Airbnb makes summer travel iconic with new themed houses and celebrity experiences

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  • Published on May 7, 2024
  • Last Updated May 24, 2024
  • In Places

With Airbnb's newest lodging category, Icons, guests can live like the X-Men, float away in Pixar's “Up” house, or spend an evening with Kevin Hart or Doja Cat.

Airbnb is upping the ante for its newest lodging options this summer and well, they’re nothing short of iconic. During the vacation rental platform’s live 2024 Summer Release event, Airbnb’s latest lodging category was unveiled: Icons.

Icons are “extraordinary experiences hosted by the greatest names in music, film, television, art, sports, and more. Icons let you step into worlds you’ve only ever dreamed of,” the company said in a press release

The first 11 Icons are available to view now, with some rentals and experiences available to request. The other Icons, while they can be viewed on Airbnb’s site, will be available to request in upcoming months. 

The unique options include Carl and Ellie’s home from “Up.” Airbnb’s rendition of the cozy cottage from one of Disney and Pixar’s most beloved films is located in the scenic red rocks of Abiquiu, New Mexico, and comes complete with over 8,000 balloons. And yes, it floats. 

The balloon-adorned house from Disney and Pixar’s “Up.” Ryan Lowry

Marvel enthusiasts can experience the 2D world of X-Men ’97 in 3D and live like their favorite subhumans at the X-Mansion in Westchester, New York. Fellow mutant Jubilee will host guests as they discover their powers and abilities in the Danger Room.

The X-Mansion in Westchester, New York is hosted by mutant and Wolverine’s righthand woman, Jubilee. Max Miechowski/Airbnb

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the cult classic, fans can stay in Prince’s “Purple Rain” house. The musical legend purchased the Minneapolis, Minnesota home featured in the film, but never made it open to the public. Now, Airbnb allows guests to explore the house – which is equipped with authentic memorabilia from Prince’s estate – and listen to unreleased tracks by Prince in an exclusive studio session.

Prince’s “Purple Rain” house features memorabilia from the singer’s estate. Eric Ogden

The remaining Icon stays include a night at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy; catching the historic Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games along the River Seine, while staying in the clock tower of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris; an overnight gaming fest in Milan, Italy with TikTok sensation Khaby Lamel; unwinding in the serene oasis of Bollywood star Janhvi Kapoor and the Kapoor family home in Chennai, India; and a stay inside the headquarters of Riley’s emotions in celebration of Disney and Pixar’s upcoming film, “Inside Out 2. 

The new Icon category also includes several celebrity experiences, including a VIP evening with comedian Kevin Hart at his members-only Coramino Live Lounge. Guests will join Hart and his friends in this secret speakeasy, where they’ll treat you to a tequila tasting and live stand-up by the best comedians in the game. Some lucky fans will enjoy a private performance by and jam session with from Grammy-winning artist Doja Cat. Others can opt for the fast life for an entire week by joining reggaeton superstar Feid on his FERXXOCALIPSIS World Tour. 

Fans of reggaeton artist Feid can experience life on the road by joining the singer during his FERXXOCALIPSIS World Tour. Sismatyc

During the live event, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb Brian Chesky  stated that the idea for the new category stemmed from the success of Airbnb’s 2020 activation in Bend, Oregon, at the world’s last Blockbuster store, where they recreated the perfect setup for a Friday night movie marathon from the 80s. He also referenced the frenzy the brand created with its life-size Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse in partnership with the 2023 hit “Barbie. 

“Icons take you inside worlds that only existed in your imagination—until now,” said Chesky. “As life becomes increasingly digital, we’re focused on bringing more magic into the real world. With Icons, we’ve created the most extraordinary experiences on Earth.”

Travelers interested in the Icons can find the category on Airbnb’s homepage. Most of the stays are free or priced under $100 per guest. The release states that a countdown will display the time each Icon is available and open for booking through the app. The specially curated experience will begin when the lucky guests selected receive a digital golden ticket. More than 4,000 tickets will be available in 2024. 

In addition to its new stays and experiences, Airbnb also announced its efforts to simplify group bookings. Chesky notes that 80 percent of Airbnb’s bookings are group trips requiring multiple people’s input. The platform now offers shared wishlists, group chat threads with the hosts and all travelers, and custom trip invitations sent to each guest on the booking, making for easier planning 

The new Icons and group trip booking features are currently available on Airbnb for users to begin planning their summer travels. For more information on the latest upgrades, visit www.airbnb.com/release and check out the 2024 Summer Release highlights.

Martie Bowser is a journalist and public relations professional in Charlotte, NC. She enjoys amplifying the voices of POC and women that fill a void within their community. Her favorite things to cover include “person of interest” pieces, small business highlights, pop culture commentary, entertainment features, and everything about Beyoncé. Her bylines can be found in Essence, Blavity, Black Wall Street Times, and HipHop Weekly. Martie can be reached via email at martiebowser@detourxp.com.

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