Airbnb Plus Checklist: The Ultimate Vacation Rental Guide

As an Airbnb host, you probably already know what Airbnb Plus is. Long story short, it’s Airbnb, but with a whole lot more benefits for hosts and guests. 

And if you want to join: read on. This is your ultimate checklist to make the grade.

Launched in 2018, Airbnb Plus is an “upgrade” program to the “normal” Airbnb. 

It allows would-be guests to search for higher-end properties that offer excellent design in premium locations, with special hospitality touches and excellent customer service. It can offer a great experience for hosts too.

But as with all hospitality industry trends, it’s important to consider if they are right for you, your business, and your guests. 

Airbnb Plus looks glossy, but application and eligibility criteria are strict, each application to the program costs $149, it’s an exclusive program that asks you to renounce all other listings and bookings—and there’s no guarantee of acceptance if you apply before you’re ready.

That’s why we’ve created this page to be your ultimate Airbnb Plus checklist, not only to help you make the grade if you want to but also to check if it’s right for you in the first place.

Read on for:

✔ A full guide to what Airbnb Plus is and how to know if it’s right for your vacation rental

✔ A simple guide to the requirements you need to be listed as Airbnb Plus

✔ A comprehensive Airbnb Plus checklist for everything from check-in and safety to proper maintenance and great design

✔ Answers to your most frequently-asked Airbnb Plus questions

Connect your operations

Operto provides Airbnb hosts with peace of mind while giving guests a memorable experience. Want to see how it would work with your rental?

What is Airbnb Plus?

Airbnb Plus is a separate program that is considered to be an “upgrade” on the standard Airbnb listing and aims to offer a premium experience for both guests and hosts.

You can be a great host without it—but it may help you to generate more income and save time, make your listing look better instantly, and enable you to spend more time offering excellent hospitality to your happy guests.

Airbnb Plus: 

  • Takes Superhost principles further, including excellent guest communication and service, no cancellations, and high levels of hospitality.

  • Started in 13 pilot cities and is now available in a wider array of key cities and sought-after premium locations worldwide.

  • Requires a non-refundable application fee of $149.

  • Gives hosts a verified badge on listings, which helps build even more trust with your potential guests, and which goes far beyond the usual Superhost badge.

  • Offers professional photography, expert design advice, copywriting help with your listing, and premium access to customer support.

Airbnb Plus properties:

  • Place considerable emphasis on design, quality, and good guest communication, and as Airbnb puts it, rooms that feel “tied together, and feature pieces that create visual interest”.

  • Appear in a separate part of the website, with a different format designed to help your listing shine.

  • Appear higher in search results.

  • Can charge considerably more per night.

One caveat though: AirbnbPlus is an exclusive listing program, which means properties are only allowed to accept bookings through that platform. This is a major consideration to take into account if you are usually reliant on bookings through other OTAs or your direct website.

Airbnb Plus requirements

Airbnb Plus has some strict criteria for properties and hosts to adhere to—and rightly. It means that acceptance into the program actually means something.

The basic eligibility requirements are:

  • The listing must be an entire place or a private bedroom with a private bathroom.

  • The property must be located in one of the designated cities or premium regions throughout the world.

  • The host must have maintained an average rating of at least 4.8 out of 5 over the past year, including fast and good-quality communication with guests and prospective guests by the host.

  • The host must not have canceled any reservations in the past year.

  • The host must have accepted 95% of booking requests over the past year.

The ultimate Airbnb Plus checklist

Airbnb Plus requirements go far beyond eligibility. Properties must also adhere to a wide range of criteria on everything from check-in, to security, to excellent design. 

Here are the main things to focus on for maximum success.

Airbnb Plus Checklist: Check-in

Airbnb Plus guests are looking for the easiest, most streamlined, and on-demand check-in possible—and the criteria are designed to help you, as the host, deliver exactly that.

Guests don’t want to wait, they don’t expect to have to arrive within a tiny time window (especially stressful if travel is delayed), and they don’t want awkward, time-consuming (or, post-Covid, potentially stressful or unsafe), needless face-to-face interaction.

Check-in must offer:

  • 24/7 check-in via a nearby host, doorperson, keypad, or Airbnb smart lock.

  • Comprehensive check-in instructions with at least one photo.

  • A printed house manual with at least the house rules, emergency details, contact details for a host, the Wi-Fi passcode, and all information about your checkout procedures.

Platforms such as Operto can help you streamline and automate keyless entry for vacation rentals by giving guests their access code and important check-in details ahead of time, without requiring them to download a separate app or rely on their phone to get in.

Guests have easy access and super-secure locks for a streamlined process that eliminates any of the usual worries and uncertainties of the average Airbnb check-in.

Airbnb Plus Checklist: Security, Privacy, and Safety

Airbnb Plus isn’t just about easy access or fancy design: it also requires properties to adhere to a higher level of security, safety, and privacy. 

