Meriton Grand Hotel Tallinn
Despite its unglamorous location at the crossroads of a busy traffic junction, this venerable, former Soviet Intourist hotel is in fact right next to the Old Town – just a 5-minute walk from Toompea Hill and the Nevsky cathedral. For a building of this size (465 rooms), you couldn’t get much closer to the action than this.
rnRenovated and re-launched in 1998 by Swiss-Estonian entrepreneur Alexander Kofkin, the Meriton is a staple choice for business visitors and large tourist groups. The foyer and rooms are decorated to a mid-range smartness that falls just short of elegant but is perfectly adequate unless you are seeking a more romantic environment. There are some charming features, too – art deco lighting in the lobby, glass elevators that run up and down the outside of the building, and good views of the Old Town from the fifth-storey ‘Eiffel bar’: a popular choice for cocktails or private parties.
rnFacilities are good – there is an ATM in the lobby, a celebrated café/bakery and even a 24-hour slot machine casino with an all-night bar. The hotel’s lobby is a favourite meeting-place for lawyers, professionals and army officers, as well as MPs from the nearby parliament building.