Sophie loves Prague. After all, it is home. The streets of the New Town are filled with memories. Every guest passing through the doors of Sophie’s Hostel and Miss Sophie’s Hotel left a little something there: a travel story, a good joke, or simply the remembrance of a heartfelt smile.
But Sophie doesn’t like to stand still. She is always up for new adventures. Currently, she is on a mission to share one of the Czech Republic’s best-kept secrets with travelers from all over the world: Olomouc. Olo-what?
Olomouc is the 6th largest city in the country, located in the heart of Moravia. With more than 20.000 students compared to roughly 100.000 inhabitants, the city has a youthful yet intellectual spirit to it that one can immediately immerse in while wandering the picturesque cobblestone streets lined with cafés, bookstores, second-hand shops and antique vendors.
Olomouc, or Olmik, as the locals would say, is a real beauty. A hidden gem with even two main squares as part of the second largest National Historic Reserve in the Czech Republic (after Prague), beautiful parks and a mix of Sophie’s favorite architecture styles from Art Nouveau to Cubism and Functionalism.
Everything here seems to move a little bit slower than in the capital. It’s part of the charm, and this might also be a reason why this, our lady’s new adventure, that we are about to share with you, has been in the making for quite a long time. It has been eight years since the first flash of inspiration to the opening of… Miss Sophie’s Olomouc! A grand café with eight rooms and apartments on the upper floors. Sophie recently went on a trip to check on the progress and was kind enough to take a few of her friends and colleagues with her.
Veronika is an old acquaintance of Sophie’s. They originally met in Prague when Veronika was involved in the remodeling of the properties in the New Town. You can tell Olomouc is a love affair for Veronika while following her around the building. She constantly smiles while she is explaining details about the building and doesn’t get tired to answer questions about the planned designs for the café and the rooms, even though she is quite busy that day and has meetings scheduled with representatives of a small brewery that she accidentally discovered on a bike trip around Olomouc in the summer, a carpenter who she would like to work on custom couches for the rooms, and some electricians to make sure Miss Sophie’s Olomouc will always shine brightly for her guests.
“It is not always easy to get work done in those old buildings”, says Veronika, and explains that foundations of the building are dating back to the 8th century. “It combines different architecture styles from Roman to Renaissance.” Guests of the spacious café on the ground floor will sit under ceiling arches while being surrounded by modern designs. “We decided on a compromise of old and new”, says the architect. “The basement, ground floor, and attic will be a little bit more rough and modern. People never really lived in there but were doing crafts in these parts of the building. The hotel rooms, on the contrary, will be more romantic in style.” Miss Sophie’s Olomouc will be a perfect destination for single travelers, couples, friends and families alike. From double and triple rooms to apartments with kitchenette and dining areas, Veronika and her colleagues are working hard on creating well-thought-out room set ups which are not only functional but also seek to please the eye (and the soul!).
Get to know the locals!
In Olomouc, the aim is to create a space for locals and travelers to mingle. The café will be a big part of the operation, the brick cellar is set up to host private events of all sorts. Sophie hopes to be able to welcome neighbors, students, professors, artists,... Simply all curious souls open to sharing a good time with others.
And on this very day, Sophie finds out, that the building in Denisová street, right in the center of Olomouc, has quite a tradition of doing so. After picking up some Kafka classics in a lovely “Antikvariát” on Panská street, our lady S. starts chatting with the assistant behind the counter to invite her over some time. “Denisová 33!” The lady looks pleased. “We used to go there a lot in the 80’s and 90’s. The woman owning the building back then worked at a local theater and was always inviting people to get together in the backyard. We would discuss the newest plays there, have a beer and some nice food together.” She smiles. And so does Sophie - already looking forward to reviving the tradition with friends from near and far.
When are you going to stop by?