Services such as Operto can help you to improve security with remote-controlled, contactless systems, where smart lock access can be turned on and off remotely by hosts. Doing away with the old, manual way of doing things provides hosts with peace of mind. After all, lockboxes for vacation rentals can often be rickety and insecure, while keys can be stolen, lost, or copied.

Access can be turned on for people arriving and turned off when they leave, meaning only authorized guests and staff have access to the property for complete peace of mind.

You must also have:

  • A strong smart lock to the property.

  • A solid lock on all bedrooms.

  • Privacy for all washrooms and bathrooms, at least with frosted glass or window blinds.

  • Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

Airbnb Plus Checklist: Bedrooms

Airbnb Plus bedrooms must offer an enhanced level of comfort and usefulness. 

This includes:

  • Clean, welcoming, comfortable, with a proper bed frame and mattress.

  • No sagging or squeaking mattresses or bed frames.

  • All sheets, duvet, and bedding provided, comfortable, and the right size for the bed.

  • Two pillows per person, e.g. four pillows for a double bed.

  • At least one shelf, drawer, or luggage rack for guests.

  • Hanging space with at least four non-wire hangers.

  • Extra touches such as a hairdryer.

Airbnb Plus Checklist: Bathrooms

Bathrooms can sometimes seem like an afterthought compared to the bedroom, but Airbnb Plus hosts must ensure they offer just as luxurious an experience as the rest of the property.

This includes:

  • At least one washroom or bathroom that is for guests’ private use.

  • Proper sink, and at least one bathtub or shower.

  • Hot and cold water with strong water pressure.

  • Seated toilet with a strong water flush.

  • A large mirror.

  • Toiletries, including new hand soap, new bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and body wash.

  • Towels, including at least four hand towels and four bath towels

  • At least two rolls of toilet paper.

Airbnb Plus Checklist: Kitchen

Guests may well be taking a break when they come to stay at your Airbnb Plus vacation rental, but the quality and experience of the kitchen and dining areas are still paramount for those holiday cocktails and special meals.

This includes:

  • Stovetop with at least two burners, and a full-size fridge, if you have a full kitchen.

  • A kitchenette must have a microwave, and a stovetop with at least one burner or hotplate, plus at least a mini-fridge.

  • At least two pots and two pans.

  • Food prep items including a large knife, smaller knife, and bread knife; spatula;  bottle opener, and corkscrew.

  • Crockery, including at least four sets of plates, mugs, bowls, and glasses.

  • Cutlery, including at least four sets of a fork, knife, and spoon.

  • A chopping board.

  • Cleaning materials including dish soap, a cleaning sponge or brush, and at least one full roll of paper towels.

  • Garbage can with bags.

Airbnb Plus Checklist: Equipment

Airbnb Plus properties aren’t just judged on how they look, they’re also evaluated for the utility and quality of the tools inside, too.

You must offer:

  • Wi-Fi with download speeds of at least 5 Mbps.

  • Iron and ironing board.

  • Effective and safe air conditioning, fan, heater, or space heater. Using smart devices with a platform such as Operto means that you can connect these and control them remotely, saving you time and energy when not in use, and improving safety.

  • TV or projector with working cable or access to a streaming option.

Airbnb Plus Checklist: Maintenance

Keeping standards to Airbnb Plus level means taking good care of your short-term rental, including ensuring consistent and reliable maintenance, quality repairs, and excellent housekeeping.

When you use a platform such as Operto, you can access helpful tools such as VRScheduler, which helps you build more solid workflows around this often-neglected but super-important element of running your space.


  • All areas must be spotless, including walls and windows, floors, furniture, sheets, and towels.

  • All appliances, lights, and any other gadgets or objects must be easy and simple to use, and work as intended, with hidden wires or workings.

  • All pieces, such as furniture and furnishings, must be well-made to a high standard, properly installed, and with no signs of adverse damage.

  • Outdoor spaces should be well-maintained, with no weeds, dead or dying plants, clutter, or unsafe materials.

Airbnb Plus Checklist: Thoughtful Design

Eye-catching, memorable, and/or high-end interior design is one of the central requirements for an Airbnb Plus property, with hosts able to showcase their distinctive style, and guests appreciating a vacation rental with a real difference.

This might include:

  • A cohesive, individual, inviting style.

  • Character, with memorable pieces or objects with inspiring stories.

  • Open, expansive spaces that are not cramped or too dark.

  • High-quality furniture and decor.

Airbnb Plus: A great option for your vacation rental?

Airbnb Plus could be a great option for your vacation rental.

It enables you to offer better, more streamlined, and comfortable service and experiences; and allows the guest to enjoy hotel-level services and comfort for a lower, better price and a more personalized, relaxed service than most major hotels.

