Mexico: The eight-room Drift San Jose in Baja California, can only be booked through vacation rental site Airbnb.
Owner Stu Waddell launched the property in January this year in the historic arts district in San Jose del Cabo. It’s stripped down services include a communal kitchen where guests prepare their own meals, two courtyards, a firepit and a rooftop lavender garden.
He is aiming the property at the 25 to 35 age demographic and their needs, and told travel website Skift: “Millennials really respond to, ‘Here’s your key. Do it yourself,’ whereas with Boomers, it’s often, ‘We’re going to do everything for you. You don’t have to think about anything,'” Waddell explains. “So, basically, the Millennials are saying, ‘We don’t want the hotel to give us an experience. We want to create our own experience.’ So I’m giving them kind of a blank slate. I’m just providing a platform, a launching pad for them to create their own stories.”
As the hotel is only bookable via Airbnb, Waddell doesn’t need to manage reservations, payments, cancellations, and sales and marketing. Nightly rates are set at US$75, and guests can choose whatever room they want upon arrival, based on availability.
Waddell said: “Airbnb started out just being practical, but the more I’m using it the more I realize that it’s bringing me my exact target audience. And because my hotel is not traditional, and it’s in a town full of traditional hotels, the Airbnb clientele is already open to trying something new.”
He says of his clientele: “They don’t want to pay for all of those amenities in traditional hotels. They feel the amenities are the surfing and the culture, and all of that stuff.”
“I really find that Airbnb is the new way that younger people are looking for to travel. Because an Airbnb can kind of be anything, right? It’s almost like a bit of a club. I’m using the Airbnb brand as an entry point into my brand, and so far it’s been very positive for people open to new ideas. And I seem to be exceeding people’s expectations, which is awesome,” he said.