The 12 Best Airbnbs to Host Your Next Big Holiday Celebration
From Miami, Florida to Briggsville, Wisconsin, these are the best rental properties around the country for hosting a big, festive dinner
Ever thought about having your next big holiday celebration at an Airbnb?
If you’re not sure exactly how you plan to celebrate this year, a quick glance at the calendar reveals it’s time to start thinking about it ASAP. And if you have the pleasure (or misfortune) of hosting a whole slew of tasks and responsibilities comes with it — where to host, chief among them.
Of course, the obvious answer is at home. But perhaps your family has grown this year, or said place of residence is simply too small to squeeze in all the friends you want to invite. Or maybe, after two years of subpar celebrations, you’re just ready to break bread in a new locale.
Whatever the reason, there’s likely a Airbnb for you. And if you’ve never considered hosting your next big holiday celebration at a rental property, let 2022 be the year. Destination Christmases are all the rage, after all, so why not turn your Thanksgiving into a mini staycation, even if it is just an hour north? Particularly if that staycation also means post-dinner access to a beach, 400 private acres or dip in an indoor pool.
Now, it does bear mentioning that Airbnb codified its house party ban, making it a permanent, platform-wide policy this summer. Previously, whether or not parties were allowed was at the host’s discretion, but, in 2019, Airbnb began implementing certain controls to prohibit “open invite” parties, as well as “chronic party houses.” Later, it would start deploying certain restrictions ahead of almost every major holiday to prevent guests without an established track record (i.e., a history of positive reviews) from making one-night reservations in entire home listings. Since then, in addition to removing both the “event friendly” search filter and “parties and events allowed” house rules, the company has also introduced “anti-party attestations” to guests attempting to make local reservations, in which they must affirmatively attest that they understand that Airbnb bans parties — and that if they break the rule they may be subject to legal action.
That said, Airbnb has also lifted its 16-person cap, which allows larger properties to be booked to full occupancy, while still complying with the party ban. In other words, you can’t throw a party…but, in theory, as long as you’re a guest with a proven track record — and if space allows — you and 30 of your closest friends, or family members, can still rent out an Airbnb together. Plus, the tryptophan in the turkey generally ensures things don’t get to crazy, anyway.
Below, a few properties we’re coveting for our next big holiday celebration. To be safe, we capped our search at 12.
A nature retreat in Pennsylvania
Location: Honesdale, Pennsylvania
Rooms: 4 (11 beds)
Vibe: That ’70s Show
Amenities: There are two additional living rooms (for when someone inevitably brings up politics and you need a reprieve), a total of four queen-size pull-out couches, an atrium with plenty of natural light, a dining room, game room and, most importantly, an indoor spa. Because all holiday meals should conclude with a trip to the spa.
Other things to know: The kitchen is fully equipped with all of the cooking essentials, a double oven chief among them.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “Great spot to go on a trip with a bunch of friends. One of the more interesting architecture and floor plan’s available on this platform.”
An architectural masterpiece in the Hudson Valley
Location: Craryville, New York
Rooms: 7 (14 beds)
Vibe: Contemporary art installation
Amenities: There are six en suite bedrooms, one dormitory style bedroom, a large glass living pavilion with wet-bar and fireplace, “movement room,” theater room, sauna, an office space and indoor salt-filtered pool.
Other things to know: The hosts also offer an array of services for guests including yoga, massage, acupuncture, breath work, garden tours, sound baths, natural dye making workshops and meals prepared by a private chef, in the event that you aren’t up for cooking.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “I am an experienced user of Airbnb and I can tell you that this home was incredibly impressive in all ways. My friends and I booked this gem of a property for 2 nights and wish we could have stayed for a week. It’s truly an oasis away from everything (yet a quick drive to the town of Hudson) with tons of room for a large group like ours.
The bedrooms, bedding and decor were nothing short of bespoke luxury. The views from the bedrooms were an inspiration to get up and do some yoga and breath work in the glass enclosed yoga/sound healing room. The kitchen was perfect for cooking and serving large meals for our group while enjoying the big family style dinning room tables with gorgeous sunset views.
All in all this was a 10/10 experience and couldn’t be happier with this huge and luxurious space as well as the care and communication from the host.”
A hidden paradise near the French Quarter
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Rooms: 6 (9 beds)
Vibe: Kaleidoscopic oasis, Big Easy-style
Amenities: It has a shared pool and hot tub, large, fully-equipped kitchen, two BBQs and unparalleled access to the French Quarter, in case you’re in the market for an after dinner digestive.
Other things to know: The property comprises six poolside villas, not dissimilar to a motel setup. You can rent out one or all six depending on the size of your party.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “This was my favorite Airbnb I’ve ever stayed in. Extremely kind people. Extremely clean. Best place in NOLA to stay.”
A waterfront mansion in Miami
Location: Miami, Florida
Rooms: 8 (8 beds)
Rating: No rating (yet)
Vibe: Your favorite quarterback’s off-season escape
Amenities: There is a massive kitchen, an infinity pool and built-in hot tub and a home theater. Plus, it’s waterfront.
