Dream travels: Treehouses and private islands

To celebrate Airbnb’s seventh birthday, one host shares how renting rooms is helping shape individual dreams of travel, from Montenegro to the islands of the Indian Ocean

Feature by Tomas Quilliam | 26 Feb 2016

There had been similar operations before Airbnb appeared on the scene. Way pavers. Sites where you put your spare bed/couch up online, and people contacted you to stay. As a host, you were expected to cook, or take people out for drinks. We did it just for the love of meeting people.

I’ve been Airbnbing for over a year. It has shaped my recent life – I knew I wanted to host, and bought my flat with that in mind – choosing a two bed that I couldn’t afford. It has allowed me to renovate the flat, turning it into a space that for the first time feels like home. And most significantly, it has allowed me to take enough time from work to be able to focus on a dream project – opening accommodation in Montenegro called ‘The Grove’. A large high end hostel thing in an old olive mill, complete with private Hobbit Holes built into the hillside, specifically designed for Airbnb users. It’s what Tolkien would have wanted.

A Montenegrin Hobbit Hole is just the beginning of the magical abodes you can find on Airbnb. Right now they have over 620 treehouses listed on site, from a rustic bird tower in the Ecuadorian cloud forest to a dazzling glass box nestled in the Tuscan countryside.

Guests can also go one step further, and live the fantasy life of millionaires by renting a whole private island. Airbnb has more than 270 – from the sun­kissed paradise of the Indian Ocean to the rather chillier coast of Denmark.

Until 9 March 2016, Airbnb will be giving £100 off every treehouse and private island booked on the platform, with a minimum spend of £400 to qualify for the discount. Visit Airbnb to explore their latest listings.

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