It was my first time to Sarajevo, and i fell in love with the sheer humanity and feel of the city. Then I came across a place with the kindest staff that made me love the city and the country even more. I like to stay at different hotels when I visit a place. It gives me a better idea of the city, more opportunities to meet people and I can generally walk away from a place with a better perception than just one bad or good experience.
I went to the Hotel Konak after a mediocre experience at another hotel. The Konak is a small place, but cool and hip, mostly due to its staff. Modern, clean and striving to evolve into something even better, which says a lot because it's already good. The beds are fantastic. They respect your privacy. The rooms are all wood, down to Earth and human. Good Internet speed. The hotel overlooks a busy street and a charming outdoor eating and drinking area (with some of the cheapest but yummy food and beer I've had in a long time) but I heard nearly nothing the entire night, and I'm a light sleeper.
The Konak is run by a family with incredibly cute brothers, who are not only good looking but incredibly polite, funny and always smiling. They even get you coffee in the morning at breakfast. If I were to run a hotel, that's the kind of staff I would want to be.
It was a national holiday, and I couldn't find any information about how to get the Croatian coast. The front desk tried but there was no answer, and he said there would be buses. There were buses, but I missed them. I needed to get to the coast that day, and scrambled around but couldn't cobble anything together. Out of the blue, the hotel owner offered to drive me, at 1/3 less the price of what the taxis wanted!
ROAD TRIP! Within an hour, we were on the road listening to cool tunes and talking, and I learned more about Bosnia and Bosnians than I ever could have from a book. I'm American, and know the joys (and nightmares) of long road trips. It is a long drive, with three border crossings, but Adnan was very pleasant and cheerful, and genuinely kind, funny and polite. We stopped in Mostar and he played tour guide, and had lunch near the bridge. I couldn't believe my luck.
At one of the border crossings, I was very thoroughly and slightly embarrassingly searched (Croatia is about to enter the EU and they were letting nothing in), and after seeing my underwear and other personal bits of travel, Adnon was so cool and professional that I decided Bosnia and its people had to be in the top 10 countries of hipsters I have visited (at 80 and counting).
The experience was so amazing that I managed to write and sell a short story out of it within 24 hours (no joke). Two thumbs way up for the Konak, and even bigger thumbs up for its staff. It's not every day someone sees your underwear and you realize you had a cultural experience rather than a nightmare.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated within 50 meters from The Gazi Husrev Bey's Mosque and The Old Orthodox Church in Sarajevo's historical part Bascarsija, Garni Hotel Konak offers free WiFi access.All rooms are air-conditioned and come with flat-screen cable TV. Private bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers and toiletries.Guests can start their day with a breakfast buffet served every morning in the cosy breakfast room.Garni Hotel Konak offers room service, luggage storage and security boxes. ... more less
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