It's not just a beach view — from pyramids to huts, we look at some unique Airbnb rentals in Southwest Florida
Here is a look at some of the most unique Airbnb rentals in Southwest Florida. Jennifer Beeson, firstname.lastname@example.org; 239-403-6170
From boat and farm houses to dome and pyramid-shaped homes, Airbnb offers many unique experiences for visitors in Southwest Florida.
Collier and Lee counties saw almost 5 million visitors in 2017, according to county tourist records. And nearly 100,000 of them stayed in Airbnb rentals.
“Florida's tourism industry continues to set quarterly records, and hotels are seeing sky-high occupancy rates. Vacation rentals are increasingly accommodating the demand to visit Florida, including in Southwest Florida,” said Ben Breit, press secretary at Airbnb.
As Southwest Florida remains a highly desirable destination spot for tourists, Airbnb hosts in Lee and Collier are seeing the need for accommodations.
But creativity is key when there is a lot of local competition.
In 2017, Airbnb reported almost 1,400 hosts in Collier and 2,000 in Lee.
As thousands of locals are opening their homes to visitors in Southwest Florida through Airbnb, hosts are finding new ways to attract them.
“So many of our hosts really go out of their way to create a magical and unreplicable experience,” Breit said. “That's what our platform is all about.”
And with so many hotel and rental options, it can be difficult for visitors to find the perfect place to stay.
If you are looking for a more interesting stay in Southwest Florida, some of these out-of-the-ordinary Airbnb rentals we’ve found may be just what you’re looking for.
Historic and elegant with options
The Mizner estate in the city of Fort Myers’ historic district was designed in 1924 by the famed architect Addison Mizner.
The historic estate was purchased in 2016 and restored by Doreen Lehner, a former Navy corpsman.
Lehner started renting one upstairs bedroom out through Airbnb in May 2017. After some major renovations, the estate now offers four more unique rooms for rent.
“This is an experience staying here,” she said. “When guests check in, I always give them a tour of the house, and they love that.”
The historic estate, where Thomas Edison used to visit, offers an Asian-themed suite and a Paris-themed room in the main house, and two industrial modern styled rooms on the first and second stories of a cottage on the property.
A one-of-a-kind renovated horse trailer, nicknamed 'hor, with an old Wild West theme in the back yard, was just recently added and is available to rent through Airbnb.
Listing her rentals through Airbnb was an easy choice for Lehner, who is often fully booked and has to turn prospective guests away.
“Airbnb is blowing up,” she said. “The world is booking through Airbnb.”
Current Cost Per Night:
Paris-themed room: $69 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/21575166
Asian suite: $62 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/22774715
Cottage rooms: $62https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/17784406
Renovated horse trailer: $62 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/29098783
Pyramids in paradise
Jeanie Hepokoski owns six of the 26 pyramid-shaped condominiums in Pyramid Village, a small and quiet community, in a San Carlos Park neighborhood off U.S. 41.
Since she first started renting the pyramid condos out through Airbnb in 2015, Hepokoski has welcomed more than 400 guests.
These oddly shaped condos were designed by Walter Freller, an Austrian inventor, and were the first of their kind in the U.S.
“You can rent any place, at a hotel, at the Hyatt, a house on the beach … well, been there done that,” she said. “Everyone who comes say they always wanted to stay in a pyramid.”
The first pyramids were occupied in 2002, and they have since grown to attract several visitors year after year, making them a great spot for Airbnb.
“Sometimes these Airbnb homes are so unique that people will choose to visit a city just to experience that particular listing,” Breit said.
Surprisingly spacious inside, the triangular-shaped homes are said to help bring positive energy and Zen to those who stay in them.
“They’re supposed to be soothing, peaceful, calming, and I have people who say they have never slept better,” Hepokoski said.
Zen could be a good thing for some who may be alarmed by the over-sized white statue of Beethoven’s head at the entrance to the community.
Hepokoski, who worked at a resort in Hawaii for several years before moving to Florida, said she loves being an Airbnb host.
“If you’re not having fun, then what’s the point,” she said. “You got to like it.”
She provides guests with baskets full of goodies including sunscreen, a bottle of wine for the adults and some toys for the kids. She also put together a welcome booklet with tips and some suggestions for dining and activities in the area.
