🍍 The woman who builds the world’s most unique Airbnbs

Plus: Keeping indigenous culture alive through art

Today we’re looking at:

  • The woman who builds the world’s most unique Airbnbs

  • Keeping indigenous history and culture alive through art

  • One reservation, one tree planted by Moliving

Let’s dive in…

The woman who builds the world’s most unique Airbnbs

You may not know Kristie Wolfe. But if you’ve used Airbnb, you’ve likely seen her properties. Over the past decade, Wolfe has built some of the most popular and unique vacation rentals on the platform, including a converted fire lookout in the middle of a forest, and a jungle treehouse in Hawaii.

After building her Hawaii house, Wolfe learned something that changed her investment philosophy. She realized that chasing hot tourist destinations wasn’t a good strategy. Land in those places was far pricier, and competition was more intense; instead, she decided to focus on rural, traditionally undesirable sites.

“I decided to build properties so cool that people would come to me,” she says. “The house itself — not the location — would be the destination.”

In early 2015, Wolfe scouted a 5-acre plot of discount land in Orondo, Washington. It was a rural area surrounded by rolling green hills that looked like something out of a Tolkien book. So, Wolfe decided to build a hobbit house.

Keeping indigenous history and culture alive through art

Boruca, also known as Brunka or Brunca, is one of the many indigenous tribes in Costa Rica. Like many other tribes, they struggle to keep their culture and traditions alive. Enabling spaces for the Boruca community to display their work is not only a way to keep the culture alive but it becomes an important source of income for their families. This has been an important inspiration for the owners of Kura, part of the Cayuga Collection in Costa Rica.

Francisco Morales has been a Boruca craftsman for over 20 years. Once a month, he visits Kura and shares his history and culture with guests. Instead of just doing a presentation of the culture, guests are active participants in crafting and painting the masks. “We hope that our creations can become a memoir of our culture. We want people to share our art with their loved ones so they can understand our culture. We want to grow and let our culture be known,” said Francisco.

One reservation, one tree planted by Moliving

Great hospitality is defined in part by taking care of our planet, and a new partnership between US-based Moliving and One Tree Planted will make a step in the right direction - with one tree planted for every reservation booked at any of the group’s eco-cabins.

The partnership will begin at Hurley House, located in New York’s Hudson Valley which is set to open this year. Suites are built out of recycled green steel as well as various other recycled materials. They are designed in-house and built in local American factories to minimize their carbon footprint.