We started a tour of the Balkans in the historic Holiday Inn in Sarajevo. I believe the hotel is no longer part of the Holiday Inn chain, so please do not expect the same facilities you'd usually get in a H.I.
The outside of the hotel is a garish yellow and brown. This is because the site was originally the place for a circus, with a yellow and brown tent. The old circus is also reflected in the huge atrium that takes up a lot of space in the central interior, with the bar regaled in strips of fabric to represent the tent.
Probably most people who stay in the Holiday Inn Sarajevo are there to recall the dark days of the conflict between the people of Bosnia and the Serbs, when representatives of the media from all over the world used the hotel as a base. It's a complicated history which I will not buy into, other than to say the outcomes for the local people were horrific - but then wars are always horrible. (When will we ever learn?)
Our room faced the west. Years of exposure to the sun had created holes in the curtains, plus the drapes were partly detached from the curtain track. Not a good look! Others in the group commented on comfortable beds, but ours was saggy. All of us were unhappy with the air-conditioning. A hot bedroom and uncomfortable bed certainly led us to sleep badly.
A poorly designed shower screen meant we flooded the floor each time we bathed. Annoying!
The dinner we ate as a group was really good. Dishes included local specialties, served in Turkish-style lidded bowls. Delicious! Breakfast was also good.
We found the location had pros and cons. It was a bit too far from the old part of the city for a comfortable walk. However the hotel was virtually next-door to a large shopping complex, with cafes, ATMs, etc.
Staff were helpful and attentive. A receptionist phoned a taxi for us and gave the driver instructions to take us to a brewery restaurant for dinner. We found taxis to be cheap, so did not bother with trams or other public transport.
Would I recommend the Holiday Inn Sarajevo to fellow travellers? Not sure! If you do decide to stay there, be prepared for basic amenities, and to immerse yourself in the history of the site.
Quiet rooms do not face the main street.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.