magdas Hotel Vienna: A social business perfectly located for congresses

In Vienna’s Second District, close to the famous Prater and the University of Economics and Business, magdas Hotel is located. What’s special about this hotel is that it is a social business, opened with the aim of creating jobs for as many refugees as possible. As a social business, the hotel is no charity per se, but a business which channels all the revenue created back into charitable projects.

Naturally, this business model comes with a certain sense of frugality, but that’s exactly what makes the hotel so charming. The rooms of a former home for the elderly were completely refurbished using furniture that had been donated by citizens and that partly had to be modified in creative ways in order to fit. It is not unusual to find modern IKEA lamp shades, overhead bins taken from old trains and grandma’s antique sofa, all in the same room. Not all rooms come with a TV, but all of them will have books. Every room is decorated by a painting or sculpture, specially created by the students of the neighboring Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, who also helped decorate the front of the building and keep on supporting the project by offering art workshops for refugees. The hotel’s philosophy of upcycling has struck a chord with the populace: The concept borne out of mere necessity received the Austrian National Design Award 2015 and attracts flocks of design fans, who will meet for a drink at the hotel’s stylish bar or the cosy outdoor seating area, both of which can be booked for events.

magdas employs a total of 20 refugees, who speak a total of 21 languages and whose cultural competence benefits the interaction with the guests greatly. After all, the staff have first-hand experience of arriving in a foreign country for the first time.  Apart from the refugees, the hotel’s success is made possible by many volunteers who work there for free.

In addition to its 88 bed rooms, magdas Hotel also has seminar rooms for up to 20 persons.  magdas Salon has room for social events with up to 120 participants. A special advantage are the reasonable room rates (from EUR 62,00) and the hotel’s proximity to Reed Messe Wien, home to many of the city’s international congresses and events.



Photo: Peter Bárci