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This Airbnb Is Purrfect For Cat Lovers

The travel and hospitality industry is experiencing a renaissance of late spurred by, as usual, technology. For the past few decades, the Internet has democratized information so that billions of bytes of data are now available at your fingerprints. Technology has taken another leap, giving businesses a compelling new venue where they can sell their products or services.



Airbnb is to hospitality what Uber is to the transportation industry. The service allows travelers to find lodgings with relative ease. The Web app is a godsend for frequent travelers, value hunters, and backpackers. The short-term rental service began eight years ago, and now has an estimated three million listings worldwide.

The company must be doing something right. According to the New York Times, as of March 2017, Airbnb is worth a whopping $31 billion. Not bad for an Internet startup. Founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia initially created the website in 2007 to “make a few bucks.”



A Purrfect Escape

Despite being in the traditional real estate business, Mark Keng is a great believer in the Airbnb concept. “I believe the future is in concepts like Airbnb. My family has been in the real estate business for quite a while now, and with the current trend, I believe the future is leaning towards this kind of service,” explains Keng. The owner of numerous rental properties in the metro, Keng also rents out some of his properties via online marketplaces like Airbnb.



“Airbnb is thriving because it provides users with a sense of community. Through the website, users can review lodgings, and also make recommendations. That’s why it has also become popular among tourists. The Airbnb hosts often help out guests by being impromptu tour guides as well,” Keng adds.

Keng’s Airbnb listing is located in F. Zobel St. in Poblacion, Makati City. The property is a nondescript house in a gated community, which, Keng notes, is a definite plus for his guests, since the security is more apparent.



The interiors of the two-story house is positively modern minimalist. It has four bedrooms, all available for rent through Airbnb. One room can accommodate up to two guests. All of the rooms are upstairs; there’s a common kitchen downstairs, along with a spacious living room and dining room. The living room, which is situated near the entrance foyer of the property, has sofas and chairs where guests can relax and congregate.

The most unique feature of the property is the cat room. The space is situated right in the middle of the first floor, in an all-glass space that resembles the open courtyard of a classic Filipino bahay-na-bato, or perhaps even the Hausmannian buildings in Paris, albeit a smaller version of that, to be sure.




The cat room was formerly the laundry room, Keng explains. The room is a virtual playground for the furry mascots of the property. There’s a sofa inside the room, and guests can relax and pet the feline hosts as much as they want. “The cat room is definitely one of the reasons our guests come back to our place. Regulars often ask about the cats, and we have guests here who would spend their leisure time in the cat room. The cats would sometimes go out of the room, and wander throughout the house. We found that the cat room imbibed our property with its own unique characteristics, one that makes guests want to come back again.”


Photographs by Daniel Soriano