If you've ever dreamt of staying on your own private island with white sand beaches and turquoise seawater or basking in the Tuscan sun in a private mansion, the new Airbnb setting may be exactly what you need.
The company has launched it's Airbnb Luxe service with over 2,000 hand-picked listings on offer for travellers looking to spend a minimum of $1,000 per night. Yes, you read that number right.
Award-winning homes are available to stay in, following a rigorous evaluation with over 300 criteria to consider, so expect to find elevated design standards, rare features, chef-grade appliances and about a million bathrooms
Among the chosen homes include island locations like New Zealand, South Africa, historic Tuscan villas, and even the Jamaican beachfront property where Ian Fleming wrote his iconic 007 spy novels.
Other customers may prefer the complete privacy and exclusivity of booking an entire island with its very own self-declared time zone at the incredible private atoll in French Polynesia, Nukutepipi.
Curated by Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil and Lune Rouge, you can only imagine how Instagrammable this homes is. The high-end settings will cost you a fortune, however.
Included in the Airbnb Luxe experience is a dedicated trip designer, on hand to ensure your "bespoke experiences" are "truly magical" and to arrange any spa, personal trainer or childcare appointments for you.
The designers also provide deep local knowledge, end-to-end trip planning, concierge services and 24/7 VIP support, if you don't mind. Posh folk need constant care, it seems.
Some of the home options include additional services like butlers, personal drivers, chefs and medieval farm-to-table dinner experiences.
Airbnb Luxe plans to add properties in at least 12 more cities this year, following the success of listings in London and Los Angeles. Fancy places aren't just situated in exotic lands, gals.
The company has come a long way since it's humble beginnings, which began as three friends using an air mattress in a San Francisco apartment.
The home-rental company has been adding new services over the last few years like 'heritage travel' and adventure holidays, and is now pushing into the traditional hotel industry.
Airbnb feel that it's customers are ready for high-end getaways, after the number of bookings for listings worth at least $1,000 per night increased more than 60 percent in 2018.
Who are these people with all this disposable cash, can I ask? The luxury travel market is currently estimated to be a whopping $200 billion.
The company are claiming to make bespoke travel more accessible to anyone. Brian Chesky, Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community spoke about the launch;
“Today’s luxury traveller is craving more than just high-end accommodations; they seek transformation and experiences that leave them feeling more connected to each other and to their destination.”
“With Airbnb Luxe we are applying the same approach we’ve used since we launched Airbnb more than 11 years ago — creating local, authentic and magical travel moments now in amazing places to stay- to reimagine the way people think and experience luxury travel.”
We'll probably just stick to our trusted air mattress, but thanks Brian. Drool over Airbnb Luxe for yourself on their website. The jealousy is just that little bit too real.
Valentine's Day can put a LOT of pressure on our shoulders (or those of our boyfriends/husbands) when it comes to gifts.
Whether it's the classic present of roses, chocolates or more elaborate ideas like a hotel getaway; you're going to need some good offers because the holiday brings some expenses alongside it.
We've created a list of our top Valentine's Day gifts you can find at the moment, get them before they're gone.
1. Jo Malone London Valentine's Day Floral Box
What better treat to give than the iconic Jo Malone glamorous glass bottle, containing a scent inspired by "seven of the world's finest roses", with a hint of lemon and crushed violet leaves.
Positively dreamy, a little bit like everlasting love. The special floral box is available exclusively from February 7 until Valentine's Day, and we advise pre-ordering because these will absolutely fly out the door.
2. Absolut Vodka: A Drop of Love
Some of us need something stronger for Valentine's Day, and Absolut really is the perfect choice. They've created the Drop of Love bottle; an ink message fed from signs of hatred around the world and turned into a message of love. Pretty inspiring.
The action has been used by the company to show the ability to recycle hatred and create something better from it; for example some UNREAL vodka with natural ingredients and no added sugar.
The Swedish vodka brand love coming up with campaigns with artists, designers and aid organisations, and this Valentine's Day bottle is the best one yet.
3. Jo Malone London Irresistible Pairs
Jo Malone have partnered up their most loved scents to curate the Jo Malone London Power Couples; layer the fragrant duos to create an irresistible pairing on your skin.
Trust us when we say…they smell AMAZING. The New Romantics feature peony and blush suede and wild bluebell for a softly sensual scent, The Sweethearts combine the English pear and freesia with nectarine blossom and honey for a golden pair.
