Airbnb’s recent purchase of Luxury Retreats for $300 million raises an important question: Can planners now look to Airbnb for group meetings?
Among meeting planners, Airbnb ranks low—or not at all—as a way to find beds for meeting attendees. The San Francisco-based home-sharing platform is better known for attracting leisure travelers, who are often on a budget. Planners favor hotels and resorts.
Airbnb’s acquisition could change that—or at least offer an option for certain types of gatherings.
Airbnb for Group Meetings
Luxury Retreats isn’t the sort of company that lists spare beds in a rusted camper parked behind the woodshed. The Montreal-based vacation-home management company deals in high-end rentals. It manages more than 4,000 properties worldwide, generating $150 million in annual bookings. Of luxury homeowners who seek to list their properties on the company’s website, fewer than 5 percent get their wish.
We reached out to Luxury Retreats to find out more about its group-meeting business, but the company didn’t respond. So we took a tour of its website to weigh the potential for booking a stay for groups.
Four Potential Meeting Spots
1. Chateau style: If you’re thinking about a meeting in Europe, Chateau Petit Versailles on the outskirts of Vienna, might suit your needs. The French-style chateau has 14 bedrooms and 14 baths, enough room to sleep 34 guests.
The property includes a billiard room, as well as a cigar and cognac bar. If the outdoors is more your style, the estate features 27 acres of private estate gardens and forest.
Chateau Petit Versailles rents for $27,089 per night.
2. Talk-show talker: Should you prefer to meet under the California sun, one option might be the Merv Griffin Estate in La Quinta, California.
“Legendary entertainer Merv Griffin lived large, so it was only fitting that he called this vast 39-acre, 13-bedroom equestrian compound, home,” according to the Luxury Retreats website.
Accommodations include the 5,400-square-foot main house, as well as four guest pods and two guest houses—all totaled, enough room for 26 visitors. Horses will find ample space in the 20-stall barn.
Rates range from $5,650 to $50,000 per night.
3. Caribbean for 50: For the planner looking for a Caribbean retreat, Sheriva Estate in Maundays Bay, Anguilla, has possibilities.
It offers 22 bedrooms spread among three villas. The property sleeps 50 and is open for weddings and corporate retreats. Events at the property can host up to 100 guests.
Rates range from $16,100 to $45,000 per night.
4. No meeting is an island: Or maybe you have something more exclusive in mind. Try Koh Rang Noi in Thailand, which is billed as “the only luxury private island in Phuket.” Its three houses and 19 bedrooms can accommodate up to 38 guests.
Cost $35,000 per night. You’ll get a day cruise, apparently gratis, on the island’s 70-foot private yacht if you stay a week or more. That’s one reason to like long meetings.