Airbnb launches $1m search for wildest home-stay ideas

Could an Irish host come up with a fairy fort or a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow?

Airbnb has enhanced our adventuring spirits with novel and fun escapes all over the world and away from our ordinary lives – for a few days at least.

You can use the property-rental platform to cuddle up inside an elephant in Margate City, New Jersey; to make like the old woman who lived in a shoe in the Old Boot in Nelson, New Zealand; or to climb inside a giant tuber in the middle of a field at the Big Idaho Potato Hotel in Boise, in the US.

Now the tech firm wants to take it to the next level and find the world’s wildest home ideas, with the launch of a $1 million fund to make them a reality. The Unique Airbnb Fund is designed to find and help finance the most unconventional and unusual liveable spaces on the planet.

Ten recipients of the Unique Airbnb Fund will be selected by a panel of design and style innovators, including the Cinderella actor Billy Porter, the superhost Kristie Wolfe and the luxury brands Hermes and Bvlgari.


Design enthusiasts can submit their outlandish proposals online until April 15th; the 10 winners will be selected by May 15th.

Already Airbnb reports that searches on its site for unexpected and unique spaces, such as shepherd’s huts, windmills and tiny houses, have increased by nearly 70 per cent in the last year, with domes, RVs, tree houses and yurts among the most booked listings of all time.

Clearly it’s a golden opportunity for Irish hosts to lose the run of their imaginations with all manner of Ireland-themed stays. A real live fairy fort to call your own? A pot of gold at the end of your very own rainbow?