Seaside Soulmates bring together zesty citrus nots with lime basil and mandarin and wood sage and sea salt for a dynamic duo. Lastly, Star-Crossed Lovers pair jasmine sambac and marigold with wood sage and sea salt for a heavenly experience.
We can't gush enough about these, what a beautiful Valentine's treat these would be.
4. Weir & Sons Valentine's Day jewellery collection
This Fabergé Palais Tsarskoye Selo turquoise heart locket pendant is exclusive to Weir & Sons of Grafton Street, Ireland.
It's absolutely stunning, and would certainly attract attention if your lover chose it for around your neck.
We'll be dropping hints left. right and centre for this one. Whoever picks it out for us would truly have our heart in a box.
5. Limited Edition Red Caps & Keepsake Heart-Shaped Box from Jo Malone London
Limited edition red caps are only €5 each along with a free heart-shaped box when you make a purchase between February 1 and February 14, and you can even add a free embossed message, date or initials to the box as an added extra.
It's the first time that the veteran brand are offering a romantic take on Jo Malone London’s signature cream and black packaging; you can acquire the gorgeous heart-shaped box when you buy two or more products in select boutiques in Ireland.
We're heading straight to the shop, we can't let this offer go.
6. L'Occitane Romantic Rose collection
For Valentine's Day, it's only too important to smell and feel your best. We've found the ideal scent for the eve: ROSE. French powerhouse brand L'Occitane have gifted us with a set, that we all both need and deserve.
The gorgeous and elegant fragrance set includes: Rose Eau de Toilette, Rose Shower Gel, Rose Body Lotion and Rose Hand Cream.
L'Occitane 'Romantic Rose' collection is priced at €69 from the L'Occitane website.
7. Bia Beauty facial oil
We are LUSTING after Bia Beauty at the moment; the emerging Irish brand use Mother Nature to deliver 100 percent natural, highly effective, ethically sourced and excellently-packaged products.
Owner Tracey Ryan is a herbal scientist based in Cork, so she has an abundance of fresh ingredients on her doorstep to use, which helped her to create their facial oil.
The nutritious skin product contains rose hip seed oil which is full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids. Wear it at night to repair and soothe the skin or during the day to boost hydration and plump the skin.
Give it as a gift this Valentine's Day for a woman who desires reduced scarring and increased cell rejuvenation. Gorgeous, Irish and cruelty free: Award-winning Bia Beauty products are definitely made with love.
8. Solid Fragrance Combining Palette by Jo Malone London
A sleek, travel-ready palette is absolutely genius from Jo Malone; it effortlessly encases two solid perfumes for on-the-go scents.
Customers can fill their palette with their choice of two Jo Malone London scents from a selection of ten of the brand’s most-loved, to curate their own pair.
Choose from; Lime Basil & Mandarin, Basil & Neroli, Pomegranate Noir, English Pear & Freesia, Blackberry & Bay, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Peony & Blush Suede, Mimosa & Cardamom, Wood Sage & Sea Salt and Oud & Bergamot.
The Palette and Refills are available now at Brown Thomas Dublin, get your hands on a pair ASAP before they sell out for Valentine's Day. The cologne's are basically unisex, so they can be bought for man or woman.
9. The Clean Beauty Edit haircare essentials gift-set
Time to go clean and green in 2019; the Clean Beauty Edit are bringing cult, clean beauty brands to Ireland through their gorgeous online boutique.
Olio E Osso, Ilia Beauty, Evolve Organic Beauty, Warpaint, Lily Lolo, Ere Perez and Sun Potion are the brands which Clean Beauty Edit are importing to Ireland,
All products are natural, cruelty-free, toxin-free and sustainably produced and packaged, and their haircare gift-set is GORGEOUS for Valentine's Day. The set includes luxury travel sizes of their Superfood Shine Shampoo, Superfood Shine Conditioner, and Nourishing Hair Elixir.
Their luscious shampoo is formulated with natural cleansers from sugar and coconut which gently cleanse scalp and hair without stripping natural oils. The Baobab proteins boost the shine and organic pomegranate extract rehydrates and protect the hair; what a stunning, thoughtful gift.
10. CraicPack Valentine's Day box for Irish Expats
CraicPack bring some chocolate Irish goodness to everyone at home and abroad. This year they're making a new Valentine's Day box with up to 50 sweets that Irish people living far away miss the most; such nostalgia.
