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Vienna's refugee hotel

Vienna's refugee hotel

As 2015 draws to a close we are republishing some of our best documentaries of the year.

Many hotels in Vienna offer guests great views, luxurious rooms and a convenient location, but there is one hotel that offers something for refugees – a job.

Most of the staff at Magdas Hotel, from the receptionists to the cleaners, cooks and electricians, are refugees who have been granted asylum in Austria. Coming from 14 countries, many of them risked perilous journeys to escape persecution or conflict.

With an investment of 1.5 million euros, Caritas, a Catholic charity, set up the social entreprise to give refugees a chance to learn the hotel trade while on the job. The hotel which opened in February has been a lifeline for many, who have not worked, or been allowed to work, for years, while awaiting a decision on their claim for asylum.