The fact is that Petr Janda (77) has been a star and legend of the Czech music scene for almost 60 years, and hits by his band Olympic, such as Želva (Turtle), Dej mi víc své lásky (Give Me More of Your Love) and Dávno (It’s Been a Long Time) are certainly well known. But do you know that he is a smart hotelier? We went to find out how he combines music, family and business.
Probably everyone knows that music is your hobby. But you have a pretty wide range of hobbies.
Apart from music and sport, I am interested in architecture. I am crazy about building and rebuilding. And this is the main reason why I started Pension Nivy. I somehow felt sorry for the old farmhouses doomed to destruction.
Where exactly is your guesthouse situated?
In the location of former farm buildings in the White Carpathian region. They were used as a a farmstead until the 1980s. The whole area is situated on a hillside about 700 metres from the village of Jestřabí. It’s a beautiful site. I love hills, I do not like flat landscapes. Moreover, I acquired it through my marriage. Even though it is more than 300 km from Prague, I travel here regularly about once a month.
How big is the guesthouse?
It consists of two large and one small building. In the main part of the guesthouse is our family apartment, where my mother-in-law lives, that is my wife’s mother, and then there are two apartments on the first floor with a private terrace. The second building includes a beautiful bar for about 50 people with a terrace, and two apartments on the first floor. The third building - the house - is our smallest, but the most popular as well.
What can guests enjoy in your guesthouse?
There is a playground for football, volleyball, football tennis, basketball and ping pong as well. All this is located in a beautiful park, covering about one hectare, including a charming arboretum, a small lake, fireplace, children’s playground with a sandpit and a teepee.
It sounds great. On the other hand, doing business presents many challenges. Do you still remember the very beginnings?
At first, there was no path. But my wife’s mom remembered that there used to be a path here, and eventually we managed to find it. That’s how we started. It wasn’t easy. It is 700 metres up a steep slope. We solved the steepest incline with the help of concrete panels, and poured gravel on the rest. Because it is a protected area, we can’t make an asphalt road. It’s an endless job. Every spring the thaw destroys the path and we have to repair it. Another relatively large investment was the garden, where we planted about 1 000 trees and shrubs.
How have you delegated the division of labour in your family? Who's in charge of what?
My wife takes care of the administration, I do maintenance, but since the buildings have recently been reconstructed, there is not much work to do. My sister-in-law takes care of cleaning and my brother-in-law can handle any possible construction work. Mom welcomes guests with a smile. Simply a family business!
Do you ever have some time to relax in the guesthouse?
I come here to relax as well as to work. I made a small studio of one room, where I always strum the guitar, which is not very popular with the family, and I compose new songs.
Can you tell me where to go on an excursion in the vicinity of your guesthouse? And which type of guest will appreciate your guesthouse the most?
The guesthouse is intended for people who love the countryside and tranquillity, walking and sport. It is ideal for families with children and for group holidays with friends, even pets are allowed! We also host weddings, family celebrations, various workshops, training courses and birthday parties. And excursions? There are many attractions in the vicinity, e.g. Luhačovice Spa with the option of swimming in the dam, Brumov Castle, the Jewish cemetery, Podhradský Rocks, nearby Trenčín… You can also visit the Wise Women of Žítková.
What you didn't know about Petr Janda:
He trained as a coupling machinist and worked in this field for three years
He practises the guitar daily
He loves Sashimi, French wines and cheese
He has an Instagram profile, where he likes to share photos of his travels
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