We’re avid users of Airbnb here at Short Motivation and, on the whole, have always had a mostly positive experience. We love the convenience of staying in your own self-contained home, being able to park in your own space and being able to pick something close to our desired destination.
But, there are negatives. We’ve experienced homes where the promotional photos were clearly taken years earlier and the home looking a little worse for wear in places. We’ve had situations where the washing machine won’t operate or the central heating is performing poorly (a weekend in Notting Hill, coping with a very cold Airbnb left us leaving a day early, as an example).
With the above in mind, other companies are trying to launch within this home-sharing market, but attempting to up the level and offer a much-improved service. Stay One Degree is one example where the site brings together luxury home owners with individuals wanting to rent direct.
The Marriot Group has teamed up with management company Hostmaker to launch a brand new home-sharing site, Tribute Portfolio Homes, which has been launched a public beta. Locations are limited in the early beta preview, limited to London, Lisbon, Paris and Rome. Not only locations are limited, but the number of properties on offer is rather limited too.
Take London as an example. With Airbnb, you can nail specific areas. Do you want to stay in East Dulwich? Simply type this in to search the area. WithTribute Portfolio Home you’re currently limited to searching the entire London area, although you can zoom in to a map to view properties located your desired location and choose from specific neighbourhoods.
In addition, you have to search by date, meaning your initial results list properties available on those specific dates. You then need to go in and clear the dates to see the full portfolio. Often we search on the type of property we want to book, then figure our travel around the property, rather than the other way around.
Although you can specify a price range and number of bedrooms, there isn’t a way of limiting choice based on amenities, although these are listed on every individual search page. As an example, after searching for an apartment in Shoreditch, we could see our apartment had a balcony, but there was no way of selecting this through the search function.
One huge benefit of booking a Tribute Portfolio Homes property is you can collect Marriott reward points. For example, a 1-bed apartment in Lisbon over 4 nights, costing $440, would offer 110,000 points, enough to book you 2 free nights in a half-decent Marriot hotel in London worth £600. Sadly you can’t currently use your Marriott reward points to book another Tribute Portfolio Home property, although that option is coming in the future.
Head to the Tribute Portfolio Homes website for more information.