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Can You Afford to Stay at the World's Most Popular Airbnbs?

Airbnb is full of beautiful and unique homes. We researched how much it would cost to stay at the most desirable properties on the platform.

With the rise of short-term vacation rental websites like Airbnb, travellers are no longer limited to hotels when researching vacations. Airbnb's inception in 2008 shook the traditional hotel industry, and over the years, many gorgeous, breath-taking homes have been listed. Since travellers are now considering accommodations as part of their overall experience, we found out how much it costs to stay at the top 5 most wish-listed homes on Airbnb.

This graph shows the top wish-listed homes on Airbnb in 2018

1. I Sette Coni - Ostuni, Italy

This picture shows I Sette Coni in Ostuni, Italy
Source: Airbnb

The I Sette Coni home in Ostuni is easily identified by the 7 cones atop its roof. It may seem like a one-of-a-kind architectural decision, but cone-shaped roofs are standard for trulli houses. These homes dot the area of Alberobello and date back to the Bronze Age (although today's structures date back to the mid-14th century). Located between the towns of Martina Franca and Ostuni, this particular fairytale-esque trullo has been the most wish-listed property on Airbnb with over 160,000 bookmarks. The cost of staying at this home ranges from Rs. 5,022 to Rs. 6,443, including cleaning and service fees each night. Past guests have highlighted the hosts' hospitality and the peacefulness of the surrounding landscape. If you want to venture outside of the property, you can visit the towns and villages in the region or hike in Gargano National Park.

This table shows the average nightly cost of the Airbnb, I Sette Coni, roundtrip airfare and average cost of popular activities and day tours in the surrounding region

2. Hector Cave House - Santorini, Greece

This picture shows Hector Cave House in Santorini, Greece
Source: Airbnb

For couples who spare no expense, the Hector Cave House in Santorini is a unique and tasteful home carved into the wall of a caldera cliff. It is currently one of the top-rated homes on Airbnb (5-stars) and costs between Rs. 24,807 for off-season stays and Rs. 54,941 per night for peak season stays, including fees. This unique home offers a plunge pool and unbeatable views of the Aegean Sea. It is also situated close to Oia Village where one can explore Byzantine ruins, book boat tours or relax by the bay. This Airbnb's price varies drastically by season. Peak season prices (between May and September) can cost more than Rs. 50,000 per night (including service fees), but booking in the off-season typically costs in the Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 40,000 range.

This table shows the average nightly cost of the Airbnb Hector Cave House, roundtrip airfare and average cost of popular activities and day tours in the surrounding region

3. Romantic Cabana - Armenia, Colombia

This picture shows the Romantic Cabana in Armenia, Colombia
Source: Airbnb

Those looking for rainforest seclusion surrounded by tropical fruits and vegetables would surely enjoy the Romantic Cabana home in Armenia, Colombia. Although the property itself is one of the lower-priced options on this list, the trip to Armenia is the longest (30-40 hours each way) and most expensive among these top 5 locations. For those willing to make the journey, the home is beautifully situated in the Andean Mountains on a small organic farm with proximity to coffee tours, hiking trails and local farms. The property itself is an elevated, bright and spacious cabana with views of the surrounding vegetation. There is an outdoor but secluded shower, breakfast is included and its hosts help you plan and facilitate transportation to and from the airport. One can also request lunch or dinner for an additional Rs. 406.

This table shows the average nightly cost of the Airbnb, Romantic Cabana home, roundtrip airfare and average cost of popular activities and day tours in the surrounding region

4. Eco Bamboo Home - Bali, Indonesia

This picture shows Eco Bamboo Home in Bali
Source: Airbnb

Individuals who are looking for seclusion and nature but don't want to take the long trip to South America would appreciate Airbnb's 4th most wish-listed home. Made out of bamboo, the Hideout Bali Eco Bamboo home is well-maintained with a private garden and a river. For those who like to ride, a scooter and two helmets are provided for getting around locally. A stay costs around Rs. 11,364 per night (including cleaning and service fees).

An Airbnb is often great for a holiday away from hustle and bustle. However, if you want to explore a more populous area while in Bali, Amlapura will be your closest option. On the way there, you can also make a short detour to visit the Puri Agung Karangasem, Tirta Gangga and the Taman Sukasada Ujung palaces, take a cooking class at the Bali Asli or visit the Bali Chocolate Factory.

This table shows the average nightly cost of the Airbnb, Eco Bamboo Home, roundtrip airfare and average cost of popular activities and day tours in the surrounding region

5. Luxurious Stone Villa in Crete - Chania, Greece

This picture shows Luxurious Stone Villa in Chania, Greece
Source: Airbnb

The second Greek Airbnb among the top 5, this Luxurious Stone Villa is situated in the village of Kaliviani on the island of Crete. This Airbnb is a studio home carved into a natural rock cave and offers views of the Kissamos Bay. It is conveniently situated nearby the airport and to some of the best attractions in Chania. The property costs about Rs. 10,704 per night during peak season and about Rs. 7,356 per night during the offseason (including cleaning and service fees). The host recommends renting a car, which we found to cost an average of Rs. 5,327 per day if rented from Chania International Airport. Overall, Crete is a great destination for history and beach lovers alike—when one gets tired from touring the ancient ruins of Knossos, one can relax on the picturesque Balos or Falasarna beaches.

This table shows the average nightly cost of the Airbnb, Luxurious Stone Villa, roundtrip airfare and average cost of popular activities and day tours in the surrounding region

What to Keep in Mind When Staying at Airbnbs

While good hosts do their best to make their guests' stay as safe and comfortable as possible, there are still some inherent differences between Airbnbs and hotels. Being prepared with a contingency plan could be wise in the event that your booking gets cancelled last minute or security is not up to standards. A good travel insurance policy can offer peace of mind by providing access to 24/7 emergency assistance services, cancellation and delay coverage. Furthermore, because an Airbnb may not be in the centre of town, doing some research on the customs of your destination would be helpful. This is especially true with some of the unique destinations on our list—they are unique because they offer new experiences in destinations that are more off the beaten path. It can also help to learn a few basic phrases in the local language.

Last, always be particularly mindful to treat an Airbnb host and their home with respect. Unlike hotels, which usually have hundreds of staff on hand, an Airbnb host may do everything themselves or only have limited help. We'd love to know: do you prefer Airbnbs or hotels when you travel? If you commonly frequent Airbnbs, which one has been your favourite?

Dan Grossman

Dan is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion India, focusing on credit cards. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics & Economics from the University of Michigan, and previously worked in the financial services industry at Capital One and Moelis & Company.