Unfortunately there is not only justice in this world and not everybody is blessed with health. Sadly, some people and families have to deal with severe strokes of fate that they cannot cope with on their own. For this reason, we would like to pay tribute to the great work of Vienna’s mobile children’s hospice MOMO, which provides medical and psychosocial support to severely ill children aged 0-18 and their families. MOMO was founded in March 2013 by Caritas, CS Caritas Socialis and the mobile children’s nursing service MOKI-Wien. Since then, MOMO has cared for more than 314 families and it has been possible to help every family that needs help! Support from MOMO is free of charge, regardless of how often MOMO employees come to the families and how long they stay. The children’s hospice depends in large part on the support of voluntary donors.
We are very proud of our partnership with MOMO since June this year and now support the children’s hospice financially with 1000€ per year. A big thank you goes to Michaela Dimitriewicz, the wife of one of Wombat’s founders Sascha, who has been volunteering for MOMO for many years and has made us aware of this great institution! We would also like to praise all the other MOMO employees for their great work and their commitment and look forward to continuing our cooperation!
It’s not common to everybody – some need a little help
Recently we have been sitting together at wombat’s head office and had a chat about good old times.
9 out of 11 officers have a vivid wombat’s history, having started at wombat’s as a receptionist or bartender. We all know how to hostel and how to travel.
Everybody can come up with a silly story or with a top ten of stupid questions. It’s shocking how many people don’t know how to do the most basic things in life, when they are already out there exploring the globe. For years we have been wondering about people who came up to reception and tried to make us believe, that their duvets wouldn’t fit into their covers. Only to find out, that they tried to stuff them into the pillowcase. Once five guys came to the hostel bar paying drinks and cheering for a sixth guy, who turned out to be a Marine. Bartenders thought it was a stag do or a birthday party, but it turned out this guy just helped the others to make their bed, as they were struggling hard.
All of us had a moment when we were surprised by somebody in his twenties, confessing that he had never made his bed before.
The tons of questions regarding laundry. Or more specific the simple use of a washing machine. Some guests attempted to bribe receptionists to do the laundry for them. We once had a guy who spent a whole day waiting in the lobby and everytime he noticed, that somebody was changing money for the laundry at reception, he jumped at them and asked if they could do his laundry too.
He broke into tears when our receptionists kindly told him to do his laundry himself and even offered him detailed instructions. He was just too afraid to shrink his clothes.
How to travel
Yet there are also less particular questions and topics, that our fellow travellers need some explaination for. Questions like ‘How does public transport work here?’ or ‘Which is the strongest Cocktail in your bar?’ or ‘What’s the easiest way to see most of the sights here?’.
So we decided to dedicate part of our video content and a whole section of our Youtube Channel to this help content. Subscribe and we’ll keep you posted and entertained with little help videos. Our coworkers won’t run out of funny hostel stories to tell.
Everybody who stayed at wombat’s Vienna the Lounge shortly before Christmas will remember the little musical interlude at breakfast. At that time we had a very special guest: the children’s choir Dia.logos from Sibiu, Romania. During their concert tour in Upper Austria and Vienna they spent one night with us and surprised us with a little Romanian Christmas song in the morning. What a nice gesture, that sweetened the morning for the guests and the staff!
The children’s choir Dia.logos is from the Transylvanian city Sibiu, which is one of the most important cultural centres of Romania and was designated the European Capital of Culture for the year 2007. Dia.logos was founded 3 years ago by the priest Alexandru Ionită who supports projects for disadvantaged children living in great poverty on the outskirts of Sibiu. One of the projects he supports is the “Caravana Gypsy Jazz” Ensemble, consisting of seven ambitious musicians. At the same time the Caravana Gypsy Jazz is an education project that offers a perspective to young people from disadvantaged families, offering them music lessons by the members of the ensemble. The initiator of this project is Emanuel Mario Bebe from Bucharest, who also grew up in a children’s home and calls it his “soul project”.
With the help of wombat’s and that of many others, the children’s choir Dia.logos was able to realize this trip. The voluntary donations collected at the three benefit concerts can now be used mainly for the educational project of Alexandru Ionită, for disadvantaged children living in great poverty on the outskirts of Sibiu. The high sum of 1.000.- Euro will go into the music project with the group Caravana Gypsy Jazz.
As Teresa Leonhard, another supporter of the project said, it is beautiful to see how music is is able to build bridges. We are very happy being part of this great project and would love to welcome them again!
Over the past years Hostelworld.com has launched campaigns starring celebrities, such as Chris Eubank or 50cent. In 2017 they rolled out their clickbait campaign featuring scandalous Charlie Sheen.
Having a filming in a fully booked hostel
We had been asked if this piece could be filmed at wombat’s CITY Hostel London on quite short notice – roughly a week before the filming.
