History of the Slovan Hotel
The original name of the Slovan Hotel was the Passage hotel.
The inauguration was in December 1928.
It was designed by a renowned architect Bohuslav Fuchs and became the greatest work
of Brno builder Antonín Müller and the Hotel was managed by his son ing. Vladimír Müller.
Unfortunately, both of them died in a plane crash of the airbus Ford
in windstorm on 22 August 1930 near Jihlava (quotation from the period press).
Mrs. Věra Odstrčilová, daughter of the late architect, and her husband took over the management
after the grievous death of both the founders.
The cost of the Hotel construction was CZK 20 million. It was a really large sum of money,
because at the time price of a single-bed room was CZK 25, double-bed room CZK 65.
If there was a bathroom and a toilet in the double-bed room, it cost CZK 80.
If we compare price parity at the time, price of the Hotel would be CZK 400 million at present.
The high price and crisis of the 1930s caused that Mrs. Odstrčilová wasn't able to repay the credit
and the Hotel forfeited to the bank, which owned it until nationalization in 1949.
Address of the Passage hotel was Nová ulice 23 (before WW1 it was Neu Gasse
and after WW2 Lidická ulice) and its phone number was 12.940 in 1928.
The Hotel had 140 rooms in the 1930s, there was running hot and cold water in all of them,
and eight of them had a bathroom and a toilet. There was a large concert café with gaming rooms,
a French restaurant and halls on the Hotel mezzanine.
In the Hotel shopping arcade there were a public restaurant, a florist's, a photographic studio,
a shop selling registration cash desks, a fashion parlour, a hairdresser's
and a few other shops that we weren't able to identify.
There was a prestigious doctors' club under the Hotel building.
There were telephones in most of the rooms (the original telephone exchange
that was reconstructed in WW2 had been in use in the Hotel until 1992).
There were offices of the Czechoslovak Auto Club and the Hotel had its own garages for 30 cars.
The garages were accessible directly from the street
in the centre of the town because at the time cars were driven on the left.
At present it isn't possible for technical reasons. For the sake of interest,
the No. 1 tram went nearly on the same route past the Hotel at that time.
Artists have always loved the Hotel. It is mostly due to the fact that it was near Brno
theatres where theatrical companies from Prague liked giving guest performances.
The Hotel was regularly visited by Osvobozené divadlo, including Messrs.
Werich, Voskovec and Ježek. Mr. Ježek even composed his famous Bugatti step
inspired by Louis Chiron's victory by his Bugatti.
After Mr. Werich, Mr. Horníček took over a special liking from the Hotel
and stayed there regularly.
He mentioned the Slovan Hotel in his best and best-known book Dobře utajené housle.
The Hotel was, probably more than the other Brno hotels, connected with the locals.
The elderly inhabitants remember that they listened to Gustav Brom's big band in the Hotel arcade,
and the younger ones (in their forties or fifties at present) visited the disco on the mezzanine.
In the 1980s there was the larges disco of Brno. The fact that the Slovan Hotel has more names
in the special Brno argot called "hantec" than the other Brno hotels shows popularity of the Hotel.
In the 1980s they went to "pasingl" (although only a few people knew the original name
the Passage hotel at that time) and the wine bar "under leaves" (Velkopavlovická) was a fabled one.