These condos offer a two-bedroom, one-bathroom layout with a small kitchen and cozy living space, with a large spring water lake for guests to relax by.
Current cost per night:$65https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/8005892
Tiny house or retro RV
Experience minimalist living in this tiny house or retro RV.
Minutes from Sanibel Island, this custom hand-built tiny home comfortably sleeps up to four people and includes a kitchenette and full bathroom.
Next door to the tiny home is a classic remake of a 1941 Shasta Airflyte RV that is also available for rent through Airbnb.
The limited edition camper is decorated with fun colors, giving it a retro vibe.
It also has a shower, kitchenette and sleeping area.
Current cost per night:
Tiny House: $64 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18854883
Retro RV: $39 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/26475259
Island farm house
Ever wonder what it’s like to live on a farm on an island?
Moonshine Acres, a horse boarding barn in the historic Saint James City on Pine Island can give you the full experience.
Although this Airbnb rental doesn’t offer horse rides, it is above an eight-horse stall, and guests are welcome to visit the horses.
Horses aren’t the only animals you will encounter on the property.
Cats, ducks, turtles and fish are likely to come up to you wanting to be fed. Guests can feed the animals, except the cats.
There may not be beaches within walking distance, but a 20-minute ferry ride will take you to Cayo Costa.
There are nearby hiking trails, and kayaks are available for guests.
Current cost per night: $99 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18199425
Geodesic dome home
Favorably called “the dome,” this geodesic dome home in Golden Gate Estates offers a secluded backyard and a pool.
With its location being a bit farther from the heart of Naples, guests can enjoy a quiet experience away from the hustle and bustle.
“So many families seek to find homes a bit off the beaten path and to live like locals. The downtown districts of big metro areas like Naples and Fort Myers are incredible and increasingly popular destinations, but travelers hope to experience parts of Collier and Lee counties that lack hotels,” Breit said.
Guests also have access to bicycles and a fire pit on site.
Current cost per night: $99 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16991681
Tiki hut on organic farm
An organic citrus and vegetable farm in Fort Myers offers a small but cozy Tiki hut built out of bamboo.
Guests who have stayed at the hut said they got a tour of the farm and were taught about organic foods and sustainable living while experience simplicity and tranquility.
The host also offers kayaks for visitors.
Current cost per night: $56 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/23925578
House boat in the heart of Naples
Spending the night on a houseboat gives new meaning to a “waterfront” rental.
This 52-foot houseboat, docked on the water in Naples Bay, is close to Fifth Avenue, Third Street, Tin City and more attractions in downtown Naples.
The host provides two bicycles, or guests can catch the water taxis that come every hour.
Current cost per night: $295 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4597666
Apartment above The Beach Pub
If you are looking to have fun on the beach, you may consider staying at this Airbnb rental above a popular pub directly on Fort Myers Beach.
Known as a hot spot for spring breakers, The Beach Pub offers a two-bedroom apartment with a large deck overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
If you’re worried about loud noise coming from the bar at night, don’t worry: It closes at sunset.
And guests must be 30 or older to rent.
Current cost per night: $120 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/12087818
RV rental on the water
This 31-foot brand-new Spyder Winnebago RV sits right on the intracoastal waterway at Fort Myers Beach.
The RV includes a kitchen and bath and comfortably sleeps four.
This rental is on site with the B&B Aboard fleet of houseboats that gives guests access to the houseboat's rooftop deck, hot tub, outdoor bar and grill.
Guests also have access to kayaks and bicycles and can also enjoy their own private beach.
Current cost per night: $58 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/23979316
The Botanical Garden home in Fort Myers was selected as the No. 1 wish-listed property in Lee County by Airbnb this year.
The 2,200-square-foot home is nestled in a private cypress reserve that is within walking distance of the Six Mile Cypress slough.
The property, which spans 2.5 acres, includes a large saltwater pool and deck and views of numerous kinds of trees and wildlife.
Guests say the property provides a very tranquil and serene stay.
Current cost per night: $70 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/15106578
2017 Airbnb Statistics
County Total hosts Total guests Income earned by hosts
Collier 1,400 35,000 $8.1 million
Lee 2,000 64,000 $13.2 million