stara_carsija
Photo Credit: Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa

LOCATION

The old city centre of Stari Bar is the largest and most important medieval archaeological site in the Balkans. On a surface area of over 4,5 hectares, the site is home to remnants of 600 former administrative and residential houses, fortresses, towers, citadels, squares and churches. At the foot of the city, one of the region’s most original hotels with a stunning view opened its doors in 2019. Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa follows the city’s architectural legacy, intertwining several historic buildings that form a superb hotel divided into three central buildings. The hotel reflects the idea of the visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist Hajriz Brčvak, who found success in Germany and later became a patron in the region. His greatest gift to his home country is the spectacular tourist site now home to one of the best, most original boutique hotels in the Adriatic region. Today, the tourist site offers a captivating historical insight to visitors unacquainted with this part of Montenegro.

stara_carsija
Photo Credit: Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa

ACCESSIBILITY

Bar is the largest Montenegrin coastal city and its central port. The name comes from the abbreviation for Antibari or Antivari, as it sits across the Italian town of Bari. To this day, the two cities maintain strong trade connections. Stari Bar is only five kilometres away from the Bar port. Today, the city is the premier port of Montenegro. Guests usually opt for cars or shuttle services to reach Stari Bar. Considering every destination is close by in Montenegro, visitors only have to drive 43 kilometres to Budva, whilst the nearest airport in Podgorica is 49 kilometres away. The hotel staff will ensure transportation with two exclusive shuttles. If you plan on arriving at the hotel with your private vehicle, you will be greeted by numerous private parking spaces. Because of its excellent location, the hotel has become a starting point for hiking and mountain biking. A must while staying at Stara Čaršija is wandering around the remains of Stari Bar and strolling to the romantic olive groves.

stara_carsija
Photo Credit: Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa

COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics

The city under the Rumija mountain chain has an immensely diverse architectural history. Thus, local buildings proudly bear ornate late gothic, renaissance, baroque and oriental patterns and motifs. The investor combined all styles into an architectural entity that appears authentic and organically entwined into the roots of Stari Bar. They pulled out all the stops and renovated the entire entrance to the city, now on display as an original dispersed hotel. The essence lies in countless ingenious details that go so far as to imitate electric switches from when electricity first brought light to his part of Montenegro. We were impressed by the hand-made steel fences and stone covering around windows, doors and terraces. What caught our eye immediately were the refined walls and wooden oriental details. The hotel is a complex, multi-storey building full of small squares, terraces and unparalleled views. The thread that binds the story together is fabric. Everything is new, yet somehow appears stunningly ancient.

stara_carsija
Photo Credit: Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa

WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience

In the general lack-of-staff epidemic sweeping across European hotels, Stara Čaršija Hotel seems unaffected. The professional staff is omnipresent, youthful, utterly kind and always there when guests need them. The restaurant is possibly the most genuine in this part of Montenegro, and its offer revolves around traditional cuisine with a focus on meat dishes. In line with Islamic tradition, they do not offer alcohol or pork. They guide their guests on a culinary expedition across Balkan’s flavorful diversity. Mouthwatering steaks are a pivotal part of the offer. They are accompanied by olives, as the area is renowned for olive groves. Breakfast can be categorised as a traditional hotel breakfast without the local flavours we experienced in the a-la-carte restaurant. During our stay, breakfast was served in the conference centre. Given it is located on the lower level, we could not relish the spectacular views. We do not doubt having breakfast on the terrace would have further impressed us.

stara_carsija
Photo Credit: Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa

MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel

Hotel rooms

Staying in the rooms of this unusual hotel ensures a warm, authentic and pleasant stay. Marked by a wooden floor and ceiling, they boast colourful carpets (ćilim) and furniture with hand-crafted metal details. The walls appear though out to the final detail. The bathroom exudes a sophisticated character with a stone sink and retro switches. Finally, a spacious terrace serves unmatched views of Stari Bar. We cannot imagine more authentic rooms with scenic vistas in Montenegro. Everything is always within reach and functions flawlessly. The quality bed will ensure a good night’s sleep. Wooden trams within the hotel were preserved from the former Durmitor Hotel on Žabljak. Even though the rooms offer all modern amenities, they prompt guests to opt for a digital detox. Authenticity is on steroids in the hotel rooms.

