If you’re going to be using an Airbnb-like service to rent someone’s home during your next vacation, why not upgrade your accommodations by renting a home that has architectural significance?
That’s the premise of PlansMatter.com, the online service that connects travelers with owners of historic properties.
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Options include the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kinney House in Lancaster, Wisconsin, available to rent for $395 a night, with a minimum two-night stay, and Rudolph Schindler’s Mackey Penthouse in Los Angeles, available for $220 a night, also with a two-night minimum.
You could easily pay that much for accommodations at a generic Marriott or Hilton.
The site currently lists 39 properties, in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia. Most are modernist in design; all are worthy to be covered by Architectural Digest (and most have been).
You could use PlansMatter the same way you use Airbnb, as a convenient way to find and book lodging outside the traditional hotel ecosystem. But the prospect of a few nights in a home designed by a renowned architect also raises the possibility of an entirely new category of travel: architectural tourism. Trips arranged with the specific purpose of experiencing first hand life in a designer home. Or, in the words of the site founders, “travel planned around significant architecture rather than a specific country or city.”
The destination becomes the journey.
Reader Reality Check
Would you plan a trip around a stay at an historic home?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.