Items included in the adorable box are 10 different types of Dairy Milk, 15 other Cadbury items, Butlers and Love Hearts. Oh, and they even add a box of tea to every pack, because what else would you pair with a chocolate bar? Nothing, that's what.
To help the local community, CraicPack donate up to €5 from every box sold to Focus Ireland to aid the on-going homeless crisis in Ireland. Hon the lads.
11. ÉminenceChocolate Mousse Hydration Masque, Apricot Body Oil and Firm Skin Acai Exfoliating Peel.
Éminence organic skincare is a luxury spa brand that you NEED to hear about, especially for the romance of Valentine's Day. They plant a tree for every product sold; over 10 MILLION to date, and use wind and solar energy for production.
Their peanut inner packing is even made from cornstarch, so it can be composted and is water dissolvable; they really do care about the environment, and their skincare range reflects that.
Not only are they ethical, their newest Valentine's Day products are the perfect present to treat a loved one with.
The Chocolate Mousse Hydration Masque fights the visible signs of ageing. Containing a healthy dose of antioxidant-rich cocoa, which is great for your skin, it's macadamia, almond and jojoba oils also provide deep hydration.
The luxurious Apricot Body Oil is blended with an assortment of essential oils, such as grape seed and jojoba, to create a luscious massage oil that leaves skin feeling irresistibly soft.
Last but not least, the Éminence Firm Skin Acai Exfoliating Peel is an at-home peel that can easily be done before a romantic meal.
12. The Westbury's indulgent romance experience
Valentine's Day always brings an onslaught of great hotel offers, but how can you choose the best one for the most practical price? The Westbury has been voted Ireland's number one hotel by Condé Nast Traveler Readers, and for a good reason.
Enjoy some lavish indulgence in the heart of Dublin by retreating to The Westbury's romance experience. This includes an overnight stay for couples with a romantic rose petal turndown, bottle of chilled champagne, strawberries and delicious chocolates, and a delicious full Irish breakfast in bed in the morning.
‘Romance at the Heart of the Dublin’ with The Westbury is available to book from €450 per room; a great offer considering the prestigious location. Treat yourselves to a trip, you deserve it.
13. Aldi's Valentine's Day alcohol offers: G-in Love
Aldi are offering us something MAJORLY special this Valentine's Day, whether you're waking up to champagne in bed, or heading on a dinner date with gin in mind.
They're giving us the exclusive Boyle’s Alchemy Colour Changing Gin, infused with petals of the Asian butterfly flower, which shifts colour from blue to pale pink with the addition of tonic. Yep, actual. real-life COLOUR-CHANGING GIN.
It’s all to do with the movements in pH, but we can guarantee that this is some magical science.
That's not all they've got up their sleeve; Aldi's DV8 Pink Gin Cream Liqueur is BY FAR the perfect gift. Made by the Irish producers of multi-award-winning Brennan’s Old House Gin, this gorgeous liquor will make anyone's day special.
Aldi have some unique sale offers especially for the most loving day of the year; Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut NV, the best-selling and award-winning wine from Philizot and Fils is reduced to only €19.99.
Giotti Spumante Rosé, Sparkling Rosé Blosson, Beaujolais Rosé 2018, Fairtrade Moscato Rosé 2018 have each had their prices cut so that love can blossom with a bit of alcohol to help. Even if it's self-love…
14. CND nails Valentine's range
CND are changing the GAME when it comes to nails. For Valentine's Day, why not treat yourself or your significant other to some gorgeous new shades from the iconic brand.
Their new range has stunning pinks, dark berry, ravishing reds and blush tones; show off your romantic side.
Mambo Beat, Rose Bud, Hot Pop Pink, Tinted Love, Wildfire and Dark Lava are ideal for a hot date, or pretty much anything the night has in store. There's a colour for every kind of date.
All of these romantic shades are available in both CND SHELLAC and CND VINYLUX, for longer-lasting looks.
15. 'Hex Your Ex' Galentines book from ASOS
We couldn't forget to include a present for that gal-pal of yours who really needs a humorous Valentine's pick-me-up.
The Hex Your Ex book contains over 100 spells,potions and rituals for getting some petty revenge on that douchebag ex of theirs.
Treat yourself or your BFF, it looks pure gas.
