The Hotel President, Bazardžani 1, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is ideally situated in the heart of the Old Town, Baščaršija. Nearby are the 16th-century Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque, Sebilj Fountain, and the Ottoman-era Latin Bridge.
The Old Town of Sarajevo is steeped in history: the Latin Bridge is the site of the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which ignited World War I. Local legend says anyone who drinks from the Sebilj (an Ottoman-style wooden fountain in the center of Baščaršija Square built by Mehmed Pasha Kukavica in 1753), will return to Sarajevo someday. The Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque, built in 1530, is the largest historical mosque in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and one of the most representative Ottoman structures in the Balkans. Sarajevo also was the host for the 1984 Winter Olympics.
Demographics of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
A city of more than 275,000, Sarajevo prides itself on its ethnic diversity, with Muslim, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic inhabitants. It’s the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe, that is bordered on the north by Croatia, on the east by Serbia, and on the south by Montenegro. All these countries once were part of Yugoslavia, which went through a bloody breakup known as the Bosnian War in the early ’90s.
Sarajevo was blockaded by Serbia from 1992 to 1996. Recovery still continues, but to the casual tourist, few remnants remain almost two decades later.
Hotel President in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Hotel President, which opened in 2015, has all the expected amenities of a European four-star hotel. Rooms have air-conditioning, LCD satellite wide-screen television, a mini bar, and a safe. Staff is English-speaking. Each day, a large bottle of mineral water was provided. WiFi is available throughout the hotel at no charge. All rooms are non-smoking.
My bedroom had one double bed plus a twin — perfect for a small family (although there was only one of me). The wall above the bed held a sepia montage of the city’s landmarks: the mosque, bridge, and fountain, of course, but also the main Orthodox church, Roman Catholic Cathedral, and city hall. The window overlooked an apartment building that appeared to be vacant (I never saw a light on in any of the windows). A decorative lattice-work over glass screened the bathroom from the bedroom. There was a coffee-maker, but no coffee. When I asked at the front desk, the clerk told me the lack of coffee and tea was due to COVID protocols.
The breakfast buffet, however, had everything from eggs and sausage to fresh fruit and juice — and a machine that produced passable espresso, cappuccino, and American coffee. There were all sorts of breads and pastries, but my favorite was the croissants, especially the chocolate-filled croissants!
My black and white marble bathroom was spacious with a really nice glass-enclosed shower. Chrome fixtures are by Hans Grohe (I’m a big fan of their hand-held showerhead). Amenities included shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, and body lotion. Like most European hotels, there was no tissue and no face cloth — but then I always pack my own.
Guest rooms are equipped with an air conditioning system, LCD satellite TV, mini-bar, hairdryer, and safe. WiFi usage is unlimited in all rooms and free of charge. All rooms are non-smoking.
The Hotel President offers copy and print services, room service, laundry service, and an airport shuttle.
The breakfast buffet is included in the room rate, which starts about $90.
Looking for another place to stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Check out Gostonica Zavala.
(Review and photos by Susan McKee)