It’s Misterb&b, a version of the Airbnb apartment rental service that focuses on gay men. As of Thursday evening, Misterb&b offered 58 apartments and houses for short-term rental in Los Angeles, with a number of those in West Hollywood. Its U.S. listings are concentrated in L.A., New York City and Miami.
Misterb&b was launched last Spring by Parisians Matthieu Jost and Francois de Saint Palais, who also founded Sejourning, the French version of Airbnb.
“Airbnb offers the freedom to go and come as we please and provides us the ultimate traveling experience by situating us far from all the hotel chains — in a real neighborhood surrounded by locals,” Misterb&b says in a description of its service. “But being queer, one question makes the whole experience a little awkward: Does the host mind if two men are sleeping in his/her bed? Sometimes the answer’s not so obvious, but a new website is seeking to make the hunt for gay accommodations a lot easier.
“Misterb&b is the 1st gay-friendly Airbnb. Access to warm and welcoming environments in the hearts of international gay cities is now open to all.”
In February, West Hollywood City Council members Abbe Land and John Heilman asked the city to establish a task force to establish the impact of peer-to-peer businesses in West Hollywood.
Such businesses compete with local hotels, whose room taxes are a major source of West Hollywood’s revenue. Services such as Lyft and Uber also compete with taxi companies, which much get a franchise from the city to operate here and also must meet certain safety regulations.
On the other hand, as the Land/Heilman proposal noted: “These types of entities serve multiple purposes in any community. They may in some cases serve as extra sources of revenue for individual households, while also providing efficient and affordable services to those that use them.”
Misterb&b can be accessed online in English and French. There’s also an iPhone app for the service.