71 Pikk/2 Tolli
Tel: 372 630 6300
After opening in 2003, this 23-room hotel became the place for stylish travelers to stay—in 2006, for example, both the queen of England and the emperor of Japan checked in (separately, of course). Its stature has been challenged by the opening of sister hotel, the Telegraaf, but for a romantic weekend, the Three Sisters is still unbeatable. It occupies three adjacent 14th-century buildings (the so-called sisters) in the former merchants' area of Old Town, and each of the bedrooms is individually decorated. The rooms do have modern touches, such as flat-screen TVs, but the decor makes the most of the age of the buildings: A wood-clad wall in room 8 is a remnant of the space's former use as a stable, and an arched alcove in room 9 is a portion of the city's limestone walls. En suite bath facilities range from luxury "wet rooms" in Brazilian slate to freestanding baths in the bedroom. Have a drink in front of the fireplace in the high-ceilinged library or wine bar before dinner in the restaurant—you'll want to take full advantage of the hotel's 3,000-bottle cellar.
Tel: 372 699 7700
Just a short walk from the Town Hall Square, this intimate, three-story hotel echoes the medieval allure of the surrounding Old Town. The lobby is heavy on wooden beams, coats of arms, and regal portraits; stone archways grace the Stenhus restaurant, which has repeatedly won Tallinn's prestigious Silver Spoon award. Each of the 23 rooms has a different look: The two-room Schlössle Suite has wood-beamed ceilings, exposed stone, black-and-gray bedding, and the hotel's largest bathroom (with rain shower and whirlpool bath); other rooms have floral carpets with crisp white furnishings and pink accents. The hotel is also known for its sauna and massage services.
Tel: 372 600 0600
The 86-room Telegraaf (opened in 2007) vies with its sister property, the Three Sisters, for the title of Tallinn's top hotel. It's delightfully free from both dull minimalism and medievalism—you'll get your fill of that while walking through Old Town. The lobby sets a dramatic tone with dark gray walls, low black chairs, and marble floors, while the use of strong colors—petrol blue, mustard, terra-cotta—continues in the bedrooms; high ceilings and courtyard views keep the rooms feeling spacious. Pictures of postage stamps and the suites' names, such as Samuel Morse and Alexander Graham Bell, point to the building's former use as a post office. (Book a room in the newer wing for more modern design than the classic luxury of the original building.) Befitting a high-profile property, there are plenty of modern conveniences, including a small Elemis spa with a 32-foot indoor pool and Finnish sauna, and 24-hour room service from the Tchaikovsky restaurant. The Russian cuisine, such as Siberian pelmeni and rabbit stew with buttered vegetables, is great but far from light. Arrange an airport pickup, and the super-friendly service starts even before you reach the hotel.
3 Rävala Puiestee
Tel: 372 6823 000
Adhering to the philosophy that bigger is better, this glass monolith is one of Tallinn's tallest buildings, and houses 280 guest rooms. Yes, it's a typical chain hotel that caters mostly to business travelers, but don't write it off if you're vacationing. The location, a ten-minute walk from Old Town, means that at night, you're spared the noise of stag parties roaming the cobbled streets in search of cheap beer. Rooms are done up in either a Scandinavian, Oriental, Italian, or maritime theme; request an even-numbered room for views of Old Town. Wi-Fi is free, but for turndown service, a bathrobe, access to the fitness center, and breakfast in bed, you'll have to book a business class room (about $40 more than the standard rate). If you're staying elsewhere, come for the view and a drink at Lounge 24, the rooftop bar.
Tel: 372 631 5315
Constructed in 1980 in the business district to house the Olympic yachting regatta, Hotel Olümpia remains a Tallinn landmark. This is still the best place for athletic types to stay, thanks to a penthouse fitness center that offers spectacular views of the city and the Gulf of Finland. There's also a conference center, several restaurants, and a nightclub. The guest room palette is bright gold and red, while the suites are more subdued; all are equipped with direct-dial telephone lines, private baths and showers, minibars, free Wi-Fi, and cable TV.
Tel: 372 630 5305
All 120 of the spacious rooms in this three-star hotel are equipped with cable television, telephones, and mini-safesask for a unit with a private sauna and a view of the park. Also on-site is the Olympic Casino, one of the largest and most luxurious in the Baltic states; the city's finest shops are just a short walk away. Stop by the restaurant whenever you feel inclinedit's the only all-day buffet in Tallinn.
3 Vabaduse Valjak
Tel: 372 640 7300
Located across the street from Freedom Square, the Palace Hotel is one of Tallinn's most comfortable lodgings. Business and leisure travelers appreciate the ten-minute walk from the medieval Old Town—just far enough away to offer a refuge from late-night revelers. Behind the 1930s-style exterior are modern amenities, a friendly staff, and simply furnished rooms. Two in-house restaurants serve Italian and Estonian cuisine.