Save your browsing time and check out the list of beautiful, most wish-listed homes that have already have the seal of approval from the Airbnb community.
Ten years ago, the idea of staying at a stranger’s house instead of a fancy hotel on your holidays, probably sounded like a bit of an odd move. But then Airbnb rocked onto the scene and opened our eyes to the beauty of living like a local, stepping into someone else’s shoes and exploring the world like never before, and we’ve never looked back.
In August 2008, friends Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk started the platform with 800 people signed up to host and just 80 guests.
A decade later, and we don’t need to tell you how much this idea has grown. Five million homes are now listed across 191 countries, with most offering something a little more special than your standard semi-detached.
It’s fair to say that those who turn to Airbnb do so because they’re looking for an experience a little out of the ordinary, and judging by the 2,194 treehouses, 758 caves and 183 igloos listed, the platform more than delivers.
To celebrate 10 years of connecting people from every corner of the globe and giving them the chance to try out a lifestyle completely different to their own, Airbnb has shared with us some of the houses that have been most popular since the company started. From an all-bamboo Balinese hut to an off-the-grid pad in the middle of the Californian desert, many of these properties share a theme of being removed from the city and eco-conscious.
We’ve picked out our favourites from the full list, chosen for their natural beauty, breadth of locations and overall uniqueness. We think it might just have you planning your next trip.
The Cozy Palace, Marrakech
Where? Marrakech, Morocco
How much? £40 a night
How many guests? Technically four, but only one bedroom
Why visit? This beautiful Riad is almost hotel-like, with staff on hand and breakfast, lunch and dinner available each day. In the middle of the central courtyard you’ll find a picturesque banana tree blooming, while a few stairs up, the roof terrace is a sun worshipper’s dream. It’s close to all the main attractions, and we hardly need to explain the beauty of that decor.
Luxurious Stone Villa, Crete
Where? Crete, Greece
How much? £45 a night
How many guests? Two
Why visit? You can’t see it from this picture, but the rock formation above that idyllic bed isn’t just a one-off feature, oh no. In fact, the entire villa is actually built from a cave, meaning that this billowing rock face is a predominant feature of the house and stretches down through the building. But what’s inside the house isn’t the only reason to visit, as the incredible views and countryside surrounding it are just as gorgeous.
Trullo Edera, Ostuni
Where? Ostuni, Italy
How much? £63 a night
How many guests? Technically four but there’s only one bedroom
Why visit? Who wouldn’t want to stay in a tiny, rustic castle in a remote corner of Italy? Granted, the building’s exterior is prettier than its paired back interior, but we also can’t get enough of the quaint town just a stone’s throw away and the promise of long days spent lounging under olive trees with a good book.
Eco Bamboo Home, Bali
Where? Bali, Indonesia
How much? £137 a night
How many guests? Four, with two beds, but only one bedroom
Why visit? Hidden in the mountains of the Gunung Agung volcano, this eco all-bamboo house is a chance to get truly off the grid and experience Balinese culture. The river running next to the house is used by local people to bathe and perform ceremonies, the house is also used as a kitten sanctuary and the owners recommend taking a swim and counting the abundance of dragonflies that flit around daily. This, is an experience like no other.
Off-grid itHouse, California
Where? The Californian desert, USA
How much? £314 a night
How many guests? Four
Why visit? Another ‘off the grid’ experience, this swish home might look like a million dollars, but it’s a lot more conscious than those sleek interiors would have you believe. Entirely solar powered, this house also doesn’t have television or internet to ensure that those who stay really appreciate the natural beauty of the desert surrounding them.
Images: Airbnb / Roberto Nickson