From the streamlined, super-easy check-in process, to managing safety and security with zero stress, and coordinating maintenance easily and remotely, switching your vacation rental management to a digital platform such as Operto—with added tools such as VRScheduler—is a key way to ensure your guests’ experience is modern, easy, comfortable, and memorable for all the right reasons.

Connect your operations

Operto provides Airbnb hosts with peace of mind while giving guests a memorable experience. Want to see how it would work with your rental?

Frequently Asked Questions about Airbnb Plus

Is Airbnb Plus worth it for hosts?

If Airbnb is your main revenue stream for your vacation rental and you offer a high-quality service, then Airbnb Plus could be perfect for you, as it allows you to charge higher rates, provide a better level of stay, and increase occupancy. 

Airbnb Plus hosts also benefit from increased visibility on the website, beautiful professional photos that show your property at its best, as well as a distinctive design and layout for your Airbnb Plus listing, plus copywriting help from Airbnb to describe your place perfectly.

Guests trust your space more and are much more likely to book, and they will expect (and receive) better service and a much higher quality of stay.

In contrast, if you receive significant bookings from other sources, Airbnb Plus may not be right for you. 

Airbnb Plus hosts agree to remove their properties from all other OTAs and third-party sites, and must also cancel any existing bookings on other platforms, if applicable, before joining the program. This may be an issue for you, so it’s important to consider before applying and joining.

How do I get my listings on Airbnb Plus?

Properties on Airbnb Plus must first qualify for the eligibility criteria, such as having no lower than a 4.8 rating, and zero cancellations. You must then pay a $149 application fee, and score highly enough on Airbnb Plus’ 100+ inspection criteria to qualify.

You can request an invite if you believe your property and service to be up to standard, and you can also be invited by Airbnb if it thinks your property and hosting skills are especially suitable.

What’s the difference between Airbnb, Airbnb Superhost, and Airbnb Plus?

Airbnb Plus is a separate program from Airbnb, although it uses the same website to list its properties. 

A standard Airbnb listing allows anyone with a space to upload some photos, write a description, set a price, and—depending on the local laws—list their space instantly. 

There is no real quality control beyond reviews from guests—although hosts do have to satisfy some criteria, such as safety features and basic facilities. Hosts with the best reviews, photos, descriptions, and facilities will likely receive more bookings, ensure higher occupancy, and higher revenue. 

Regular listings may need to have lower prices depending on the style of the place, and competitiveness of the area, especially if they use Airbnb’s smart pricing feature. Regular listings come up lower on search results and do not benefit from premium support.

Superhost is a status automatically given to hosts of regular listings who perform exceptionally well. To qualify, Superhosts must host at least 10 stays in a year, maintain a 90% response rate or higher to messages and inquiries, and respond quickly; have earned at least 80% 5-star reviews, and rarely cancel, if at all. 

Superhosts receive a special badge, making them appear more trustworthy to guests, plus extra perks such as Airbnb vouchers, and access to extra customer support. Superhost listings also show up higher on search results.

Airbnb Plus has a much more detailed and demanding list of criteria for hosts to adhere to far beyond the demands of Superhost—and also recognizes extra touches such as great design and fixtures and fittings quality—meaning that it acts as a real stamp of approval for guests looking for somewhere extra special to stay. 

You do not have to wait until you are a Superhost before becoming an Airbnb Plus host, and you can “jump the line” if your property qualifies.

How does Airbnb Plus offer better experiences for guests?

With its strict criteria and higher bar to entry, Airbnb Plus aims to ensure premium stays, with spaces that are comfortable, cozy, and have real character. 

Guests can book quickly and check in with ease. They can rely on five-star service, experienced hosts, and a hotel-style stay; without the hassle, old-fashioned check-in process, waiting around, impersonality, and the weighty price tag of the usual hotel experience.

They can make use of the simple communication and intuitive platform offered by Airbnb, offering them great access to you, and extra help from premium Airbnb customer support if needed, for even more peace of mind.

How much more do Airbnb Plus vacation rental properties earn?

Research suggests that Airbnb Plus properties can charge up to 70% more on average than standard Airbnb vacation rentals, and have occupancy rates up to 15% higher, depending on location.

In Austin, Texas, for example, Plus properties can earn as much as 404% more than standard listings, while spaces in Sydney, Australia, and Barcelona, Spain, can go for 300% more.

Your inclusion in the program means your property has received official approval, and in return, you will receive the Airbnb Plus badge, which builds real trust with potential guests.

You’ll receive a premium listing design, professional photography, styling advice, and a tweaked write-up targeted to your perfect guests, who are looking for a vacation rental exactly like yours. This means that the quality of your rental, and the guarantee of a good stay, will shine through. 

Good, reliable, safe, and respectful guests will be only too happy to pay more for obviously better service and space, as they will trust that your vacation rental will offer a premium experience with far less risk to them.

Result: Your occupancy rates will shoot up, and so will your earnings.