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As the summer travel season continues to pick up steam, so do the number of people who choose to stay at accommodation settings provided by Airbnb. A recent report of Airbnb shows that 17 million people who travelled in this past year, stayed at an Airbnb residence, that’s more than the entire population of Switzerland. While that’s a heck of a lot of beds being made, the attraction for a lot of people to use Airbnb is the authentic experience of living in another person’s world, completely different to their own. During a stay, people have the chance to create a unique and local travel experience from places as varied as Portland, Paris and Peru. Visiting off the beaten track locations and meeting local people that they never would have met if they were to have stayed in more conventional accommodation settings.
Deciding to give it a go as we were taking a vacation to Germany this summer with plans to hire a Porsche 911 for some fantastic scenic day trips, we thought we would see if Airbnb had anything exciting on offer that would fit our bill. Admittedly, because we have become too well acquainted with the finer things in life, we didn’t want to have to compromise on luxury, but at the same time we wanted something that would feel exotic, local and interesting and all simultaneously at once. So here is a list of places that best incited our curiosity.
Unique calling: Set in the heart of Germany’s Black Forest, the La Maison Freiburg villa is beautifully secluded, tucked away behind the thick of nature. A beautiful residence, the owners have clearly put considerable attention to detail with its stunning contemporary and elegant interior design.
The luxuries: The owners Wenke and Patrick are former high end restaurateurs who have considerable experience consulting upmarket boutique hotels and they seem to know exactly what they’re talking about. The villa includes 4 beautifully designed bedrooms, a children’s loft, a well appointed designer kitchen and sunshine lit bathrooms.
The Location: Within just a 10 minute drive from the city of Freiburg, the villa is also a 10 minute drive from the center of the Black Forest, making it perfect for us with great scenic drives in either direction. The natural beauty that surrounds you also has options for hiking, mountain bike riding and climbing the forested hills. Within walking distance for the kids there is the magical Steinwasen park and the Black Forest Action Park. Come the winter you can go skiing at Feldberg, sledding, in line skating and cross country skiing. While in the summer there are E-Yachts that can be taken out on Lake Titisee, paragliding and llama trekking. But these activities barely even skim the surface with an 18 hole golf course, horseback riding, tennis and still more on offer.
Unique Calling: The Industrial Loft @ Heart of Munich is cooool! And by cool I mean heaps of mood lighting, a Zen Styled courtyard, an LCD projection that fills the entire lounge room wall and is part of a home theatre system, a Wii gaming console and heaps of funky, comfy furniture. All spread out across a chic loft of a renovated 19th century Wilhelminian style house. Yes, that sort of cool.
The Luxuries: The interior of the loft features a mixture of warm and soft contours, such as oak parquet flooring and old timber beams that comprise the kitchen eating area, the lounge furniture is modern and plushed up with heaps of fluffy cushions. What’s more there are two stunning balconies that look out onto the inner city streets of Munich.
The Location: Located in the heart of Munich, you are within minute distances of the River Isar and the English Gardens, that both appear particularly inviting on a bright and sunny morning. Not far off either is the ever Vibrant Gärtnerplatzviertel (aka 'Munich SoHo') which is always popular for its cafés, clubs and restaurants. One visitor reported the thrill of feeling like a local with the experience of eating at an Italian restaurant situated just across the road where he got talking with the chef. Added to all this is the owner’s reputation for being exceptionally hospitable, this listing not surprisingly is hot pick.
Unique Calling: The owners of this luxury apartment in Berlin have hit the nail on the head with this classically decorated luxury pad. It has the perfectly symmetrical combination of modern with classic elegance. It is characterised by high ceilings that have a tasteful stucco design, modern luxury furnishings fill the rooms amongst deliberately placed baroque and classic paintings and art work. Besides from the fact that it is conveniently situated in the center of Berlin, the owners insist the apartment is entirely kid friendly. This one's a keeper to be saved to your wish list.
The Luxuries: Well, where do I begin? With the exceptionally stylish and elegant design, with the ultra modern and chic two toned walnut brown kitchen, or perhaps the elegant pieces of baroque furniture that pepper the apartment or the enormous french windows through which the sunshine cascades? But then there is also the grand piano that sits in the lounge room which apparently figured in Roman Polanski's "the Pianist" and is autographed by the famous producer. Question is, what isn’t luxurious about this apartment?
The Location: Situated on a pretty street in the residential area of Prenzlauer Berg, one of the most upmarket and sought after residential neighborhoods of Berlin. Despite its inner suburb location in Berlin, the neighborhood is a pleasure to drive through and has easy access to wider Berlin, through the U-Bahn (U2) Eberswalder Straße. The area is filled with cosy cafes, highly enticing restaurants and many great shops to pick up a bespoke item or two. However if you want to head out, many of the city’s landmarks are not far off, with a 15 minute walk to Alexanderplatz and even less than that to Hackescher Markt.
Unique Calling: Sprawled out over 340m², the Villa Tusculum in Binz mit Pool is an exceptional beautifully designed villa that possess a modern, airy, sunshine filled ambience through its 3 floors of living space. With room to sleep 8 people there is access to a swimming pool, a two sided glass fireplace, a harmoniously integrated living area and an exceptionally well equipped open kitchen. Located just minutes drive from the beach promenade of the picturesque Baltic sea, you can take a long road trip to fully enjoy the panoramic views surround you. This Villa is perfect for a family holiday with heaps of space, nearby restaurants, bakeries and beautiful boutiques.
The Luxuries: This home practically begs to be adored, seamlessly combining a classic and modern style with rich quality furnishings. The light oak wood surfaces that convey a warm and rustic feel are paired with classical furniture that are upholstered in spunky colors and pattern combinations. Creating a result that is surprisingly harmonious and pleasantly relaxing. Best of all there is heaps of parking available, sufficient for an entire fleet.
The Location: Found behind the bullrushes of the Baltic Coast, the residence is located in Binz one of Germany’s largest seaside resorts. Bursting with natural scenery, this is a great place to take time out and let the location become an inspiring springboard for your thoughts. Enjoy the rolling green hills, the azure waters of the Baltic sea and beautiful historic resort architecture.
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