May 1, 2024 - Business

Airbnb adds "Icon" stays with celebs, museums and more

A recreation of the X-Men Mansion that will be available as an Airbnb Icon listing.

A recreation of the X-Men mansion that will be available as an Airbnb Icon listing. Photo: Courtesy Airbnb

Airbnb is rolling out a smattering of experiential listings called "Icons," ranging from hangs with celebs to overnight museum stays.

Why it matters: It's another way for the company to differentiate itself from hotels amid a fierce battle for travelers' dollars.

Driving the news: Airbnb is introducing 11 "Icons" to start, including a speakeasy chill session with Kevin Hart, an overnight stay at the Musée d'Orsay's clock room in Paris, and an IRL re-creation of the X-Men's mansion in Westchester, New York.

  • The offerings are largely a combination of celebrity access and what those in the marketing biz might call "brand activations."
  • See the full list of launch offerings here.

How it works: Interested users can enter a lottery for "digital golden tickets," Airbnb says, with over 4,000 such tickets available this year.

  • Users must fill out a short questionnaire about themselves and their connection with their desired Icon. Airbnb will invite winners to book Icons based on their answers.
  • Most of the Icon offerings are free for lottery winners, though some cost up to $100 per guest.

Meanwhile: Airbnb is also introducing shared wish lists, a revamped messaging tool and other changes meant to make it easier to plan trips with friends or family.

What they're saying: Icons are "a way of getting people excited about, and having them share in the excitement, of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you can have — and a way of signaling that Airbnb is more than just a great place to stay," Jay Carney, Airbnb's global head of policy and communications, tells Axios.

What's next: Expect "a cadence of drops" to come, Carney adds.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with more details about how Airbnb users apply to stay at an Icon.

Go deeper