Other things to know: It has a fully-stocked wine cellar that will put your local wine shop to shame — an essential come time to deal with your in-laws.
An entertainer’s dream venue in Boise
Location: Boise, Idaho
Rooms: 6 (9 beds)
Vibe: A social media haven
Amenities: There is a gourmet kitchen, game room, social media wall, art gallery and an entertainment deck with cornhole, a BBQ and an outdoor lounge. Oh, and a Tesla charger.
Other things to know: It’s located within walking distance of the foothill’s trails and the Boise River greenbelt, if you’re looking to walk off some of those Thanksgiving sides.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “This house was spectacular. Such a beautiful house from the inside out. Amazing views. Couldn’t ask for anything else. This house had everything and more than we could ask for. The game room was the best room. Best airbnb I have ever stayed at. Highly recommend it.”
A wine fanatic’s haven in Fairfield
Location: Fairfield, California
Rooms: 5 bedrooms (5 beds)
Vibe: Big wine country vibes
Amenities: There are three separate villas with private entrances, a newly renovated above ground yurt, an infinity pool and heated spa with a waterfall, outdoor kitchen and lounge area and Tesla charger.
Other things to know: It’s located just a short distance from a handful of Napa wineries so, if you decide you’d rather skip the whole shebang in favor of sampling a few of the region’s finest vintages, that’s a thing you can do.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “This house was beautiful! There was a total of 10 in our party. We had 3 couples 2 singles and 2 kids. We all had our private living spaces and then would meet in the kitchen/living room for meals together. The entire house is beautiful, it was private, spacious and relaxing. The hosts were amazing and always available for questions. We hope to stay here again!”
An eclectic stay in Austin
Location: Austin, Texas
Rooms: 5 (9 beds)
Vibe: Old gothic Sante Fe
Amenities: There are antique style furnishings, a double-sided stone fireplace, well-appointed kitchen, media room, custom painted mural wall, unique tile work throughout and a heated courtyard pool.
Other things to know: It’s conveniently located, and has a little something for both the history buff and the design junky at your table (though, maybe not for children).
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “This place is amazing! As someone who lives in Austin, while staying there I felt like I was in a different city/country. Great place to host any get together. Will be recommending to everyone!”
A beach home in North Topsail
Location: North Top Sail Beach, North Carolina
Rooms: 5 (10 beds)
Vibe: An opportunity for you to really channel your inner coastal grandmother. Or cater to one, at least.
Amenities: A community pool, BBQ, two refrigerators (key!), a fully stocked kitchen, deck overlooking the ocean and private beach access.
Other things to know: On top of having two refrigerators, it’s also got two separate eating areas — one for the adults, one for the kids!
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “So nice to be right on the beach! The location is perfect and the house is nicely furnished and decorated. Lots of sitting areas to accommodate a large family or group. Loved the deck and the deck chairs.”
A newly-renovated dairy barn in Briggsville
Location: Briggsville, Wisconsin
Rooms: 5 (11 beds)
Vibe: Upcycled Wisconsin, but with Adirondack flair
Amenities: A private deck, fire pit, BBQ, game room, outdoor dining area, fully-equipped kitchen
Other things to know: It’s located just is footsteps from Mason Lake — a perfect backdrop for a quiet, family staycation.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “You can really tell a lot of thought was put into this home. It is gorgeous! The pictures don’t do it justice. The milking parlor was the hang out spot all weekend and was great for the larger amount if guests. Definitely will stay again!”
A very New England getaway
Location: Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Rooms: 5 (12 beds)
Vibe: Old Victorian, but make it a beach house
Amenities: Wraparound porches on both levels of the property (with sea views), an open floor plan built around the kitchen and dining area, a gas fireplace and a dedicated workspace, in the event you need to sneak away to answer some emails.
Other things to know: It’s located just 50 yards from the beach, and while it most definitely won’t be warm enough for a dip, it’s still a great excuse for some fresh air.
Actual thing a reviewer said about this house: “This is one of the prettiest and most quaint places we’ve stayed on Airbnb. The house is beautiful. The kitchen is well stocked with the basics required to put together a simple meal. Proximity to the beach can’t be beat. We would definitely stay again.”
A private mountain retreat
Location: Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Rooms: 11 (14 beds)
Rating: No rating (yet)
Vibe: An icon of American recreational architecture
Amenities: It’s got a wraparound porch, wood fire place, two (!) dining rooms, well-appointed kitchen (including two ovens and two side-by-side refrigerators), a game room with a regulation-sized pool table, basketball court and oversized swim spa.
Other things to know: Formerly a hotel dating back to 1875, this property has been fully restored. And while it still might feel like a hotel, at least in magnitude, it’s now a totally private rental.
A luxury hacienda with mountain views in Taos
Location: Taos, New Mexico
Rooms: 5 (12 beds)
Rating: No rating (yet)
Vibe: A family-style desert wellness retreat
Amenities: It’s got a kitchen, hot tub, quartz family room, dining room, fire pit, bocce ball court and is in close proximity to Taos Ski Valley.
Other things to know: This is a partial (and private) rental of the main estate, which includes the five bedrooms, as well as all of the main house amenities.
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