I have seen a very limited number of Queen Latifah’s movies. But, the ones I have seen are often referenced by the family members I convinced to sit down and watch them with me. I still remember her antics with Steve Martin in Bringing Down the House; I even convinced my grandmother to watch this film after I used Steve Martin as the selling point.
But, her film that I have seen more than once and that I still largely remember is Last Holiday. Queen Latifah stars as a woman diagnosed with terminal cancer who decides to spend her life’s savings on travel. It’s only after she spends huge sums of money that she finds out she has been wrongly diagnosed. It’s actually one of the better B-rated films out there.
The reason I bring up Last Holiday is because Queen Latifah decides to travel to the Czech Republic and stay at the Grand Hotel Pupp, a top-rated hotel for the wealthy located in the country’s spa town of Karlovy Vary. The town also happens to host the International Film Festival every year, and celebrities including Robert DeNiro, Keira Knightley, and Scarlett Johannson have stayed at the famous hotel.
Included in my study abroad program was a free day trip to Karlovy Vary, and as someone on a tight student budget, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. I had completely forgotten about the Grand Hotel Pupp’s cameo in Last Holiday until I was standing on the celebrity walk of fame positioned directly in front of the hotel.
In addition to the Grand Hotel Pupp, Karlovy Vary sees many people who are in town to receive the spa treatments supposedly able to help with a variety of medical conditions due to their mineral composition. Visitors to the town are prescribed 3-6 cups per day of a specific type of hot spring water that will treat ailments ranging from metabolic diseases to gastrointestinal problems. Cups are available for purchase that you can then dip into the springs.
During the day trip, we participated in a guided tour through the town, enjoying the sunshine and brightly colored buildings. After the tour, we stopped for drinks at Cafe Pupp attached to the hotel. One delicious Irish coffee later, we hopped on a bus back to Prague.
The springs are Karlovy Vary’s main attraction, so there is a limited number of activities you can do. But, the architecture and gorgeous weather made the free trip worth the time.
Although I wasn’t able to stay at the Grand Hotel Pupp like Queen Latifah, I at least got to stand and admire it from the outside. The free day trip to Karlovy Vary was a welcome adventure outside of my Prague apartment.