Where to stay: BALTIC COUNTRIES
For people who care where they stay. Authentic. Soulful. Charm. Design. Indie. Local.
This Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel comprises a striking trio of 14th-century pastel-toned and gable-roofed Hanseatic houses – hence its moniker. Inside, it’s a pleasing blend of cosy and contemporary, with lit candles in the wood-beamed reception area segueing to 23 character-stuffed and individually designed bedrooms.
The Telegraaf’s elegant exterior betrays little evidence of its original 19th century ground-floor function as a bank and its later incarnation as a post office (thence its current name). The successful fusion of the historic wing and a discreetly (from the street) concealed new annex and the contemporary interior design features convey a boutique feel, although this is the second biggest hotel in the Old Town with 84 rooms.
A Leading Hotels of the World member, the Schlössle offers five-star luxury in a beautifully restored 13th-century merchant's house in one of the quieter quarters of Tallinn's Old Town. Entries in an absorbing guestbook range from rock group Status Quo to Queen Elizabeth II who dropped in for a visit in 2006.
Neiburgs is a stylish boutique hotel set in an Art-Nouveau building dating to 1903 in the heart of Riga’s Old Town, overlooking the Cathedral Square. Originally an apartment building, many of the original period features have been preserved, from the flamboyant architectural detail on the façade, to parquet flooring and stucco details in the interior, and restored Thonet furniture in the library and restaurant.
Grand Poet by Semarah is a luxury design hotel set in a historic building located between Riga's old embassy district and the new artistic Riga. Swedish designers Stylt Trampoli created a “diplohemian” ambiance based on the friction between the two worlds. Riga's Old Town, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, is situated accross the park and canal.
Anchored by a dramatically proportioned 500m2 courtyard, the public spaces and rooms all feature a handsome palette of deep grey walls and drapes, tufted leather finishes, marble benches and slender-limbed midcentury furniture, but what catches the eye are the mansion’s textured old bones which peek out like an architectural palimpsest at unexpected moments – a wall of exposed original bricks and barn timber here, cracked pilasters and a patch of ancient frescos there.