Meetings centre

The smaller conference centre is located on the lowest floor and is ideal for up to 100 attendees. Taking some steps is worth the effort, as a meeting hall with plenty of daylight and a spacious foyer awaits. For events, particularly exclusive occasions, there is more than enough room on terraces and squares hidden within the hotel premises. Events organisers swiftly seized the opportunity and have already organised numerous events. The hotel, in its entirety, could easily be labelled a special venue.

stara_carsija
Photo Credit: Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa
stara_carsija
Photo Credit: Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa

DESSERT – The extras

The spa, featuring a hammam and sauna, awaits guests on the lower levels. It is reminiscent of Roman baths, offering secluded relaxation during an event or stay at the hotel.

stara_carsija
Photo Credit: Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa

FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES

The hotel has eight floors, connected by lifts, stairs and secret passages. Regardless of its beauty and intrigue, the hotel layout poses a problem for disabled people.

TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES

Terraces, tiny squares and numerous rooms invite event organisers to privatise them and hold their events here. According to the staff, meeting planners have been flocking to the hotel.

stara_carsija
Photo Credit: Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa

FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY

Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa appears to have always been where it stands now, even though the building is entirely new. Its image is the culmination of the legacy of eight previous owners. The hotel is a prime example of preserving and respecting cultural heritage. While staying at this phenomenal hotel, guests will feel exceptionally well roaming the area. However, a room in this hotel is difficult to book, as the excellent value for money renders the hotel super busy. We have stayed in numerous boutique hotels before, and we must admit that the ornate details at Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa make it stand out from its regional competitors. Above all, the hotel meets expectations with world-class service and professional staff.

FINAL GRADE: 4.84 GOLD Boutique Meeting Hotel 

GOLD final score from 4.81 to 5.00
SILVER final score from 4.61 to 4.80
BRONZE final score from 4.41 to 4.60

CATEGORY 4****
OPEN FROM September 2019
MEETINGS STAR Boutique meeting hotel
STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities
NUMBER OF ROOMS 37 rooms and suites
MEETING ROOMS1
TOTAL EVENT SPACE120 sqm
MAX. CAPACITY THEATRE100
INTERNET PRICE108 EUR (single use) / Booking, October 2022
ADDRESS:Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa
Starobarska čaršija 243
Stari Bar, Montenegro


T: +382 068 888 864
E: infostaracarsija@b2bar.me
W: https://staracarsija.me/

FACILITIES
    • Restaurant Stara Čaršija
    • Steakhouse
    • Bar
    • Spa & Wellness Centre
    • Meeting Rooms
    • Outdoor swimming pool
    • Indoor swimming pool
    • Organisation of trips
    • Organisation of transfers
SPECIALS The Stara Čaršija Restaurant is exceptional, both for its service and offer. Balkan flavours rekindle memories of childhood that come to life. Eating here is an outstanding gastronomic experience.
stara_carsija
Photo Credit: Stara Čaršija Hotel & Spa
RESULTS MARKS
1. LOCATION 4.95
2. ACCESSIBILITY 4.55
3. FIRST IMPRESSION4.89
4. LOBBY4.81
5.  EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE4.98
6.  RECEPTION 4.97
7.  HOTEL ROOM 5.00
8.  HOTEL BED 4.95
9. BATHROOM AND RESTROOM4.88
10. HOTEL BREAKFAST 4.69
11. BARS AND RESTAURANTS 4.91
12. CONGRESS HALL 4.64
13. ADDITIONAL OFFER  4.75
TOTAL:   4.84