The six new categories added to Airbnb will allow users to navigate the website to a crazy degree of specificity. For example, one category only includes homes which are 10,000 feet above sea level, so guests can have the best views possible. Another category, when selected, will solely list traditional Korean homes constructed of natural materials.
This is just one part of Airbnb’s winter release, which encompasses a host of changes to the platform, including easier listing processes (so you can put your home on site with less fuss), increased financial protection for hosts and these new fun categories. But let’s break them down for you.
“New” is the category which does what it says on the tin: it lists homes added to Airbnb within the past 10 weeks, so you have the freshest of the fresh picks from the site.
Take this property (pictured above) from the New category, for example: A “hidden haven” in Cape Town, South Africa, added less than ten weeks ago. The Airbnb is well and truly business in the front (modern, open exterior with pool and sea views), and party in the back (Table Mountain is literally right behind it). If that’s what’s new on Airbnb, count me in.
Top of the world
Perhaps the most exciting of the new categories is “Top of the world”, displaying homes that sit around 10,000 feet above sea level, “often with stunning views”, according to Airbnb. Judging by one of the first picks in the category, they weren’t lying. A stay in this Stardome resort puts you 10,489ft above sea level, and there’s very little between you and the views — this domed glass property will let you look out at the hills of Ollantaytambo in Cuzco, Peru. And with traditional Peruvian decor and breakfast in the resort restaurant overlooking the mountain range, you really will feel on top of the world.
The trending category is for high rated homes that received more listing views that week than the previous week (to indicate increased interest, basically). If anything is really popping off on Airbnb — remember when everyone realised you could stay at the Italian villa from Normal People? — you’ll know about it via this category. One of the top Trending picks right now is this tree-loft stay in Perryville, Missouri, which may be trending because it was featured on Architectural Digest and in GQ in recent years. True to the high rating requirement of Airbnb’s trending category, this stay is also managed by superhosts.
Adapted is a category shows homes which are specially adapted for wheelchair access, with verified step-free paths into the home, bedroom and bathroom. For instance, this barrier-free home in Nova Scotia is as gorgeous inside as it is innovative: the property is entirely on one level and its open plan living area boasts a 13ft window, so you can sip your morning coffee and look out on the highlands of Grand Etang Lake. Its bathrooms have assistance bars and the shower includes an attractive slotted wood bench, for ease of use. Plus, there’s two free parking spaces so getting to and from the property is also accessible.
And for those on the hunt for fun, there’s the Play category. This is a dedicated section for homes with basketball courts, game rooms, miniature golf, water slides and more distinctly playful things for kids (or adult children). The first properties you’ll see on display in the Play category include bowling alleys, bouldering walls within bedrooms, homes with UV lit mini golf routes and baseball fields.
Take this sleek McMansion in Florida — it may look like a multi-tiered stay perfect for relaxing on the East Coast, but it’s actually got an entire laset tag course inside, a 13-seat home theatre and karaoke room. The games room also includes two basketball shooting games, two skeeball machines, two arcade racing games, Ms Pac-Man table top, Golden Tee, Buck Hunter, Air Hockey, Shuffleboard, Pool Table, Bubble Hockey, Ping Pong, Foosball, Dartboard, and, most importantly, lifesized Connect Four.
The final category, Hanoks, follows its namesake: it only shows traditional Korean homes constructed of natural materials. This hanok is 105 years-old but has been renovated within to have a modern feel within its tradtional walls, from Dyson hairdryers to Aesop shampoo. Hanok by name, but not by nature.
This category is a great way to filter through the classic homes if you want to travel to South Korea and are set on staying in a hanok. Prices range from lower priced stays around £250 per night to beautiful, newly refurbished entire homes from £2,000.