Whole house property type: Host options vs. guest filters

I have been a little confused by AirBnB property types when studying other listings and going to AirBnB’s documentation on it is interesting. I notice a lot of similar properties to each other using bungalow, cabin, cottage, and chalet.

I will be honest that I had never heard the term “chalet” actually used except in Scrabble and was therefore surprised so many properties near me listed as chalets. And I can’t distinguish them from cabins and cottages by looking at the listings.

So, what does Air say for guidance on whole home property types? Well, that depends if you are a host or a guest, evidently. Here is what Air’s help section says. It doesn’t help at all for this question:

Here are your options as a host:

They define it for you in the host tool when you select a given house type:

But the descriptions for bungalow, cabin, chalet, and cottage are very similar here. And there is this other issue: The house types in the host tool do not map to the filters in the guest tool. This is what the guest gets to choose from; note that “chalet” is not listed!

So are all of those hosts who chose “chalet” excluded from the results if the guest filters for bungalows? There is not a “cottage” option for the guest, either.

And the real thing I want to know is what distinguishes a chalet from a cottage or a bungalow? I have searched but still have no clear answer.

None of this even applies to us because we list as a regular “house”, but this is confusing and my curiosity wants to be satisfied.


I had an e-mail a couple of months ago from abb, asking me to change from cottage to bungalow. As I like my cottage being a cottage I ignored it but this listing has gone quiet since about that time, could it be the reason, I have no idea.
My other listing is a Barn, had no e-mail to change it and bookings are still coming in.

Sorry I don’t know the answer to your question. What I do know is that hosts calling their TX ranchhouses and cabins “Chalets,” need a Tony Lama boot in the derrière.


There are loads of them, thus my confusion.

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You might be the victim of the guest filters. What to you is the difference between “cottage” and “bungalow”? Why do you prefer the former?

Hm… I think cottage is in US while chalet is what a cottage is called in Canada. My 2 cents.

Yet neither is an option in the guest filters, at least for me in the USA. And based on @HumptyDumpty’s comment above, I wonder if choosing one of those means losing a lot of visibility for those listings.

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Here is how they define bungalow, chalet, and cottage:

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And based on this, I can kind of see why the houses situated near the rivers and horseback riding are using the term “chalet”, @KKC.

To me a cottage is an old British character property either single or two story. Ours dates back to the 16c and bungalows didn’t exist until the 17c and are named after some place in India

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Airbnb’s house descriptions seem very location specific, which is why I ignore them. The above is what is defined as a “chalet” in Malaga. The word “villa” which is what Brits would probably call ti is not used here.


I’d call this a villa. Definitely not a “chalet” by AirBnB’s description. Doesn’t appear to be wooden and I don’t see a sloping roof.

I didn’t realize there were so many “lighthouses” available that it would be listed under house type.

The term “Chalet” in Canada usually refers to a dwelling at or near a ski lodge or in a mountainous area & is usually higher end accommodation.

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I just filtered for lighthouse, no dates, no destination. I stopped counting at the 13th page of results, so basically every lighthouse on the planet is an AirBnB now apparently. :wink:


Now that is totally bonkers. I really hope it’s not the reason for your slow down. Have you spoken to anyone at Airbnb?

I too have always been confused by these terms. In the U.S, who says Bungalow (except maybe in a real estate listing)? Or chalet? (I think of that as an A-frame in a ski area.) To me, a cottage is by a lake and a cabin is in the woods/mountains. But I never know if I should call my rental a cabin or a house!

I’m just now signing us up on Booking.com and this is how they define “chalet”: If it has a sloping roof, is a freestanding home, and is rented specifically for vacations.

Contrast with my choice, “vacation home”, which is also freestanding but must have an external entrance (as opposed to the underground entrance that tunnels to the living room in the freestanding chalet?), can have a flat roof, and is also rented specifically for vacations.

I mean, that totally clears it up about as well as the Mississippi River for me. How about y’all?

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