16. PrettyLittleThing Valentines body in red striped lace
This jaw-dropping body from PLT is the perfect treat to yourself or your girlfriend this Valentine's Day.
The red lace and plunge neck will have you feeling sexier than ever, why not give yourself the romantic day you deserve? Spicy AF.
There you have it, our top picks for Valentine's Day gifts this year.
Between perfume, flower arrangements, lavish hotel getaways, skincare and lingerie; it's set to be a GREAT day.
We'd appreciate if someone who adores us can buy us each and every one of these, pretty please?
Let the love rain down this year, if you're single or taken. Like this adorable teddy bear here:
We could easily spend hours lusting over all of the stunning homes on Airbnb. There are just so many beautiful properties dotted across the globe that we need to visit.
This summer is the busiest summer yet here in Ireland, with approximately 640,000 guests using Airbnb.
Airbnb is celebrating ten years in operation globally today. In honour of the momentous occasion, they have shared ten of the most wish listed properties on their site and we want to stay in them all.
If any of you are secretly rich then you need to book a stay at one of these wonderful spots. We are itching to jet off but we might need to enter the lotto first.
10: Waterfront with an extraordinary view, Kotor, Montenegro:
This waterfront terrace would make for the dream reading spot. You could spend the day soaking up the sun and delving into the pages of your favourite novel. This apartment is one of the most popular Airbnbs in Europe due to the incredible view of two Bay of Kotor islands.
9: The Cozy Palace, Marrakech, Morocco:
According to guests, the pictures of this spot simply don’t do it justice so we’ll just have to visit it in person. This restored riad features striking tiled archways and is the perfect place to unwind.
8: Off-grid ItHouse, Yucca Valley, CA, USA:
The house of California dreams. This peaceful destination is the perfect place to escape the dull realities of everyday. The desert location has no WiFi so you can enjoy a well-needed social media detox.
7: Bamboo-Eco cottage in Rice Fields, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia:
Be at one with nature in this heavenly bamboo hut. You can gaze at the fireflies above the rice fields at night. This place would be perfect for a romantic getaway, you know if your other half was a millionaire.
This secluded jungle canopy is an introverts dream place. The treehouse is located on the outskirts of the Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which makes your stay that little bit more exciting, but totally safe.
5: Luxurious Sone Villa in Crete, Greece:
Belinda Carlisle once said heaven is a place on earth and we think this may be the place she was talking about. The house is carved from natural rock and features a balcony that overlooks Kissamos Bay.
4: Hideout Bali Eco Bamboo Home, Bali, Indonesia:
The second Bali location that features on the wish list. Guests have nothing but praise for this serene spot. However, you need to be well organised if you want to stay here. Guests have to book six months in advance of their stay because the spot is so popular.
3:Romantic Cabana with a view, Armenia, Colombia:
These properties just get prettier and prettier so prepare yourself to get bitten by the travel bug. This spot is said to be the best location for exploring Colombia’s coffee region so if you’re a coffee addict like us then you have to add it to your list. The view from this cabana will certainly take your breath away.
2: Hector Cave House, Santorini, Greece:
We’ve become obsessed with Greece since the release of Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again so it comes as no surprise to see this Santorini cave house appear on the list. It’s carved into the caldera cliff and has a view that looks like it came straight from a dream.
1: I Sette Coni – Trullo Edera, Ostuni, Italy:
And finally we reach the number one place on our list and we are swooning more than ever before. This quirky house has a rustic feel to it that makes it the most wishlisted place on Airbnb. The greatest thing about this location is the price. It costs a mere $81 per night so if you need us we’ll be booking a month long stay at this divine spot.
Booking a hotel from the comfort of your couch definitely has it advantages; however, while it may be a lot easier, there are a few things you definitely need to do and others that you definitely need to avoid.
Don’t just book from the hotel’s own site. Look around price comparison websites like Trivago instead. You will definitely get a better deal this way.
Make sure you won’t be left with any unpleasant surprises by reading reviews on the hotel before you book it. Be wary of fake reviews though – always go with your gut instinct.
Give the hotel a ring
If you really can’t find a good price, give the hotel a ring. You may be able to barter a better deal.
Watch out for hidden fees
Make sure you get the full cost of your booking before you confirm it. You don’t want to think you are getting a great deal only to find out it’s not really that great.
Location, location, location
If you opt for the cheaper hotel, make sure it is not so far away from attractions that what you save on accommodation you lose on travelling costs.
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