Budget Hotel Vienna. Are you keen on extras when going for a cheap hotel in Vienna? At Magdas Hotel you can add a social dimension to your city break, and get more than just a place to rest your head. It will change the way you travel. Here is my review.
First, a look at the basics – the lobby of Magdas Hotel is wide and friendly: Retro furniture, plants and a welcoming bar in Magdas Salon with a good Bohemian touch. The lounge mixes modern comfy sofas with graffiti-covered chipboard tables: weird, but they blend in perfectly.
Budget Hotel Vienna. The hotel rooms – each different and with its own style – follow the same concept of design-led upcycling: A vintage sofa dressed in fresh graphic prints, three old suitcases piling up as a night table, a gorgeous 1950s side cabinet a savvy art dealer would give his right arm for, and lots of inspiring art. (The hotel beds are all brand new.)
Budget Hotel Vienna. Looking out of one of the windows you can see where part of this comes from: the old red brick workshop of the Austrian University of Applied Arts is just next. Art students inspired and executed the transformation of furniture that once belonged to the local residence for the Elderly.
The last floor hosts a penthouse apartment with its own open plan kitchen and this original wooden skittles games table ready for use.
What’s missing? TV’s most definitely. The lounge area and almost all rooms do not have TVs. Upcycling hasn’t failed here but given way to explore something about Magdas that beats every blockbuster and news show.
Listen To The Stories
Budget Hotel Vienna. The hotel’s right entrance wall is filled with two dozen portraits of various people. They are neither celebrities nor do they look like locals. They are the hotel’s staff.
Magdas is Europe’s first hotel run by refugees who otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to work in Austria. They come from 20 countries, from Algeria, Afghanistan, Marocco and Nigeria to Somalia and Syria. Their enthusiasm of (re)starting a career and being part of a great venture creates a lively buzz. Migrants have been part of Vienna’s history since the multiethnic Habsburg Empire. Each of Magdas’ receptionists, room maids, bar tenders and waiters has their own unique story, of dramatic escapes, hardship, hope and a new life in Vienna.
Lots of Viennese businesses and individuals have volunteered, together with the refugees, to get this Social Business of charity organisation Caritas up and running: architects, design firms, universities, and local upmarket hotels, who helped train the refugees. Business is social but serious: “If we don’t make a profit by 2020 we have to close down”, says hotel manager Sebastian de Voos.
Budget Hotel Vienna: Practical Info
Magdas Hotel is at the doorstep of Vienna’s green Prater amusement park and woodland. Down the road You are five minutes from public transport that takes you to the centre in another 5 to 10 minutes, and to the airport in around 25 minutes. You can borrow bikes at the hotel.