What Is Airbnb Plus (and How to Use It)

Airbnb has announced a new service that it says will dramatically enhance the travel experience.

Credit: Airbnb

(Image credit: Airbnb)

The service, called Airbnb Plus, aims at ensuring those renting their homes to travelers offer all the amenities of home. Whether it's plush pillows and nice sheets on the bed or fresh towels in the bathroom, Airbnb Plus locations promise a turnkey experience when you rent one of the locations.

To be clear, Airbnb Plus is a different service from Airbnb that sits atop the traditional offering. And right now, the vast majority of Airbnb locations don't make it into Airbnb Plus status. But if you're interested in going to an Airbnb Plus location, here's a guide:

What Is Airbnb Plus?

Airbnb Plus is a new, higher-end tier of Airbnb. All Airbnb Plus has been verified by the company for "quality and comfort," it said in a statement on Feb. 23. All of the homes are "beautiful," Airbnb says, and are comfortable and come with many of the things you'd expect from a hotel room, like towels and sheets.

How Many Airbnb Plus Locations Are There?

As of this writing, there are 2,000 Airbnb Plus homes. Those homes span 13 cities, including Los Angeles, Shanghai, London, Melbourne, and Rome, among others. In total, Airbnb has 4.5 million homes across 81,000 cities.

How Many Airbnb Plus Locations Will Come Online?

Looking ahead, Airbnb has promised that 75,000 homes across more than 50 cities will be Airbnb Plus-certified by the end of the year.

What's With This 100-Point Checklist?

In order to qualify for an Airbnb Plus designation, homes must satisfy a 100-point checklist. Some of those items are simple and others not so simple to achieve. Here's a collection of some of the boxes the homes must check in order to qualify for the Airbnb Plus program:

● "Is the home thoughtfully designed and does it feature the host’s personality?
● Does it come with a fully-equipped kitchen - including cookware, servingware, and cooking essentials?
● Is there a cohesive interior style?
● Is the property clean with no clutter, and well-maintained?
● Does it have a fully-featured bathroom with shampoo, soap, towels, a hairdryer, and more?
● Is it comfortable?
● Is it easy to check in, meaning it has a lockbox, a digital lock, keypad, or someone on-site to let the guest in?
● Is it equipped with a TV with media entertainment (e.g. Netflix, Roku, or cable) and a remote control?"

I'm an Airbnb Host. How Can I Join the Plus Program?

First, analyze Airbnb's 100-point checklist to ensure your home hits all the marks. Next, ensure that your home is in a city that currently supports Airbnb. If you're good on both fronts, click here to apply to the Airbnb Plus program. Be aware that you'll need to fork over a $149 one-time fee to apply to the program.

Additionally, you need to have accepted at least one stay, have an average rating of 4.8 stars or higher, and accept 95 percent of your reservations. You also can't have any last-minute cancellations in the last year.

I'm a Guest. How Much Does Airbnb Plus Cost?

According to Airbnb, the company's Plus Homes cost an average of $250 per night.

How Can I find Airbnb Plus Locations?

It's easy. Use Airbnb as you normally would and look for a Plus location. The Plus homes are designated "Plus" in search results. Simply choose the location, input your dates, and you're good to go.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.