Hostels have come a very long way since their darker days (or since the thriller came out and thwarted travelers from booking a hostel ever again). These days, the standards travelers hold for hostels are much higher. Instead of having to question a hotel’s sketchiness or cleanliness, travelers are wondering if it’s designed nicely, has a story behind it, serves fresh food that’s local to the city or looks Instagrammable (okay, that might be just me). Cutting to chase, the brand new Long Story Short hostel and cafe in Olomouc, Czech Republic meets all these standards and beyond, making it clear that hostels can be comparable (and even preferable) to 4-star hotels.
The name of the hostel is derived from the rich history of the building as the hostel takes up the entire first floor of an actual fortress from the 17th century, known as Podkova. The project was initiated by Eva Dlabalová who pulled in interior designer Denisa Strmisková to essentially create the hostel from scratch and turn the floor into a contemporary suite of accommodations for modern travelers.
Strmisková worked on the hostel for two years and chose a soft pastel color palette accented by black details and lots of pure white negative space. A majority of the modern furnishings are all custom made. The beds, mirrors, lamps, shelves and bathroom equipment were all made to measure by local artisans including brands like Master & Master and RAV Slezák. Classic modernist designs of the previous century was chosen by Miroslav Miroslav Bednář from Prague’s Retroobjects shop. Bakelite switches by Berker, lamps by Marset, interior lighting by Bulb and Ewerel, and original artworks by Czech artists David Minařík can be found around the grounds of the hostel. Czech graphic designer Jan Košátko worked on the identity and visual style of the hostel (notice the playful long ‘O’ in the signage).
There are total of 56 beds belonging to a variety of dorm rooms, private rooms and even a wedding suite. Guests staying in the dorm rooms have access to well-equipped bathrooms while guests staying in the private rooms have their own private bathrooms.
The arched doorways look different from every perspective with the influx of natural light that comes through the hallways and guest rooms.
This central room acts as an all-in-one, serving as the reception, common room and cafe in the heart of the hostel. The hostel has a U-shaped layout (hence the name Podkova which means Horseshoe) which coils around the building’s central courtyard. As the hostel expands, more common areas will be extended to an outside terrace with an original kitchen island and cocktail bar under a pergola. Plans to add a cafe and restaurant are also in the works.
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