Friday, July 19, 2013

Surprises at Meriton Old Town Garden Hotel in Tallinn

When I am travelling alone, the location of the hotel I will be staying at takes centre stage in the planning. I have my budget limits of course but I would rather spend a little more for a hotel that is centrally and conveniently located in town. Safety and near to everything are imperative. Sometimes I get lucky and get an affordable lovely hotel, sometimes not.

In Tallinn, I think I had a nice hotel that did not break the bank, and with some surprising twists as well.

The Meriton Old Town ‘Garden’ Hotel

Website: Meriton Old Town Garden Hotel

In Tallinn, Estonia I stayed for 2 nights and had roughly 3 days to enjoy the oldest city in the north. I stayed at the Meriton Old Town Garden Hotel which is part of the Meriton Tallinn Hotels. The hotel is a 16th century merchant house restored into a modern and charming historical hotel in the centre of old town Tallinn.

Do take note that there are 2 Meriton Old Town Hotels in Tallinn old town centre. The first one is called ‘Meriton Old Town Hotel’ located beside the old town’s ancient city walls, and where I stayed is the ‘Meriton Old Town Garden Hotel’ located in the center at both busy main streets, Pikk and Lai streets (the hotel is housed between 2 main boulevards and thus have 2 entrances). The word ‘garden’ thereby is the operative word here.

Many people get the 2 hotels mixed up and end up booking a room at the wrong hotel. The other hotel is very nice, I came across it while walking around and thought it was cute, but the one where I stayed at is very central which I quite prefer.

The surprises of this hotel are its café and the breakfast rooms but I’ll share first my room.

My Charming Room

My room was spacious for a standard double-bed room accommodation. The charming colour scheme of pale yellow gold and white was very smooth and light to the eyes while the floral baroque patterned red carpet was an elegant contrast.

The downside was the toilet and bathroom. No windows, they were not separate and tight. Moreover, the sink was located on the too narrow hallway and the mirror above it has a glass bracket where you can place your stuff. Whenever I brush my teeth and use the faucet and water, my head would get caught up with the bracket. It was soooo annoying.

Café Mademoiselle

This was one of the biggest surprises. I adore cafes and nice places aka hotspots, especially if they are themed and beautifully interior designed. Café Mademoiselle is one of those cafes in Tallinn that a city visitor should not miss, while hotel guests are lucky to be treated with easy access because this café is the café of Meriton Old Town Garden Hotel!

Here are a few pictures of this elegant Parisian style café:

When in Estonia, do try the local coffee with Vana Tallinn liquor.

Outside the hotel on Pikk street is an open-air terrace served by Café Mademoiselle.

There is also another cafe terrace in the hotel located in the inner courtyard near the reception but this is only accessible on Lai street and I think only open during the summer months.

Hotel Toilet with an Ancient Well

If you are not a hotel guest but you have come to visit the café or the restaurant in the cellar, do stop by at the toilet because you will be in for a cool surprise. There is a big hole inside the toilet! Actually, this is an ancient well, but don’t worry it is covered in glass. Try standing on it though.

This is the hallway going to Café Mademoiselle (and the Estonian Dining Room) and to the courtyard of the hotel. On this hallway is the toilet with the ancient well, see arch door on the left.

Breakfast at the Estonian Dining Room

More surprises are coming! Face to face with a bull head, or maybe a different type of elk – reindeer head? I am not sure, you tell me!

Watch your head when you go down the stairs please.

My first breakfast took place in the cellar of the hotel, at the Estonian Dining Room Restaurant. The cellar's walls are made of brick limestone and the ceiling of dark mahogany coloured wooden panels. It is very nice and cosy, and perhaps typically Estonian, what with that animal head on the wall. In Madrid, Spain, many restaurants have them on the walls as well. Read here: El toro (bull's) head

The Estonian Dining Room is a restaurant of the hotel specialising in Estonian Kitchen (which I found out is very similar to the German Kitchen) but they use this place sometimes as a breakfast room in the mornings.

The Breakfast Room of Café Mademoiselle

And the last surprise was my second breakfast, this time at the breakfast room of Café Mademoiselle.

I thought we would have breakfast at the café but when I arrived I was redirected to the adjacent room, the (main) breakfast room of the hotel actually. The interior design is different from the café and compliments more my room in slightly French Victorian with a very feminine touch, unlike the Parisian vogue cafe that has a snarky bit Moulin Rouge design.

In the afternoons the breakfast room is used as a function room by the hotel. Buffet breakfasts (on both occasions) were very good, lots of vareity, unfortunately I am not a huge breakfast person.

Except for the toilet and bathroom, I am very satisfied with this hotel.

Travel Period: May 2013
Destination: Tallinn, Estonia

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