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We planned to come together on the last night of Airbnb Open to celebrate the best and brightest in the host community by announcing the winners of this year’s Host Awards. But along with the rest of the world, we were shocked on Friday night as tragedy struck in Paris. We cancelled the final day of programming, and instead of cheering for a handful of hosting heroes on Saturday, we were moved as countless heroes emerged from the community. Hosts opened their homes, searched for their new friends, and offered comfort to fellow travelers. We’re touched by the entire community of hosts around the world who did all they could to care for one another and for a city grappling with loss.

We’re determined to celebrate what is good—kindness, welcoming, and belonging—despite attempts to challenge the trust these feelings require. We’re disappointed we didn’t get to announce the four winners of this year’s Host Awards on stage in Paris, but we’re incredibly proud to celebrate them here.

The Memorable Arrival Award: For a host who went above and beyond to provide a warm and magical welcome

2015 Winner: Frans P., Netherlands

Nomination excerpt: “My first day in the city wasn’t easy. I lost 50 euros, could not find the bus to my listing and I had a terrible back ache. Frans picked me up at the airport with a smile on his face and started talking to me about how life can be beautiful and that I don’t need to worry about small things. I realized that he lost his wife in a car accident 2 years ago and had to raise their 11 year old kid by himself. He left his job and told me that Airbnb saved his life and how grateful he was about it. With Airbnb, he has a reason to keep the house clean and it’s also full of happy travelers. Frans has inspired me to see how life can be beautiful, even with sad things that happen. I can say that my life has changed after meeting him.”—Raquel

The Unique Listing Award: For a host whose space has a unique, creative design, or luxurious amenities

2015 Winner: Michelle V., South Africa
Listing: www.airbnb.com/rooms/2655966

Nomination excerpt: “Honestly Michelle’s residence blew us away. We never felt like we needed to leave! We can stay at Michelle’s house all day long and feel the sea breeze. Have I mentioned the mountains right behind too? Their decor and essentials are very well stocked. A unique, once in a lifetime experience!” —Lee

The Hero Award: For a host who ensured their guest’s comfort and made their trip memorable, even when the unexpected came up

2105 Winner: Christine B., Australia

Nomination excerpt: “Me and my boyfriend are in Australia for a working holiday. I got pregnant during our trip so we decided we wanted a week to relax and rest because I was feeling very tired. That’s how we met Christine. When we were staying with her I had a miscarriage, apparently due to a tumor in my womb. Christine went above and beyond to help me. Drove me to Doctors, hospitals, found a job for my boyfriend to help pay for all the accumulating costs, let us stay for free (we’re still here)… She moved heaven and earth to make me feel better and help us. No one deserves this award more than her! Cause any other person would have wished us the best of luck and shown us the door.”—Inge

The Community Award: Selected by their peers, this is an award for hosts who are passionate about supporting other hosts in the Airbnb community.

2015 Winner: Liane E., United States

Nomination excerpt: “I have known Liane for a couple of years. She first contacted me, along with several other hosts on Airbnb, to invite us to a meeting to discuss our experiences and concerns as Airbnb hosts in the area. The group has expanded from the original 10 to about 20 hosts and Liane keeps everyone informed of our get-togethers. Nobody is more passionate about being a host than Liane. She is willing to receive guests whenever one of us can not be present when a guest arrives. Liane has been instrumental in becoming informed about what is going on at the municipal level to help us prepare for what may be in store when regulations are put in place. Liane has been a true ambassador for Airbnb.” —Albert

 

These hosts and their stories are inspiring examples of how your countless welcoming smiles, unforgettable spaces, acts of kindness, and community efforts can create belonging. And we need belonging now more than ever. Congratulations to this year’s extraordinary Host Award winners.