10 years of Airbnb: Why global guests love these properties the most

  Posted in Hotel Insights

We’re a society obsessed with likes. We can like each other’s social media posts and photos across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. We can like someone’s online profile in the hopes of striking up a conversation that could lead to dating that person. And, of course, as travellers we can browse websites such as TripAdvisor and Booking.com liking a property’s listing and everything that hotelier promises to deliver.

This latter example typically takes place during the ‘dreaming’ phase – the first step in Google’s now well-known ‘Five Stages of Travel’. Social media, the collective creator of our universal desire to be validated online, plays a crucial role here.

Photos of your property are key as they look for destination inspiration. Hotels are perfectly placed to garner the online seal of approval from potential bookers – and beautiful imagery can help propel your hotel on to the wishlists of global travellers.

It’s often said that Airbnb leads the way when it comes to beautiful imagery of accommodation. As the home-sharing giants turns 10 years old, we decided to look at the most liked properties on the platform – what makes them so desirable and what do the guests who have stayed there say about their experience.

Let’s count down Airbnb’s most liked and look at why global guests fast track these properties to the top of their favourites list…

#10 – Waterfront with an Extraordinary View
Kotor, Montenegro

Number of likes
How many travellers have added this property to their wishlist?
52,964

Unique feature
What’s special about this place?
Located on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro, this property offers unobstructed views of the Bay of Kotor – so it’s no surprise that guests rate the location as five star. Regularly featured on Conde Nast’s lists of most popular Airbnbs, the ‘Waterfront with an Extraordinary View’ has a large outside terrace where guests can enjoy an al fresco dinner overlooking the water.

Guest reviews
Why do guests love it?
“The view really is stunning and it is worth staying here just for that reason! The terrace is very large and is a great place to eat. A few steps down and you are on the water’s edge for a swim and/or a boat ride to the island in the middle of the bay. Inside, the apartment is well-equipped and comfortable. All communication with Nela was simple and she responded quickly – which was important when we realised we would arrive later than expected. Nela also gave us detailed and very useful information – historical and practical.”


#9 – The Cozy Palace
Marrakech, Morocco

Number of likes
How many travellers have added this property to their wishlist?
59,838

Unique features
What’s special about this place?
Advertised as a unique experience in Marrakech, this Riad (a large traditional house or hotel built around a courtyard) offers guests a relaxed and peaceful experience. Excursions are available for building out guests’ itineraries and Turkish baths are offered on-site at the Riad. A restaurant service provides traditional Moroccan fare and guests are free to relax, meditate or simply stare out at the horizon of palm trees and African mountains.

Guest reviews
Why do guests love it?
“Everything about this Riad was amazing. They organised pick up and drop off from the airport, which was really helpful as the medina can be quite confusing to travellers. They organised day trips and booked us into an amazing hammam (Turkish bath) during our stay. The staff working there are all really sweet and helpful. The rooms are really spacious, clean and comfortable! That, together with the amazing service made our stay in Marrakech an amazing experience.”


#8 – OffGrid ItHouse
California, US

Number of likes
How many travellers have added this property to their wishlist?
63,669

Unique features
What’s special about this place?
Combining raw industrial aesthetics with green design, the OffGrid ItHouse is a vacation property of architectural significance. As the name suggests, it’s 100% off the grid using solar energy to power the property including its hot water. Minimalistic living is the order of the day here in the aptly named Pioneertown. TVs and wifi are nowhere to be seen, with hosts inviting guests to seek quiet refuge from everyday life. Fresh-pressed juice is on offer daily, along with great vistas and the odd surprise appearance from the local wildlife.

Guest reviews
Why do guests love it?
“A pleasure and an experience, I spent two nights at this place solo and enjoyed every minute. The house is thoughtfully designed and constructed, but the real winner here is the desert landscape and the wildlife it contains. The house manages to capture the passing parade with floor-to-ceiling glass acting as an enclosed viewing platform. Expect jack rabbits, squirrels and lizards. If you’re lucky coyotes, bobcats and rattlesnakes. I particularly enjoyed exploring the surrounding area, the quiet solitude agreeing with my nature. I’m sure this place doesn’t need my endorsement as it appears to be very popular. If you’re hesitating, take the chance. It’s worth every cent.”


