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Vanessa Vartto is officially the owner of Australia's best AirBnb.

The Property Addict / Luxury Lifestyle

Nov 04 2016

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Editorial by Maggie Kelly Photography by Tracy Stevenson

Vanessa Vartto and her husband Kevin have a very important new title to get used to: owners of Australia's best Airbnb.

Their apartment in Sydney's North Bondi was hand-picked as one of only three international properties to feature in the brand new collaboration between Airbnb and Qantas.

And it's not hard to see why; their three-bedroom apartment has a view that stretches across Sydney's iconic Bondi beach, from its northern tip to southern tail. Just a barefoot stroll across the road to the sand, it is so close to the sparkling Pacific that you can hear the surf from every room " the first thing you hear when you wake up and the last thing you hear at night. This. Is. Paradise.

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But while Vanessa felt their North Bondi home was pretty unique, she was nonetheless surprised to receive a call from Airbnb and Qantas a few weeks ago asking if she would consider being the face and home of the global campaign.

"The first thing I thought was "Ë?wow - are we going to be booked out?'" laughs the PR Director and Founder of Australia's first BnB School.

"Are we ever going to be able to go back and stay?"

Luckily, the couple have had some time to get used to sharing their home. Three years ago, Vanessa decided to dabble in renting it out by putting their home on Airbnb when they travelled overseas to visit family in her native Canada, and Kevin's relatives in New Zealand.

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But it ended up becoming so popular - and profitable - that in June this year, they moved to inner city Paddington and decided to run it as a full time Airbnb.

The timing was perfect. Their long-awaited balcony renovation wrapped up, they moved out, and Airbnb and Qantas came knocking. So, apart from the panoramic views, what set their place apart from the rest?

Well, there's the service and a Concierge option, for starters.

Yep, an Airbnb Concierge. At $750 AUD/night, their apartment needed to cater for a certain type of audience. So, along with Australia's most famous beach on your doorstep, you can also look forward to champagne and flowers on arrival, wine and cheese, breakfast hampers, organic fruit, and even free-range, organic, grass-fed BBQ meat packs. There is Netflix and a Nespresso machine, luxury linen, salon-standard toiletries"¦

It reads like a 5 star hotel, but that's the best part: it's not.

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"Our place sleeps six. If you're a family, or three couples and you're travelling - what are your options?" says Vanessa. "You can stay in a hotel in two or three separate rooms where the cost is going to be higher and you may be on different floors from each other. Or, you can stay in a home and be together. You'll have a large lounge area where you can sit together and socialise - and you're going to have one of Australia's best views!"

Vanessa's North Bondi property has already attracted a long list of high-end renters. Ever the discrete businesswoman she won't name names, but we're talking international pop stars, European designers, the fashion elite; even athletes have stayed. But, being the accessible service it is, Vanessa says her Airbnb listing is just as likely to attract locals as it is the international elite.

Regardless of who they are, it's a personalised experience every time.

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"I try to anticipate what our guests will want and need for their stay," says Vanessa. "We go the extra mile and create something special for their stay. It's the thoughtful gestures that make it memorable."

The couple like to get to know their guests, and say that part of the joy of being a Super Host is the relationships forged with their visitors. From anniversaries, to family reunions, to first time visitors ticking Bondi off their bucket list; Vanessa always tries to customise the guest's stay. As she points out, there's much more to hosting than just changing the linen.

Airbnb hosting is a skill that Vanessa has honed into a fine art - one that, come March, she will be sharing in her new workshops.

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The "Ë?BnB Accelerator' is a half-day experience and the first of it's kind in Australia. Starting on 4th March 2017, her workshops will cover everything from how to list your home; to what kind of prices you should charge, to how to store your items safely. For anyone interested in Airbnb, but needing a translator, Vanessa is the woman for you. (Find out more at www.bnbschool.com.au)

As our world strides confidently into a global sharing economy, concepts such as Uber and Airbnb are moving out of their youth-based audience and into the luxury scene. Airbnb, once the realm of cheery shared accommodation in San Francisco's backstreets, has now entered a new luxury stage thanks to Super Hosts such as Vanessa and Kevin.

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And despite the giant billboards and inflight safety video that will soon give people around the world a peek inside their North Bondi home, Vanessa and Kevin have remained humble in their role as Australia's leading hosts. For them, it's all about sharing "Ë?their Bondi' with their guests.

"There will always be that traveller that's been on the road for months," says Vanessa.

"They may not want the impersonal hotel, offering a hundred standard rooms. They want the personalised interaction. They want to hear from a local to how to have a local experience. They want to know where the best coffee is, where the markets are"¦ they want to feel part of a community".

And what better community to introduce to the world than our beautiful Bondi Beach.

 

To book a ticket to the BnB Accelerator class, head to:Â www.bnbschool.com.au

Or to book Vanessa's gorgeous Bondi apartment, check out her Air Bnb profile here:Â https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/5184971

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