Cheap hotels in Vienna: Magdas Hotel lounge

Budget Hotel Vienna With A Conscience: The Magdas

Cheap hotels in Vienna: room at MagdasBudget Hotel Vienna. Are you keen on extras when going for a cheap hotel in Vienna? At Magdas Hotel you support a social business and get more than just a place to rest your head. Not only is Magdas Europe’s first hotel run by professionally trained refugees, but sets a great example in upcycling. Because it is so unique I spent an afternoon there to check what it’s like to stay there.

More than unpretentious from the outside Magdas opens up its soul right from the entrance: 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.

Designer Upcycling

Budget Hotel Vienna: room at MagdasBudget Hotel Vienna. The 78 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. In some rooms an old luggage racks from the Austrian Railways now provide space for clothes.

If you wonder, the hotel beds are all newly bought for hygiene reasons. If you are a family or need more space, the suites offer up to four beds and a terrace.

Budget Hotel Vienna: games table at MagdasLooking out of one of the windows you can see where part of this comes from: right next, the old red brick workshop of the Austrian University of Applied Arts extends across the neighboring plot. When the project started in 2015, 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 in most rooms is a TV. Actually, upcycling hasn’t failed here but given way to explore something about Magdas that beats every blockbuster and news show: going out, connecting with people, exchanging your own stories.

Because some rooms are really small make sure you get the space you need at the time of booking.

Listen To The Stories

Budget Hotel Vienna. The hotel’s right entrance wall is filled with two dozen portraits of various people. Although they look like guests from all over the world, they are in fact the hotel’s staff, coming from 14 different nations, speaking 23 different languages. 

Magdas is Europe’s first hotel run by refugees who otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to work in Austria. They come from various countries like Algeria, Afghanistan, Marocco and Nigeria to Somalia and Syria.

Unlike the slick to bored attitude hotel staff in other places may display the enthusiasm of these people (re)starting their careers and being part of a great venture creates a lively buzz. Since the multiethnic Habsburg Empire migrants have formed part of Vienna’s history. Like them, each of Magdas’ receptionists, room maids, bar tenders and waiters has their own story of dramatic escapes, hardship, hope and a new life to share.

Budget Hotel Vienna: Magdas staffIn the past few years, lots of Viennese businesses and individuals have volunteered, together with the refugees, to get this social business of charity 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 create a viable business by 2020 we have to close down”, said hotel manager Sebastian de Voos. [Update: We are in 2020 now, and the hotel has successfully re-opened after the Covid-19 lockdown.] Any of Magdas’ profits will fuel other social projects by Caritas.

Not Your Usual Hotel Breakfast

In line with the hotel’s international and waste-conscious philosophy expect a lovely à-la-carte breakfast in six different compositions, from various international food to Austrian breakfast.

Budget Hotel Vienna: Practical Info

At the doorstep of Vienna’s Prater amusement park and the Vienna Ferris Wheel the Magdas lies in a quiet side street of Leopoldstadt. About five minutes down the road you can take public transport to the city centre in another 5 to 10 minutes, and to the airport in around 25 minutes. Because of Vienna’s vast network of bike paths the bicycles you can borrow at the hotel are useful for sightseeing and for a green tour through the Prater.

Check best rates and reviews for Magdas Hotel

check other great quality cheap hotels in Vienna

get an overview of other Hotels Vienna Austria
explore more free trip planning tools and tips in Visit Vienna
back to Vienna Unwrapped homepage

Check Also

Vienna Museumsquartier – Top 8 Things To Do

What to do at Vienna Museumsquartier? Far from being just about museums, the Vienna museum …