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by Owen Lipsett
New York, New York
January 10, 2005
Location: The guesthouse (the company also offers apartment rentals and homestays) is located in a drab building a short stagger down Bernardinu gatve from Pilies gatve (the Old Town’s main street). Your cue to turn is the teapot-studded corner of the two streets, one of the more subtle of Vilnius’ many idiosyncratic landmarks. Consequently, it’s convenient to all the sights and restaurants in the northern part of the Old Town, Gediminas Hill, Vilnius Cathedral, and the national museums without being in a noisy area. If you continue to the end of Bernardinu gatve, you reach St. Anne’s Church, Lithuania’s most famous and beloved building. There’s no better location in Vilnius.
Rooms: I stayed in a single room with "shared bathroom," meaning that there were two shower/bathrooms shared among four rooms. The room was about average-sized for a European guesthouse, though perhaps in deference to the height of many Lithuanians, the bed was noticeably longer, which I found a nice touch. I found the room light, airy, and quiet and was fortunate to have a view over Bernardinu gatve, which I believe all the rooms on my floor shared. I found the bed extremely comfortable and the oak furniture generally in excellent condition. While Litinterp is a budget operation, everything, including the coffeemaker in the hallway, was high-quality.
Service: Any operation that boasts of providing "The Ultimate Service" creates high expectations, but between offering to get my laundry done with the guesthouse’s, answering countless bizarre questions, and checking opening hours of museums in Kaunas, Litinterp repeatedly exceeded them. My favorite anecdote, however, concerns being told that I was free to check off every item on the breakfast menu if I so desired--none of the "choose only one of the following" here. Naturally, the food itself was excellent. The only catch to all this is that they only handle inquiries during business hours and Saturday mornings, although they can be reached by mobile telephone at other times.
Considering that the review of Litinterp in Vilnius in Your Pocket, a publication not known for its effusiveness, reads like advertising copy, I feel safe to say that my high regard for this guesthouse is widely shared. As an added bonus, the same company rents cars, does translations, and arranges accommodations in Lithuania’s major cities and resorts. Prices, on average, are about half those of their competitors. With typical generosity, they also provided me with the pictures of their rooms below, though there are many others, which are rather smaller, on their website.
From journal Vilnius II: Baroque, Bohemian, Bizarre, Beloved
August 30, 2003
From journal European Travelogue