The Perfect Bosnian Bed & Breakfast: Mostar’s Muslibegovic House
After two and a half hours of driving from Sarajevo, I arrived in Mostar only to realize I had forgotten to jot down the address or phone number of the hotel I’d be staying at. No Smartphone to turn to, I pulled over and beckoned to the first pedestrian I saw: “Da li pomoc? Gdje se nalazie je Muslibegovic House?” (Roughly translated to: “Can you help? Where is the Muslibegovic House?” At least I was hoping that’s what it meant…my Bosnian is still very much a work in progress.) After nodding politely and pretending I knew exactly what was being said, I reassured myself with: “How hard could it be to navigate Mostar? I’m a New Yorker.” A few one-way street wrong turns and heart palpitations later, I arrived to my destination. Turns out Mostar driving isn’t that different than commanding the streets of NYC, after all.
Nestled behind a stone wall lies the perfectly preserved Ottoman Empire Era estate, a Bosnian National Monument. Named by Expedia Travel as one of the top-ten accommodation locations in the world in 2010, I was more than excited to see what was behind the wall.
Greeted by the lovely hostess Sanela and gracious owner Mr. Tadzudin Muslibegovic himself, I was presented with a comfortable, shady place to sit amidst the flowered courtyard and offered a cracking cold welcome beverage, a much appreciated reprieve from the fierce Mostar sun.
Built over 300 years ago, the estate doubles as both a museum and hotel (although it has the personality of what we New Yorkers would dub as a “bed and breakfast”…only 12 rooms, and much too charming to be associated with the hotel monstrosities we’re used to in the states.) Sanela took us on a guided tour of the museum, explaining what life was like for the Ottomans, and sharing many perfectly preserved artifacts with us. Even if you’re not staying in the hotel, I would absolutely recommend stopping by for the guided tour.
For travelers, the location is ideal. Tucked in a quiet neighborhood, you get to experience a bit of local flavor while walking to the cafes, museums, and famous Mostar Bridge…all just a few minutes away.
I was most impressed with the lodgings. As in traditional Muslim households, you take off your shoes and slide on slippers before walking through the hall to your room. The room was impeccably clean, filled with handmade furnishings and decor that evoked romance of another era, and best of all, was equipped with an air conditioner of this era. (Trust me, if you visit during the summer months, this will be most appreciated! I heard through the Bosnian grapevine that Mostar is the hottest city in the entire country…and can very well believe this!)
The breakfast is traditional Bosnian fare, i.e. A LOT of food. From cheeses and meats to bread and yogurt to pies and eggs to fruits and granola, all washed down with a healthy portion of that Bosnian coffee I came to know and love so much, you will be set to go for the day. The common dining room encourages chit-chat among the guests…among us were Brits, Bosnians, and Italians, a true multi-cultural affair.
My favorite part, however, was the outdoor courtyard that I dubbed as my workspace. Sitting on the couch late at night, taking advantage of the free courtyard Wi-Fi, I experienced a most magical moment as the evening call to prayer rang out from the mosques, floating through Mostar. I couldn’t have felt further away from my NYC home, and I wouldn’t have changed that for the world.
For more information on reservations and rates, please visit the Mulibegovic House website.WHERE: Muslibegovic House Osman Dikica 41 Mostar, 8800 Ph. +387 36 551379
By: Jessica Tiare Bowen