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Pleasant Street cottage wins top new Airbnb host in Florida

Florida's top new Airbnb host owns the Egret Cottage in Gainesville's historic district (Photo courtesy of Maude Wilson).

The top new Airbnb host in the state of Florida is in Gainesville’s historic district. 

Maude Wilson, owner of the Egret Cottage on Pleasant Street, won the No.1 title with 85 reviews on her charming two-bedroom residential home. This is the first year that the recognition has been given out within the 50 states, making Wilson the first to win top-host status in Florida.

According to the Airbnb announcement, to be eligible for the recognition hosts must have listed their property in 2021, earned the most check-ins within the state and reached Superhost status, given to hosts with a 4.8 overall rating who reach certain requirements determined by guest feedback.

The top hosts of each state are known for anticipating the needs of their guests and creating a smooth process of renting out their homes through the Airbnb website. 

“We offer breakfast in the cottage, a keyless entry, and free delivery of wine and small plates provided by Downtown Wine and Cheese. The no-hassle check-in and ease of amenities makes us stand out among other spots,” Wilson said.

The Egret Cottage neighbors the Dunbar Hotel, a local wine bar that offers wine tastings and events. 

This attraction, as well as the cottage’s easy access to Depot Park and its inclusion in the Matheson Museum walking tour, are just a few other reasons as to why this location has attracted so many guests within the past year.

“The majority of our guests are parents visiting their kids at college or checking out the campus with their younger kids,” Wilson said. “Folks visiting the springs and enjoying Gainesville’s nature are by far the next highest.”

According to Wilson, the Egret Cottage is not ideal for long-term living but makes for a great spot for one or two day visits.

“When we first started with Airbnb, we were not sure if we would be able to have a product that had something unique enough to create a demand,” Wilson said. “We were so amazed when Airbnb reached out to us about this accomplishment and feel like maybe Gainesville had a need to provide its many travelers with something more than a stale hotel experience, after all.”