Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

Walking in the Footsteps of Queen Latifah at Grand Hotel Pupp

Forrest Mallard

Two of my life’s very minor accomplishments: – I’ve been shanghaied in Shanghai – I made a poop at The Grand Hotel Pupp





I Could Live at Grand Hotel Pupp

But seriously, I have been to the Pupp every day that I have been here in Karlovy Vary. My first trip there was to take in the scenes from one of my favorite films that was shot there, but I keep going back because the staff is so friendly. I completely identified with one of Queen Latifah’s lines from the film “And here I thought I wasn’t going to fit in.

I told the bartender how much I loved “The Last Holiday” and he told me it was also a very special time for the hotel when they were making that film. The Grand Hotel Pupp was reserved exclusively for the cast and crew for the 6 weeks they were filming there, and they have many fond memories of those days. Most of the extras in the film are actually staff from the hotel, just doing their jobs.

I was so happy to bond with these people over a film that I love so much. I was taken on a covert, behind-the-scenes tour to see the areas in the kitchen and the main dining room which were featured heavily in that film, and it was also pointed out to me where some of the scenes from Casino Royale where shot.

I did have one terrifying moment though during my first visit to the hotel. After initially discussing the fact we all loved ‘The Last Holiday,’ the bartender dropped off my first drink as he said: “Yes, that would be two-thousand and six.” As my eyes popped out of my head and I regretfully started to reach for my wallet, the bartender started laughing and added “… that was THE YEAR. The Year the film was made.”

I let out the biggest sigh you could imagine. 2000 Czech Crowns equals about $80. That would have put a serious dent in my budget travel. The price of the drinks in this super-posh room ended up being only $4 each, but next time to avoid a heart attack, I’ll remember to ask for the price first.

Karlovy Vary: Healing Waters

On my last day here in Karlovy Vary, I will head to the mountains to do some of the towns prescribed ‘Spa Walks,’ then I’ll head back down to the main promenade to drink some more of the town’s famous mineral water, gurgling to the surface of the Earth from some 2000 meters down. (There are 14 of these spring locations all over the center of town and I’ll write more about that later.) Then finally I will head back to the Grand Hotel Pupp for one last drink in the room with a ceiling so beautiful it made Queen Latifah cry, and I will share one more laugh with my new friends at the hotel before leaving tomorrow morning for the very remote mountains on the border of Germany.




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