The primary conceit behind home sharing is the ability for travelers to “live like a local.” This has been the one area where hotels have struggled most against home-sharing operators, with varying degrees of success.
However, Standard Hotels is throwing its hat into the ring with Airbnb and HomeAway with Stowaway, a program that invites guests to “curate your extended stay of seven or more nights exactly as you see fit.” For guests staying at least a week at a Standard Hotels property, the Stowaway program will include a personal concierge, a customized minibar and reservations to on-property and local restaurants.
The most luxurious amenity on offer through the Stowaway program is suggested to be a Tesla car service, though the availability of this is still up in the air.
Standard Hotels has yet to reveal a price behind Stowaway, but if it includes a Tesla-powered car and a personal concierge as promised, it is likely to remain on the luxury side of the business. The success of such a program will likely hinge on its price, particularly because cost-conscious travel is what drives Airbnb bookings, not luxury flair.
It’s difficult to say how effective Stowaway will be until a price point for the service is revealed, but it’s refreshing to see a new round of ideas come from hotel companies as they step up to compete with home sharing this year. After all, Airbnb remains one of the most profitable companies in the travel space, even as it continues to find itself targeted by regulators and attack ads.