-person visit is required to confirm that the home also meets standards for style and comfort.

The interior design of the home should be cohesive, clutter-free, and reflect style and personality like this Los Angeles home, which has a clean design punctuated with eye-catching houseplants and funky furniture.

The house should also be unique in some way or another and the list will score points for personal touches like this Roman loft, for example, which really gets its vintage nautical theme.

Airbnb Plus homes should be fully equipped with kitchen essentials, filtered or bottled water, an iron and hairdryer, among other desirable amenities. The property also needs to be well maintained, which means everything is clean and working, from the coffeemaker to all of the room door locks.

Finally, self-check-in, via PO box or door code, is mandatory to ensure a smooth check-in experience for all customers.

airbnb plus london


Is Airbnb Plus more expensive?

The biggest misconception about Airbnb Plus is that you’ll pay a lot more, but you don’t necessarily have to. While some hosts may increase their rates per night after being accepted into the program, there are still plenty of affordable listings like this private room just outside London that starts at $ 53 a night.

If you search by location, you might find that Plus homes cost a little more than competing listings in the same neighborhood. For most hosts who sign up for Airbnb Plus, the incentive is to stand out from the crowd and attract more bookings with a Plus badge.

However, an Airbnb Plus stay is not synonymous with premium or luxury services, so hosts can’t raise prices too much if they want to stay competitive.

At the end of the day, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth paying a little extra to have peace of mind that your Airbnb will be stylish, sufficiently equipped, and under the care of a much-loved host.

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