Airbnb And The Hotel Industry

Our Verdict on The Plum Guide: The New Luxury Version of Airbnb - Harpers Bazaar

Excerpt from Harpers Bazaar

To say Airbnb has changed the way we travel would be an understatement. Often more spacious and cost effective than a hotel, staying in one of its many rental homes offers a more authentic way of experiencing a destination than traditional accommodation. And yet, we've all arrived at our Airbnb full of excitement to find it falls short of expectation and not exactly like the glossy pictures advertised.

As we previously announced, new company The Plum Guide aims to solve this quandary. The rental service has scoured Airbnb and One Fine Stay to find the most luxurious properties so that you'll never be left disappointed when you open the door to your holiday home. Focusing initially on London, The Plum Guide has trawled so far two thirds of the capital to curate the most beautiful, luxe properties available to hire at relatively accessible prices.

It's an appealing business idea, but does it live up to the hype? We stayed in one of its rentals to find out.

It should be noted that every property listed on The Plum Guide has to meet a 150-point criteria (with factors from whether or not the kitchen is a fun place to hang out in to the pressure of the showers and thickness of the mattresses) so only one in 100 makes the cut. With that in mind, it's not unreasonable to assume that the rentals will be top level. We were not disappointed, staying in a 1830s coach house in between Clapham and Brixton. From the exterior, the three-bedroom bungalow looked modestly sized but in reality spanned 1,700 foot. The open plan kitchen and lounge were beautifully decorated in an elegantly modern way. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room and master bedroom gave way to an extensive garden, offering a heightened sense of space and light. The master bathroom (there was a secondary shower room too) featured a roll top tub which sat next to two frosted patio doors again opening to a serene garden, complete with a lavender flower bed and a tiny hobbit-sized thatched shed - all very Soho Farmhouse. Waking up to birds feels a rare treat in such a busy part of London, as does sitting outside looking over expanses of green. You could come here with young family, or with friends. The spacious layout means that it feels sizeable enough for six or more people.

The verdict?

Staying with The Plum Guide felt like being in the sort of chic home you wished you owned and far from standard, impersonal holiday rentals. Airbnb should watch its back.

The Coach House is available to rent via The Plum Guide from £344 per night. For more information visit

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