It all began with the idea that this place needed to be made the way stories of Sarajevo’s eventful past are written; it needed to be made to primarily reflect Sarajevo’s diverse architecture. But just as a city is not made up only of its buildings, but—most importantly—its people, it was necessary to find a way to bring back to life the exquisite soul of the city, the soul which can hardly be put into words, the soul which pulls one to it like an irresistible sound of a harp in the hands of a mysterious mermaid.
By Elma Zećo
That is how Munib Preljević’s hotel-catering project came to be. Munib Preljević is a businessman from the Balkans who lives in Berlin and runs a successful hotel business. Now, he did not come to Sarajevo just to do business. He wanted something else here; he wanted to contribute to the city by preserving its cultural and historical heritage which attracts tourists from all around the world.
He named his heritage hotel, the important part of which is the Wiener Café, ‘This Little Bit of Soul’. And just as, in the central zone of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian capital, the part of town that bears the characteristics of Europe at one point flows into the part reminiscent of the Ottoman era, in the refurbished Austro-Hungarian villa from 1894 the East is only a single step away from the West. In other words, from the Wiener Café, the classical example of a Viennese café, you enter the hotel part of the ‘This Little Bit of Soul’ heritage, which has an Oriental look to it.
Munib devised it ambitiously together with an experienced architect, Lejla Krstić, a Sarajevan living in Germany. All of those who have woven a part of themselves in the concept behind the wonderful heritage hotel are quite familiar with the craftiness of the Sarajevo people which is evident in all the names of different types of coffee written on the right-hand side board placed right behind the Wiener Café’s bar. This is why this is the place where you can start each morning with a sabahuša (the coffee you drink at the crack of dawn), perk up with a little stronger coffee called kajmakuša (coffee with cream), meet up with friends over a cup of razgovoruša (the coffee which entices you to talk), or dočekuša (the coffee you drink to welcome people), while jacijuša (the coffee you drink late at night) is reserved for the late-night hours. But, you can also order a razgalica (coffee which can help you lift your spirits).
Wiener Café is a place for day-to-day meet ups with friends, boyfriends and girlfriends, married couples and business people, but also a place all the guests of the ‘This Little Bit of Soul’ heritage hotel will get familiar with since they eat tasty breakfast right there: the English, the Bosnian, the Sarajevo, the Viennese breakfast or the bio breakfast. Of course, there is something here for everyone.
In order to make the ambiance of the ‘This Little Bit of Soul’ heritage hotel tell the story of time long past, the creative team sought to find antiquities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and beyond. Even though the original intended use of some of the antiquities was somewhat different from the present one, many of them were adapted and made unique, such as the table in one of the five individually designed rooms which used to be a sewing machine. Old items were combined with Bosnian carpets, handcrafts of the Nikšić family from Konjic, appropriate furniture and decorative details. None of the rooms are the same; likewise, each bathroom looks different, and the same approach was used for the ante rooms. What they have in common are the old paintings; the date on which they were painted is most often unknown. When you walk through the hotel, they stay behind you. Each floor is different, but the feeling is the same—the sense of tranquillity.
If you are a traveller who gives equal importance to short tours, city landmarks and the place you stay at, then you will surely be happy to choose the Sarajevo’s ‘This Little Bit of Soul’ heritage hotel. You will be enchanted not only by its ambience, but also by its location—the 15th century Baščaršija, the old Sarajevo bazaar—which offers you an ideal starting point for the discovery of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian capital city’s diverse mosaic.
So, come here; a smile and a warm welcome await you!
HOTEL BAŠTINA “OVO MALO DUŠE”
Mudželeti Mali No. 2
Telephone: + 387 33 972 800 Fax: + 387 33 232 429