The world's 9 most beautifully designed Airbnbs, with incredible architecture and decor

Explore these 9 unique holiday rentals and benefit from someone else's exquisite taste

A beautiful window onto the forest
(Image credit: Airbnb)

One of the best things about staying in peer-to-peer accommodation like Airbnb is the opportunity to see how someone else lives. It's always interesting to discover how somebody else has put together a space, especially if that person is a design enthusiast or even a professional designer or architect.

Airbnb in particular has recently added a bunch of new filters you can search by. These include niche interests and features like tiny homes, treehouses and design-led addresses, meaning it is easier than ever to ogle other people's décor and to find architect-owned homes.

Here's a selection of some of the most impressive properties on that platform  for design, from the lochs of Scotland to the thick of the Brazilian rainforest.  Whatever the location and dimensions of your real home, there are plenty of ideas to be gleaned here.

The most beautifully designed Airbnbs

1. A dream holiday villa in the Algarve

An elegant holiday villa

(Image credit: Peter, Airbnb host)

This Moorish architecture-inspired hideaway villa in in a small village in the Algarve, Portugal is at once beautiful and inviting. 

This two-bedroom bolthole is proof that a property doesn't have to be huge and flashy to have something magic about it. We love the look of the cozy bed nooks, the dazzling tile in the bathroom and the beautiful courtyard garden.

Inside, there is the perfect interior design mix of classic Moroccan influences, and modern comfort. Plush grey sofa next to latticework cabinet. Brickwork tiles and mid century chairs. A dream.

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moroccan living room with grey sofa

(Image credit: Airbnb)

2. A picture-perfect wooden cabin with views over loch and mountain

A wooden cabin with view over loch and mountain

(Image credit: Nicky, Airbnb)

This purpose-built wooden "pod" is placed in just the right spot to get some of the best views on the Isle of Skye, so you can wake up to a rugged vista of Loch Eishort with mountains behind. 

The tiny house is made from pale wooden slats, beautifully curved to evoke an old-style wagon. Inside, that Scandinavian design minimalism carries through - the pine-scented walls drawing the eye to the large round window and stellar views beyond.

It's an authentic spot with several working crofts and creel fishing boats working from the loch and even a sea eagle nesting in the trees across the loch.

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rounded wooden tiny house exeterior

(Image credit: Airbnb)

3. A nature-inspired house in the jungle with a waterfall in the back garden

A beautiful glass wall looks over rainforest

(Image credit: Marko, Brazil)

Mako is an architect and his wife Teka an accessory designer. Together they own and run an ecological sanctuary called Aldeia Rizoma, a haven of industrial interior design, in the middle of the Atlantic Forest, where this house sits.

The eco house was designed and built by them and was a labor of love. Every detail has been considered and with the huge glass walls on each end of the structure it will feel as if you're sleeping directly under the trees.

Wooden furniture contrasts beautifully with the corrugated metal roof, a blend of rustic modernity that feels exactly right for the spot it's in.

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airbnb with curved corrugated roof and industrial table

(Image credit: Airbnb)

4. An epic "castle in the sky" in Bali

A stunning treehouse in the tree canopy

(Image credit: Cito, Airbnb host)

This distinctive bamboo treehouse is located off the beaten tourist track in Sidemen, a small village on the southern flank of Mount Agung in Bali.

The hosts flew drones around the island in order to locate the spot with the best view to build the treehouse. Inside there's a four-poster bed also with a bamboo frame and a magnificent, if vertigo-inducing, roof terrace.

What's most interesting about this Airbnb - other than the views and the wonderful isolation, is the architecture. The roof is shaped to look like the flapping wings of a bird - or of a stingray, depending on your own personal outlook. It's smart and fascinating and unique.

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house in the mountains with wing shaped roof

(Image credit: Airbnb)

5. An iconic mid-century house in New Jersey

John, Airbnb host

(Image credit: John, Airbnb host)

Mid-century design lovers will be in heaven as soon as they see this house and its undulating ceiling plane, irregular glass panels and retro color palette.

The rural location affords peace, while the vintage stylings continue into the interior: expect modernist ceiling mobiles and meticulously picked mid century furniture pieces.

It has the feel of a modern farmhouse, crossed with the fantastical architecture of a legend like Frank Gehry or indeed Frank Lloyd Wright.

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mid century meets rustic living room

(Image credit: Airbnb)

6. A glass tiny home in Hella, Iceland

Glass tiny house in rural Iceland

(Image credit: Ari, Airbnb host)

A memorable stay is guaranteed in this glass-walled tiny house in volcanic desert in southern Iceland. 

Guests are invited to sleep with a view of the stars and there is a terrace with a hot tub where you might even glimpse the Northern Lights.

Its vaulted roof is a clever example of architectural creativity, providing a barn-like pitch but encased in glass. It's the perfect size for a bed in which to look out at the Northern Lights and the eerily beautiful vista beyond.

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glass house with a bedroom

(Image credit: Airbnb)

7. A modernist villa over the L.A. coastline

Blue infinity pool and modern home against the blue Los Angeles sky

(Image credit: Airbnb)

Experience La La Land from a villa worthy of a Hollywood star. This exquisitely designed and furnished house is dripping in California glamor. 

Contemplate the view out over the Pacific from the sparkling infinity pool or enjoy the retro wood paneled interiors. It feels simple yet refined, the same wood having been used throughout and a comfortable take on minimalism when it comes to the furniture.

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sundeck with rounded sun chair

(Image credit: Airbnb)

8. An A-frame beauty in Ohio

A-frame designed room

(Image credit: Amy And Bryant, Airbnb)

This gorgeous A-frame house is surrounded by country hiking trails in rural Ohio. 

There could hardly be more welcoming digs to come back to at the end of the day with its cozy sleeping nooks in the roof and outdoor hot tub.

Leather couches and pared back white walls make this a soothing take on modern interior design - the floating staircase looks barely there.

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barn shaped hut in the woods

(Image credit: Airbnb)

9. A futuristic dream apartment in Alicante

A striking modern villa in Spain

(Image credit: Hans, Airbnb host)

The location of this loft apartment is almost other-worldly. It is inside La Muralla Roja (the Red Wall), a famous postmodern apartment complex in Manzanera, Calpe, designed by renowned Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill. 

The building, which was finished in the early Seventies, is an avant garde interpretation of a casbah, and with its bright pink, multi-layered geometric structure, it's like nothing you've ever seen before. 

Guests can relax on a private terrace or enjoy the building's pool.

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modernist architecture with a pool

(Image credit: Airbnb)
Hannah Meltzer

Hannah Meltzer is a Londoner by birth and Parisian by adoption. She previously worked on the staff of The Daily Telegraph’s travel desk, before moving to Paris in 2017. She writes regularly about travel and Parisian culture for The Telegraph as an expert destination correspondent. She has also written for The Independent, The Times, Vanity Fair, openDemocracy and Télérama. Recently she wrote a podcast series about Parisian culture for an LA-based production company.

Hannah is based in the 18th arrondissement in the less touristy side of Montmartre behind the Sacré-Coeur basilica. Though her life sometimes resembles a hammy cliché — sketching in sidewalk terraces, walking her beloved dog Babette through the streets of Montmartre — she is adamant she has not lost her London humour and open-mindedness, or her accent.