IN one of York’s smallest streets, you will find what must be the most unique and unusual hotels in the world.
Hocus Pocus opened last month in Patrick Pool and is already attracting custom and interest from near and far.
But with its theme of magic, don’t mention a certain Boy Wizard.
He is also One Who Must Not Be Named, as hotel owners Camelia Andrei and Vincent Roberts have created their own ‘portal’ of unique magical experiences.
Camelia is from Romania and after studying tourism economics in Italy, she worked in hotels, including running her own hotel in the Adriatic, before moving to York in 2013.
Vincent is from York and is a builder, also owning the Viking-themed Valhalla vafé-bar next door.
Vincent used to enjoy the jacket potatoes at Krusty’s Sandwich Shop, which is where he met Camelia, who was running the business at the time.
Camelia had long sought a return to hospitality, wanting to run a boutique hotel, and for the two business partners, there was a meeting of minds.
She said: “The themed boutique hotel experience is always something I have always been passionate about.
"But what you see here is the result of a combined vision, all designed to make you feel like you're really staying in, and are an actual part of somewhere as magical and historical as York."
Vincent said: “Camelia is very much interested in the magical experience.
“My background is construction. I’m interested in creation, and was involved in searching for Oak, stone and other materials for the hotel.”
The pair worked on the project for two years, through the lockdowns, putting the figures together and the designs, including ‘all the crazy elements.’
It meant visiting reclamation yards, antique shops and eBay, with some items handcrafted especially made for the building, which dates back to the 1600s.
Hocus Pocus has just five rooms, all unique and all with their own names and magical themes.
The Principium Magicae is like a ruined castle, but with mod cons.
The Itinerandum resembles a luxurious Victorian railway carriage, with a double bed in one room, bunk beds in another and a station waiting room in between.
The Sorceryum features genuine Transylvanian broomsticks, ideal for a Mother Witch to cast her spells.
The Libraryum features books and a newly uncovered and restored Tudor wall.
Finally, at the top is the Apothecary with beds and spaces on different levels.
In their first month, the pair say business has gone better than expected and it really has taken off.
The hotel already has more than 6000 followers on Facebook, and half the hotel bookings coming through its website.
Vincent added: “There’s a real following for this niche market around black magic.”
“We have built this for the public to enjoy. Leave the world outside and enter a new dimension. “
Hocus Pocus can be found at www.hocuspocusyork.com.
There is also a video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1Q9oZo_9gk