Stefan Joham
Stefan Joham

Most hotels welcome people from all over the world - but one hotel in Vienna has opened its doors to asylum seekers as well as tourists.

Twenty of the 26 staff members at Magdas Hotel first arrived in Austria as refugees, and the hotel is helping them get their lives back on track.

In Austria, like many countries, asylum seekers have very limited access to the job market and sustainable, rewarding work is just a dream, even when people have the right to stay.

Anna Radl, a spokesperson for Caritas, the charity which funded the idea, told i100.co.uk that the ethos underlying the hotel is:

Refugees are welcomed here. We want to show that these people want and can live a self-determined and self-confident life.

Dinis from Guinea-Bissau, pictured above, is Magdas’ receptionist. Despite fleeing his home country as a teenager because of political persecution, he spent a decade negotiating the Austrian legal system, which couldn’t decide whether he could stay or not. Ten years on, Dinis can use his seven languages working with hotel guests.

Twenty-five year-old Majid, a Yazidi from Iraq, came to Austria from Turkey three years ago. He works at the hotel bar, and is slowly rebuilding his life and prospects.

The chic 50s-style boutique hotel has 78 rooms and is located near Prater Park in the heart of the city.

Magdas is a play on the German words “mag” and “das”, which means you should “like this.”

And the hotel really is well-liked - since opening earlier this year it has seen a steady increase in bookings and has been warmly reviewed.

“We also notice that there are more conversations between the guests and the staff than in other hotels,” Radl said.

It’s not like other hotels... It is a hotel with a social impact - a place of exchange and encounter.

All pictures: Stefan Joham

More: Tony Abbott on whether Australia will take in Rohingya refugees: 'Nope, nope, nope'

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