The most conveniently located place of accomodation in Tallinn is Hotel Viru, an enormous 22-storey block which occupies one complete side of Viru valjak. This busy square only a short distance east of Viru gate and the Old Town is the business heart of Tallinn's new city centre. Behind the hotel, a lovely forested area known as Tammsaare is dotted here and there with numerous spots ideal for relaxation or leisure.
The first thing that strikes you once you make your way inside Hotel Viru is the vastness of the main foyer and reception area. Crowds of eager Scandinavian tourists who come here for short breaks by ferry from Helsinki or Stockholm seem to create a constant commotion. Some are pushing themselves towards the row of elevators to reach a desired floor. Others are just looking around trying to locate the ground floor restaurant or the bar of their choice. An extravagance of souvenir shops, elegant boutiques and beauty parlours join the couple of travel agencies and exchange bureaux to fill up the remaining space on the ground floor.
Don't expect a warm or friendly welcome. Neither should you expect a personalized or intimate atmosphere. The large number of tourists accomodated here makes this impossible. It's enough to remember that most clients are here for only a couple of days and so faces change rapidly. However, everything is organised in such a way that you'll find no problems once you're handed the electronic door key to your room. Before taking the elevator, be sure to pick your free copy of 'Tallinn this Week' from the stand which adjoins the reception desk.
We were allotted a double room on the 16th floor. Nothing extraordinary or luxurious but the room decor was much better than expected from a three-star hotel. The practical light-wood furniture carefully chosen to fill in all the empty spaces was complemented by decorative flower vases and a couple of wall-hanging paintings. The wall-to-wall curtain made from the same material as the bed coverings was patterned with rows of ornamental flower motifs. The big surprise came on drawing the curtain allowing natural light to come through. The front view was superb stretching out towards Tallinn's harbour. A side view of the Old Town helped us to get oriented with Tallinn's most important landmarks.
A booklet with photos placed on a side desk in our room gave us a clear picture of what the hotel offered. The easy-to-follow plan displayed on the front page leads clients towards the hotel's numerous amenities. You can use it to find your way towards the breakfast room, the coffee shop or the nightclub. You can use it to locate the sauna and fitness centre or any one of the three bars available.
Hotel Viru lacks the informal atmosphere and intimacy often found inside smaller hotels. This is however compensated for by numerous other benefits which can be summed up by quoting the hotel's motto: You name it, we have it.
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