#7 – Bamboo Eco-Cottage in Rice Fields
Bali, Indonesia

Number of likes
How many travellers have added this property to their wishlist?
65,644

Unique features
What’s special about this place?
This woven house made almost entirely from bamboo offers its guests the chance to sleep among nature – think chirping geckos, crickets, and fireflies that light up the night sky. Guests can relax in the saltwater pool and there’s even a swing. A complete menu is on offer at the eco-cottage serving traditional Balinese food sourced from local organic ingredients. Popular activities include hiking in the nearby rice fields.

Guest reviews
Why do guests love it?
“Absolutely breathtaking scenery. Rice paddy fields all around the cottage. If you like glamping this is for you. Fell asleep to the sound of the wildlife. The cottage is so beautiful. No doors just a curtain separating us and outside. Mosquito net around the bed so you don’t need to worry about insects. Comes with a lockable cabinet for our important items. A phone and flashlight was given for walking the track at night and to call for emergencies. We had freshly made orange juice on our arrival. We weren’t expecting breakfast and it turned up on our doorstep. We have never experienced anything like this before.”


#6 – Dreamy Tropical Treehouse
Fern Forest, Hawaii

Number of likes
How many travellers have added this property to their wishlist?
66,336

Unique features
What’s special about this place?
Guests who stay at this beautiful treehouse retreat rate the check-in experience five star – and it’s no wonder when access to the property is via a trapdoor. The treehouse offers a hanging bed outside where guests can unwind. Vintage 1970s wallpaper adorns the bedroom walls and there are 360 degree views in the canopy of the trees. With floor-to-ceiling windows in the bathroom, guests can be at one with nature thanks to the rainwater shower. Guests are given binoculars to keep check on the neighbours – a cute family of wild pigs. And for every booked room night, hosts at the Dreamy Tropical Treehouse donate via Cool Earth to protect trees in Papua New Guinea, saving 3.5 tonnes of CO2 every day.

Guest reviews
Why do guests love it?
“I’m so glad we got to stay at Kristie’s treehouse, which had been on my wishlist for quite some time! Amazing forest surroundings, beautiful decor and neighbouring frogs to sing you to sleep were all highlights! Loved the indoor/outdoor shower too! A convenient 15-minute drive to the Volcano National Park meant we could return at night to watch the erupting Halema’uma’u crater. Would absolutely recommend booking this amazing treehouse!”


#5 – Luxurious Stone Villa in Crete
Crete, Greece

Number of likes
How many travellers have added this property to their wishlist?
76,658

Unique features
What’s special about this place?
Once a storage place for agricultural products, this villa in Chania, Crete is a cave formed from natural rock after a full renovation in 2007. Overlooking the Kissamos Bay guests can enjoy the views of the mountains that lie in the background. Guests rate both the location and check-in experience as five star and they’re often gifted with olive oil, Greek salads, and honey on arrival.

Guest reviews
Why do guests love it?
“I’m not sure that words can accurately express how much my partner and I enjoyed our stay in Elina’s beautiful villa. Upon arriving we found the dinner table laden with raki, gritsinia, tea, coffee and jam, and in the fridge we found peaches and juice. Some local tourist guides had been left out for us as well. The lodge itself has a spectacular view, amazingly large bathroom (love the brass shower head!), super comfortable double bed, and it’s in a cave! Just astounding. The local taverna serves some of the best food we’ve ever had. Make sure to try the rabbit with artichoke and the chargrilled vegetables! Beautiful. Definitely stay at this villa to enjoy serenity, beauty and wondrous hospitality.”


#4 – Hideout Bali Eco Bamboo House
Bali, Indonesia

Number of likes
How many travellers have added this property to their wishlist?
77,177

Unique features
What’s special about this place?
The rice fields of Bali are clearly a popular choice among travellers – this property, Hideout Bali, is the second to make Airbnb’s top 10 list. This ecostay, designed for adventurous travellers, is hidden in the mountains of the Gunung Agung volcano and is as rustic as they come in Bali. There’s a free onsite scooter (with helmets, of course) and guests can pass the time practicing their ukulele skills. Doubling up as a mini-shelter for kittens, the bamboo house promises guests an authentic cultural experience with local villagers using the river for bathing, washing their clothes, and performing ceremonies.

