Airbnb acquires Montreal-based Luxury Retreats

Airbnb said Thursday that it acquired Montreal-based luxury vacation-rental service Luxury Retreats, as the peer-to-peer accommodations leader looks to broaden its reach in the higher-end vacation-rental sector.

Closely held Luxury Retreats, which employs 250 people, will maintain its Montreal operations and will operate as a standalone brand in the “short term,” though its listings will eventually be integrated into Airbnb and highlighted. Luxury Retreats CEO Joe Poulin will head Airbnb’s luxury-homes operations.

The acquisition, Airbnb’s first in the luxury market, represents an effort by the closely held company to broaden its reach beyond its core urban-accommodations market. Luxury Retreats serves an inventory of more than 4,000 homes in 100 global destinations.

Some notable Luxury Retreats listings include magnate Richard Branson’s Necker Island retreat in the British Virgin Islands, which accommodates as many as 34 guests and rents out at $80,000 a night; Chateau Petit Versailles, a 14-bedroom French chateau in Vienna, also sleeping 34 guests and renting out at $27,002 a night; and Amilla Villa Estate, a six-bedroom property on Baa Atoll in the Maldives with room for up to 11 guests, with rates from $25,330 to $50,330 per night.

No acquisition price was disclosed. Luxury Retreats is reported to generate about $200 million a year in gross bookings.

Higher-end luxury-home rental services continue to be acquisition targets. Last year, AccorHotels acquired London-based luxury peer-to-peer accommodations service Onefinestay for $169 million. AccorHotels also earlier this month began “exclusive negotiations” to acquire Atlanta-based Travel Keys, which sells reservations for more than 5,000 “curated” villas in more than 100 global destinations.

Source: Danny King (Travel Weekly)

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