magdas HOTEL

2,000 Euro Prize 2016

Country: Austria

Region: Vienna

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Work

Project owner: magdas - Social Business der Caritas der Erzdiözese Wien

Responsible person: Gabriela Sonnleitner

Website: Weblink

What is it about?

In prime location, right next to the Vienna Prater, every room designed individually in “upcycling style”, magdas is run jointly by hotel industry professionals and refugees. Human resource development focussing on concrete workplace requirements is to equip those who have been granted refugee or subsidiary protection status with all they need to gain a foothold in the labour market. Magdas enjoys great popularity amongst clients who spend a night or relax in the saloon (Café & Bar with lounge), those who hold seminars here or organise a party, and amongst those who come to visit, to see the social business in its entirety. The occupancy rate was high from the very beginning; breakeven is to be reached in 2018.

Appreciation of the Jury

Many have contributed: services, donations in kind, help with the master plan or with a sofa, a knitted lampshade or tips for marketing, learning buddies or assistance with the façade design. Thus, over time, a care and nursing home was transfigured into a fancy hotel in vintage design. And some of those who themselves had to flee their homes have here turned into hosts. Magdas wants to be an explicit, an innovative role model for the hotel and more generally for the tourism industry – where if not in these trades would recognised refugees be most suitably employed? Magdas has generated great media interest at home and abroad. That should help spread the word, and the example.