THE STORY OF SØBYLYST
In the early 1900s was “Ærøes-Lyst”, as it was called then, a true seaside resort and a popular destination. The Story of Søbylyst starts but long before that.
Very unusual for its time, it was a woman named Ellen Kraemer, who built the original
Inn back in 1850. The old inn is still beside Søbylyst and is now equipped for habitation.
The old inn was simultaneously used for colonial and manufacturing trade, rough trade,
distillery, brewery, bakery and steamship connection to Mommark.
For Ellen Kraemers descendant, son Jorgen Thomsen and his wife Caroline, the old inn contained too little space, so in 1909 they built what is today Søbylyst.
Caroline had been taught at “Frandsen Badehotel” in Svendborg (today Hotel Christiansminde), so in the grand times of the seaside hotel she skillfully prepared oysters, lobster, calf thymus, beef tongues, pike, pigeon and wild geese in such a way that opera singers, actors and authors from Copenhagen traveled to the island to experience the seaside hotel and the exceptional cuisine offered only in Søby.
The success was so overwhelming that Caroline was exhausted by the pace and sold the seaside hotel in 1913 to concentrate on the other businesses.
Since then, the inn changed hands several times until the summer of 2007 when Brothers Hansen lead by Janus Hansen realized the incredible opportunity, bought the property, and restored it to its original splendour with a restaurant and modern apartments.
After the major renovation and conversion to apartments and restaurant in 2008, it was no longer an appropriate description to call the place an inn. The name Søbylyst is invented, but not out of the blue. It is a mix of the old name of the seaside hotel “Ærøs-Lyst” and the latest name “Søby Inn”. The new name must show that it is a new beginning and that there have been major changes while still possessing the historical aspect in order to carry on the dream of again reaching past greatness.