The hospitality company has been developing branded hotel-condo hybrids and offering bookings to boutique hotels in a bid to expand its ever-expanding business. To increase hotel bookings through its site, Airbnb purchased the hotel booking app HotelTonight. The company has focused on a few cities throughout the United States to expand its new boutique hotel offerings including Miami, Nashville, Orlando, and Austin. The company’s first branded building is opening in Miami and will be called Natiivo. The 48-story building includes 198 hotel rooms and over 400 condos, all of which can be rented through Airbnb. The building is not set to open until 2022 but is on track to be the first building designed, built and licensed exclusively for home-sharing. Airbnb is also working on branding apartment buildings to offer “unfurnished apartments” to renters. The amenities included at some of these new properties are more reminiscent of a resort than a typical apartment building. Natiivo Miami, for example, will include private Peloton studios, a 24/7 co-working lounge, and a “resort pool” with poolside cabanas among other features.
Airbnb’s condo and boutique hotel expansion are in addition to the company’s growth this year with its “Experiences” feature. In the past year, Airbnb has seen a 295% growth in the number of experiences offered on the app, with food and drink experiences proving the most popular according to a Gartner report on the topic. Airbnb’s customized accommodations have proven popular on social media as well, where influencers with large and small followings often reference the brand on posts. The only hotel brand to receive more social media mentions than Airbnb in the past year was The Ritz-Carlton, which has organized coordinated campaigns and hashtags for influencers to use.
Airbnb is once again hoping to reinvent the way people travel. The brand’s latest accommodations are in direct competition with luxury hotel brands, which may want to take note of Airbnb’s strategies when designing experiences for guests of their own.