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November 16, 2008
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October 24, 2003
It is a fairly short walk from the central train and bus stations. The hotel can be reached along a diagonal street that is best to be avoided at night thanks to a collection of locals still suffering from the aftershocks of war. In the daytime, it is best to avoid staring at the ghastly yellow and brown colors of the hotel's exterior. The driveway area, demarcated with a fountain, gives a cosmopolitan feel to the property. The outdoor parking lot is free, but one must pay for indoor parking.
The Holiday Inn has 10 floors with 338 guest rooms. The interior design of the main lobby is a bit dated, as it originally opened in October 1983 prior to the 1984 Winter Olympics. There are a few seating areas in the lobby if you are waiting for friends or hanging out for a drink. The public bathrooms are clean enough to conduct a proper freshening up before leaving for your next destination. There is actually an ATM conveniently located in the lobby.
The interior design style extends to the rest of the hotel, including the wooden touches in guest rooms. The room had a large window that opened inward to let in some fresh air. My room had a great view eastwards towards the old town, with views of the bombed-out shell of the Parliament Building across the street. Although the exterior has been extensively renovated, the metal frame of the window still contains a bullet hole, a bizarre reminder that this hotel sits along what was known as "Sniper's Alley" during the war. The room with two double beds was comfortable and reasonably spacious, but had a thick smoky odor to it. The television had a good variety of channels to it, and it rested over the minibar. The bathroom has a dark color scheme; its amenities include a blow dryer, soap, and shampoo.
The breakfast buffet was very substantial, perhaps in a step to appease the healthy appetites of so many foreign stomachs. The dining hall was very spacious and opened out to views of the city. There were a variety of meats, eggs, sweet rolls, fruits, etc. The beverage section had a nice selection of coffee, tea, juices, and mineral water with or without gas. You could end your breakfast with a small chocolate, a surprising touch for breakfast. The hotel has three restaurants in total.
From journal Bill in Bosnia - SARAJEVO