Airbnb gives the average Joe or Joelyn an opportunity to stay at places that feature unique, specialized or creative accommodations. Not all of the spaces can allow you to live large, but there are some in and around the Kansas City metro that have to be seen to be believed. Here we go—in no particular order:
#1 – The J.G. Peppard House was built in 1887 and happens to be one of the oldest and most grand Queen Anne Revival Victorian homes in the area. Ye olde mansion is nearly 6,000 square feet and overlooks downtown Kansas City atop the Westside Bluffs. Even more impressive? It’s newly renovated—to the tune of $1.2 million dollars. The revamp took a whopping 18 months in order to convert the home in to one of Kansas City’s premiere Airbnb’s. The architectural detail—exquisite. The décor—opulent. And—besides being centrally located—it features eight luxury king bedrooms, 3 kitchens and can sleep up to 16.
“I feel lucky that I had the opportunity to save this treasure and share it with Kansas City,” says owner Megan Duma. “What’s cool is that most of the time these homes are reserved for magazines or the single families that own them. But the J.G. Peppard House available for rent as a short-term rental, so anyone can enjoy this historic luxury. Whether it’s for your wedding guests, family reunion, or just to enjoy Kansas City with your friends—there is no better place to stay.”
#2 – Stephanie Ulsh is a stickler for design. In fact, she took her skills as a builder and remodeler to turn turned this Prairie Village townhouse in to something that featured luxurious style and European flair. “I’d always wanted to run a hotel—so that was the genesis of this project,” says Ulsh. “And I always wanted to do hospitality, so my goal was to have a five-star Airbnb—with really great stuff.”
The place is posh, but not pretentious. Think casual elegance meets cocktail soiree. The kitchen alone offers a fully-outfitted kitchen with brand new appliances, including gas range and oven, dishes, glasses, cooking equipment and entertaining items galore. With sleek marble, glass and solid surface materials.
What has response been? “It’s been amazing. Guests really notice the things I notice. I’m very OCD and very detailed oriented—so it’s nice to see people come in and get it,” says Ulsh. “They respect the property. When they come in and it’s better than what they thought, it makes me very happy. I’m a people pleaser. The pictures don’t do it justice.”
#3 – Want to take a road trip? Or have a casual romantic getaway? Then you’ll definitely need to check out Queenie’s Loft—an impressive rustic-chic space located in the heart of historic downtown Leavenworth. Owners Stacy and Mac McCowen own the building and the spacious loft is located directly above the city’s well-known Candle Queen Gift Shop. We’re guessing the loft smells amazing 24/7 as the scents from Stacey’s candles gently waft upstairs. How could it not?
The only thing new in the building? The elevator. Otherwise the McCowens kept the 165-year old building’s personality intact. It’s even got a bit of historic significance to it. “Abraham Lincoln announced his run for presidency across the street, so you can only imagine if these 165-year old brick walls and original wood floors could talk,” says Stacy McCowen. “The floors alone are a conversation piece—with over a century and a half of wear and tear and remnants of paint.” Crew McCowen worked diligently for over 18 months getting everything squared away, arranged and decorated. Nine arched windows line the walls. A partition of old window frames creates a divider anchored from the ceiling. “The decorating all has its own story. There’s a 100-year-old shoe sign we found below the basement in a tunnel. There are pictures taken from the building in 1870 with horse drawn buggies in the street,” says McCowen. “This unique Airbnb has only been open a few months, but several guests have already labeled it ‘one of their favorite Airbnbs—period.”
#4 – About a year ago, Buzzfeed did an article on some of the biggest, baddest, most braggadocious Airbnbs used by celebrities. And—surprise, surprise!—at the top of that list was a gorgeous $10,000 per night villa in Shawnee, Kansas. (Yes, $10,000 per night. That wasn’t a misprint.) Rocker John Legend and his wife Crissy Tiegen stayed there for a few days when Legend was on tour in Kansas City. When Tiegen posted photos of the abode, it wasn’t long before various tabloids and media outlets like Bravo ran with the story. An Instagram video Legend posted with the family relaxing on an outdoor swing has been viewed a whopping 4,500,000 times.
Originally owner Joe Layne was not inclined in renting out the place and had even less interest in putting their new digs on Airbnb. Fortunately, cooler (and richer) heads prevailed. “They wouldn’t leave us alone and kept harassing us and increasing the price so we finally caved in,” says Layne. “We had no idea it was going to break the national news and end up on TMZ, People magazine, etc. John even gave us free tickets to the show and backstage passes. Our daughters were pretty excited about it.”
With 5.5 bathrooms, 5 bedrooms and a resort-style pool squirreled away in a luxury gated community, we can see why the dynamic duo chose the place. “The main reason they opted for our home was the privacy and seclusion as our home is tucked inside 20 acres of woods in Western Shawnee,” says Layne.
Want to rent it out? You better have a fat wallet and celeb status. “We told our friends we are open to doing it again for other celebrities, but only at $10,000 a night for a minimum of three nights,” says Layne. “That’s due to the hassle of having to pack everything up and move out of our home. The next time we do it, we’re just going to head to the beach somewhere and hire our friends to pack up the house,” he laughs.