The Six Types of Airbnb Host

There is a lot of controversy around Airbnb these days but despite how you feel about the service, there’s no denying the massive impact it has made on the travel industry. It is, no doubt, very far from its humble beginnings as a simple room, couch, apartment share, but that growth is as much due to the hunger for different accommodations as it is to a well-executed silicon valley start-up.

We’ve stayed in a considerable amount of accommodations over the past two years around the world, the bulk of them on Airbnb. There have been some amazing apartments and some horrendous, cockroach infested dens of despair.

The Airbnb host can make all the difference in a stay. Most of the time the interactions are pretty transactional but sometimes you can make new friends who take hosting to a whole new level and sometimes you end up with the occasional creeper. Luckily we’ve never discovered hidden cameras or the like.

Through all of them, we’ve come to understand that there are no less than 6 types of Airbnb host:

The Professional

This host is building an airbnb empire to rival the local hotel industry. They are extremely buttoned up and, a lot of the time, a professional host who represents multiple apartment owners. The interactions are very transactional but they understand the needs of their guests and try to accommodate like any good hospitality professional would.


The True Host

This is the best type of host to get and sadly, more and more rare. They truly care about their guests and host because they enjoy “traveling” through their diverse guests. These are the hosts who give you a welcome snack or drink and may even take you out for a beer. They’ve put love and care into their space and want you to enjoy their home as much as they do. And if you’re lucky, you’ll end up with a new friend after you check out.


The Newbie

You decide to take a chance on that amazing looking place with no reviews. It could go either way but you’re hoping for the best. Your host is just as hesitant as you are and overly helpful and descriptive. Do I really need to know how to change the water filter “just in case”? You’re both hoping for a pleasant experience and your host is hoping that you don’t burn the place down and is maybe just a little too involved in your stay. You’ll know they didn’t take well to hosting when the listing is completely gone when it’s time to write your review.


The Illegal Airbnb Host

This host isn’t going to let any silly local laws or regulations stop them from renting their place. This starts the rental in a awkward place as you’re checking in to stay with your “friend” Kiko, Kiki? Shit what is her name? Either way, your entire stay is pervaded by the hope that you’re not discovered and kicked out at the last minute.


The “Host Because They Have To” Host

This is arguably the worst host type to have. This person lists their place because of pure economic need and nothing else. They hate that there are strangers in their home, and renting their home is just a way to make extra cash. They watch over you like a hawk, making sure you don’t break any house rules or “sit too hard” on the furniture. There are no amenities to speak of besides the leftover salt from a previous guest and the world’s tiniest towel that two guests are supposed to share. They have no business hosting but do so anyway.


The Ghost Host

You check in with a key-code, everything is automated and you never see a single person. You chat with the host briefly through the app. Does this host even exist? They’re probably an AI Airbnb experiment. Can robots own property?

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