If you have ever hosted a filming, you know how exhausting it can be to stand on the organisational side. Although One of our hostel managers was on annual leave at the time, Zsuzska, the remaining manager took on this challenge. Together with Katja, our front desk manager, she dealt with approximately a billion emails over the following days, shifted reservations and organized some additional manpower for the special occasion.
Fortunately, our hostel was fully booked and it was a day with plenty of departures and arrivals. Furthermore we had to hold back a double room in order to facilitate some takes there.
‘Sorry, would you mind to check in a bit later? Charlie Sheen is shooting in your room.’ So, that cost us some additional free drinks later in the evening ;)
We also had a huge group of 100 people having breakfast when filming started next to the breakfast area. Keeping noise at an acceptable level cost us another couple of rounds in our bar.
Overall, everything went smoothly and Charlie Sheen turned out to be a real asset to our hostel that day. He was laid back, hanging out on our terrace and in our chill-out areas, chatting and taking selfies with everybody.
The campaign behind it
Charlie`s clickbait campaign reached over 30 million views and had a broad reach throughout all social media platforms.
In 6 short videos, it plays with trending topics such as leaked and fake news. Hostelworld.com wanted to address misinformation around hostels and “highlight how their reputation, similarly to Sheen’s, is outdated”.
As thedrum.com puts it: “The films in the campaign end with a twist, revealing Sheen is actually just enjoying all the facilities a modern hostel has to offer. The series will run as skippable video and pre-roll ads across YouTube and Facebook as well as sites like Ladbible, TMZ, and Vice.”
A beautiful idea to polish up the reputation of hostels and we’re glad to be part of it. Big ups to Hostelworld.com and their marketing team!
All in all Charlie, it was a pleasure having you with us!
Furthermore find all videos in our favourites playlist here:
In December 2014 our fresh little womBaby peeled out of it’s egg. Although it’s neither little with over 500 beds, nor do marsupials or buildings peal themselves out of eggs… Anyways the important thing is: It’s in London!
Finally wombat’s made it to one of the top 5 landing destinations for Europe visitors and what a great destination it is. London is a buzzing capital and runs at it’s own speed. The new wombat’s CITY HOSTEL London is located in the East, near the Tower of London.
The area is full of things young London visitors need. The markets, bars and restaurants of Bricklane are just a few minute’s walk away and so are the bars at St. Katherine’s Docks. Also Shoreditch, London’s hippest area in terms of night life and vintage design shopping is just 20 minutes up the road.
The building itself used to be a hostel for sailors since the early 1860’s and was actually opened by the Prince of Wales Albert Edward. A plague in the terrace entrance still reminds us of that historic moment.
The whole building refurbished and with all the know-how of wombat’s founders Marcus and Sascha brought in, the house is now probably the best youth hostel and place to stay for young travelers in the UK’s capital.
Have a look at our fresh wombat’s in London:
A few days ago, we got a really lovely thank you letter from Michelle and Drew, two guests from Australia. They were on a two months vacation in Europe, when their belongings and wallets got stolen on New Year. Our staff at our wombats City Hostel Vienna “The Naschmarkt” managed to help them out and saved their holidays.
Reading their message I decided to post it here on our blog, as I want to thank the reception team of “The Naschmarkt” for their great work – you girls and guys just rock!
Anyway, here’s the message from Michelle and Drew:
Travelling on a train from Krakow (Poland) to Vienna and have your wallet and belongings stolen is probably one of the worst ways to spend New Year! It takes a lot of international phone calls, police formalities and even more nerves to sort things like that out.
But we were lucky that we had booked at the wombats hostel “Naschmarkt”. The staff there saved our day and gave us support we are eternally grateful for.
We arrived at the hostel in the evening, without identification, as it had been stolen. The reception staff was not only willing to check us into our room, they also helped us with phone calls to our bank and the Australian Embassy. After that one of the staff members from wombats came with us to the police station to help us with translations and sorting things out. After heading back to the hostel we just wanted to sleep off the tributes of the day…
…but the wombat’s staff invited us to their staff New Years Eve party. Accepting this offer was the best decision we made on our two month vacation. We were partying with our new wombats friends, hopping between the various wombats hostels, feeling welcomed and loved at every location!
But it was not at that point that the support and compassion from the wombats staff stopped. For days they lent us their phone to call banks in Australia or our credit card companies. For days they became our family, the ones we turned to for support and guidance, laughs and tears, food and drinks.
Therefore we want to thank the staff at the wombats hostel “Naschmarkt” from the bottom of our heart, we are forever grateful for your lovely help. We are planning a trip early in 2014 to come and see you all again – or alternatively, please come visit us in Australia.