Guest reviews
Why do guests love it?
“We had high expectations – I booked this weekend away as soon as we knew our Bali dates. It lived up to those expectations and has been a highlight of our trip and probably our travelling days. We were able to be immersed in local village life, see Mount Agung, have fireflies in our kitchen, and explore this beautiful part of the world. There were so many thoughtful touches – like the inclusive scooter, the ‘how to play ukulele’ book, the umbrellas, sound system. It is beautifully thoughtful and beautiful to relax in. I wish there were 10 stars I could give them!”


#3 – Romantic Cabana with a View
Armenia, Colombia

Number of likes
How many travellers have added this property to their wishlist?
99,622

Unique features
What’s special about this place?
Located on a five-acre organic farm, this charming cabana sits within the coffee region of the Andean Mountains of Colombia, South America. Billed as a place to commune with nature, this property offers guests everything from walks through the bamboo forest to an outdoor shower in the garden. Guests can also explore on one of the region’s many coffee tours, as well as visit a bee farm and butterfly emporium – or for the more adventurous spend the day white water rafting and horseback riding. Airport transfers and meals are on offer too.

Guest reviews
Why do guests love it?
“After having some time to reflect, we keep coming back to the same conclusion: this was one of the best vacations we’ve ever had. If you’re into stunning landscapes, amazing hospitality, and a unique experience, book this Airbnb. We can’t say enough about Yudy’s cooking! The property itself is beautiful and her family and staff are some of the friendliest, most accommodating folks we’ve ever met. Their driver Hernando is equally as helpful and warm. Be sure to take some time to explore the property. It really is magical. The birdsongs, the vegetation, the mountains in the distance, the wonderful smells…everything was amazing. We cannot recommend this location highly enough. We are already planning our next trip out. Enjoy!”


#2 – Hector Cave House
Santorini, Greece

Number of likes
How many travellers have added this property to their wishlist?
133,869

Unique features
What’s special about this place?
Once a wine cellar, The Hector Cave House is carved into the Caldera cliffs in Santorini offering two to five guests accomodation. The private verandah offers incredible views of Santorini – one of this year’s most Instagrammed destinations. Between April and November, guests can enjoy the non-heated plunge pool, perfect for two people. Free snorkel equipment is on offer to guests wanting a change from the onsite pool.

Guest reviews
Why do guests love it?
“We came across Hector Cave House in a Traveller Guide in our Melbourne newspaper – it was an article highlighting how good Airbnb could be, when the host went the extra mile in hospitality. Giannis has created a calm, clean, cleverly designed oasis in the old town of Oia. The view is breathtaking at every hour of the day. No-disruption wifi, great TV with cable, a safety box…and a visit from a neighbourhood cat, made this place like home for us. Giannis took care of arrangements for our transfer, luggage movement, introduction to the house and he was a wonderful, authentic host. Thank you Giannis – what a treasure of an experience you’ve given us!”


#1 – I Sette Coni
Ostuni, Italy

Number of likes
How many travellers have added this property to their wishlist?
164,444

Unique features
What’s special about this place?
Number one on the list of Airbnb’s most-loved properties is this Italian bed and breakfast situated in the beautiful town of Ostuni in the southeast corner of Italy. Known as a trullo (or the plural, trulli), this property takes the form of a traditional dry stone hut with a conical roof – architecture that is unique to this Italian region. Guests note that an indoor fireplace is available here, just one of a few properties in the area offering this. Both the location and check-in experience is rated five star. Within the vicinity are local vineyards, olive groves, and orchards ready for guests to explore.

Guest reviews
Why do guests love it?
“To stay in Anna’s trullo was unforgettable experience. It is beautiful, very comfortable, conveniently located. We loved everything about it. Anna and her mom Tonia are amazing hosts, welcoming and very helpful. Will not forget delicious cherry we were allowed to eat just from the trees, as well as Tonia’s jam. Next time we will be in Puglia, this is the place we will stay! Thank you!”

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