‘The magdas Hotel brings people from all over the world together’. But this slogan is not referring to the guests. People from 14 different nations, who found asylum in Vienna, work at the magdas Hotel. Each and every one of them makes this place unique. An open-minded and positive atmosphere at the hotel makes it a pleasant stay for guests.
At the magdas Hotel in Vienna refugee workers and guests live together, at least for a while, under the same roof. “What could we do?” asked Gabriela Sonnleitner, director of the hotel, and her team, what was happening with all those people fleeing the war in Syria and how were welcomed in to the city? The answer was to be found in an old nursing home of the seventies, owned by Caritas, which was unused since 2012. They transformed it into a hotel.
Located closed to the Prater Park, the magdas Hotel is a place for creativity and inspiration. The beautiful decoration is far away from any traditional hotel and also not common for a social project, where design never plays a main role. Behind the magdas Hotel is Caritas and you can tell that the project has been masterminded by a multi-disciplinary team of people with different backgrounds and ideas. All the efforts are for a common goal, the integration of refugees and migrants in the city.
Refugees are not seen as victims but as part of the solution to address integration in the city. ‘magdas business is people’ says the website. At magdas they take their business very seriously. Everything in the hotel is part of the same philosophy for social inclusion. Every corner sends a strong message to the guests; a message of a welcoming culture and embracing diversity. Outside at the front door there is a text written in many languages on the ground before leading to the lobby.
Guests spending the night at the magdas Hotel are not only supporting a great project but acknowledging that the city’s true wealth is its people and the rich cultural and diversity they represent. At the hotel every room is different from each other shaping a unique character of the hotel. So does a diverse and inclusive city.