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Our review of the Magdas Hotel Vienna and why you should stay there on your next trip or short city break.
In a city like Vienna, filled with Imperial, historic, ornate hotels, finding a unique, authentic experience that doesn’t negatively impact the local community can be tough. Staying at AirBnB’s can drive up the local rent costs while hotels can be so cookie cutter that you could be staying in any city around the world.
So what’s a conscious traveller to do? In Vienna at least, there are alternatives, and the best amongst them is Magdas Hotel.
For a short city break this summer, Stefan and I were able to spend a night at the unique concept hotel that has been designed with local communities in mind.
We’d heard about the philosophy behind this hotel-with-a-difference, and had even tried brunch there in the winter, but the chance to spend a night and really get into the nitty-gritty of this one-of-a-kind place was too good to resist!
Rebuilt in the wake of the 2015 refugee crisis to offer work opportunities for refugees, Magdas Hotel asks its guests to ‘stay open minded’ and invites you to enjoy their homely atmosphere that works to help their staff and local community.
In fact, the hotel building itself is entirely ‘upcycled’. As a former retirement home, the furniture has all been donated and the staff of the hotel are primarily refugees and immigrants, who otherwise would have a difficult time finding work in Austria.
Being a reformed retirement apartment complex, the rooms are spacious, clean and bright and each has its own unique design which makes it feel personalised just for you.
The furniture and decor are all ‘upcycled’ and consistent in their 70’s inspired retro charm.
Cupboards are donated from the Austrian Rail service from former train stations, artwork is from the nearby local art school and the benches, floor and tiles have all been spruced up without losing their flair.
The bathrooms feature custom brand toiletries from local eco-conscious suppliers which is fab. The showers have curtains only but plenty of space, with excellent water pressure.
The bedding was delightful – snuggly blankets, no weird ‘Austrian Twin’ bed situation (where they shove two single beds together and call it a double) our room had a full proper double bed and great terrace views across to Prater Park.
Each room type had a small balcony, and the upper rooms had terraces to enjoy views upon the garden.
The majority of rooms don’t have TVs in them (which personally is no problem) but if you want you can get iPads from reception for your viewing needs.
The rooms overall are charmingly basic – not in an empty heartless way, more like a place your super clean, kinda cool nana would put together. Not kitschy, not too cluttered, just the right blend of modern while keeping the spirit of the building intact.
There is an almost hostel-like energy to this hotel, so even though the service is top notch and the rooms are of hotel standard, it is friendly and welcoming enough to feel like the beating heart of a hostel lies underneath.
It’s open to all kinds of guests and when we stayed there were a few families making the most of the lush location in the heart of Prater Park. The Persian Room on the upper levels has been designed with families in mind as it has interconnecting rooms and multiple bedding options.
Throughout the hotel the wifi is free, and there are bikes available for guests use in the foyer – perfect for exploring the green pathways of Prater Park and Vienna beyond.
You can check the different kinds of rooms available for your travel dates – just click here to view.
There is an open bar and cafe/restaurant area that leads out onto the lovely garden terrace, with a very casual vibe, perfect for relaxing after a long day exploring.It would also be the ideal place to unwind when you first arrive after a long day of travel to Vienna.
If you manage to visit while its warm or sunny, I’d highly recommend taking your morning breakfast out on the garden terrace and making the most of the greenery.
The staff at Magdas really do make a difference to your experience too – earnest, kind, welcoming and ready to help with anything. Even if you are just standing looking lost, they’ll
Even if you are just standing looking lost, they’ll come have a chat with you! Our check-in process was smooth and easy, and every team member we spoke with was lovely and professional.
The framed images of team members in the reception area also showed how much the hotel values their crew and are invested in their success – that positivity and support feeds into the friendliness of the hotel itself. You just feel welcome and at home here.
You just feel welcome and at home here.
The Food & Drink
The ‘Salon’ restaurant cafe has a selection of relatively simple sandwiches, small hot meals and drinks available throughout the day and you can get a small easy dinner there in the evenings.
Their wine list offers plenty of locally sourced, regional specialties and there are some Ice cream options available for kids to get their treats too.
Where Magdas really excels with food is in their brunch buffet. Hosted every morning in the very-70’s feeling room on the ground floor, you can try loads of different combinations of food for breakfast daily.
There are the international flavours of baba ghanoush spread, French cheeses, dried apricots and dates, fresh fruit, yogurt and granola. There are indulgent sweet cakes and the requisite meat and cheese plates that every Viennese brunch must have.
I’ll be honest – it’s not the very best brunch buffet in Vienna – but for sheer variety and options, it has plenty. The coffee is from a standard WMF coffee machine and does the job in a pinch. Keep in mind I am a brunch snob though, so most people would be more than happy with the selection!
The best feature (in my world anyway) was the option to boil your own egg in their steamer. I always find soft-boiled eggs in hotels horribly, terribly overcooked into oblivion, but at Magdas, they provide you with the tools and a timer to perfectly boil your egg to your own preferences.
Small, but important details like this show their commitment to your best experience!
I absolutely loved our stay at Magdas Hotel Vienna. The location within Prater Park was ideal for getting away from the daily grind of city life, but the proximity to the Ubahn meant it was still easy to get access to as many tourist sights as you want to.
The location within Prater Park was ideal for getting away from the daily grind of city life, but the proximity to the Ubahn meant it was still easy to get access to as many tourist sights as you want to.
The homely, friendly happy service of the hotel made it easy to relax and enjoy our stay there. The added touches to support surrounding local initiatives, like the art school works displayed in your rooms and having their own beehives on the rooftop to make honey, made it easy to feel good about supporting the hotel.
Additionally, the philosophy that allows immigrants, former refugees and recently arrived workers to improve their education and career prospects is an easy one to get behind.
As a hotel, Magdas is a great blend of unique upcycled design furniture and local authentic touches, making it a genuinely lovely stay to connect with people while you’re in Vienna.
Recommended For: Couples, families and responsible travellers who don’t need bells and whistles to impress them, just quality, well thought out service and design with heart.
Skip this Hotel: If you prefer all the standardised hotel perks like room service, on-site spa and widescreen TVs.
- Where: Laufbergergasse 12, 1020 Wien
- Price: Between €70-€150 a night, breakfast is an additional €12 per person for some room types. You can check the price for your dates: Click here!
- Car Parking: Available on site for an additional daily fee
- Wifi: Yes – able to handle Netflix streaming
Would you stay in a unique, sustainable hotel like Magdas? Let me know in the comments if I’ve convinced you to try!
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