I stayed at the Hotel St Olav for 4 nights in June 2011. On arrival at the hotel, the first thing you notice is the age of the building. As it dates from the 15th century, you should undertand that the noise the building makes reflects this. It creaks and groans like an old man with arthritis as you walk down the corridors! The hotel is very well furnished with lots of mirrors in the corridors and various weathered looking items of furniture. The layout of the hotel is far from formulaic- it's a bit of maze finding your room at first but I found that this added to the character of the place.
My room was a good size with en-suite bathroom (with underfloor heating!) and a good sized window allowing plenty of light in. There was also a safe in the locked wardrobe so security aspects were looked after well. On the negative side, I found the bed fairly uncomfortable. One half of the double was too soft, the other too hard. I also found the hotel very noisy in the evening with children playing outside till almost midnight and various animals making a hell of a racket nearby. Nevertheless, the staff were very professional and on the whole, very friendly and the hotel is ideally located to explore the Old Town just a stones throw away. If you are just using the hotel as a base and do not plan spending much time there other than to sleep, the St Olav is a good option, although if I returned to Tallinn I would probably stay somewhere else.
Unique Quality: Other than its fantastic location, the main plus point of the St Olav is the breakfast. It was one of the more impressive buffet-style hotel breakfasts I have enjoyed with a lot of choice and staff who were constantly refilling trays and jugs. The dining rooms were very quaint with soothing classical music played in the background- the perfect opportunity to research your day in Tallinn or make conversation with others. The general ambience was of a dining experience of yesteryear, with little fuss being made of where you sat or who you were.
We had a very enjoyable stay at the St. Olav Hotel in Tallinn. The character, location and value (€50 for a double room) of this hotel make it an ideal place to stay in Tallinn if your not looking for an unforgettable 5 star service. I am not one for spending a lot of time in my accommodation anyway so once I have a bed and hot shower I'm happy, but this hotel does offer much more.
The rooms are very atmospheric, although there is a difference between the newer rooms in the courtyard and the older rooms in the main building. (We stayed in both room types because we took a trip to Finland in the middle of our trip to Estonia and got a different room the second time.)
I actually preferred the older rooms, they were bigger and had a more rustic atmosphere with stone walls, wooden floors and beams running through the walls! I have read other reviews on this hotel, compaining about these beams which cut through some of the rooms at head height. (One of the beams actually cuts through one of the upper floor corridors and you have to step over it!) Have to admit I loved all this but people with reduced mobility would find it awkward. Actually the hotel in general is not very accessible. (No elevator and lots of steps and narrow halls.
The newer rooms are very small and don't have the character of the older rooms but they do open out onto a beautiful coutyard and are located on the ground floor which saves having to lug suitcases up and down narrow twisting stairs.
The location of the hotel is what makes it so perfect for anyone who is primarily here to soak up the delights of Tallinns Old Town. The hotel is located just off the main square, Raekoja Plats, on Lai Street and is within walking distance of all the interesting sights in the Old Town. Plus, despite the very central location, the hotel is situated on a very quiet mainly residential street so you won;t experience the noise and disturbance which you may have to endure staying in hotels elsewhere ion the Old Town.
The breakfast is included and is typical Estonian fare, consisting of a buffet of cold meats, breads, fruit, yoghurt as well as a number of hot options such as sausage, potatoe and eggs. The breakfast is quite good and there is plenty of it. Good way to set you up for the day.
The only down side to the hotel is the staff. I found them to be very moody. One minute they are very helpful and attentive and the next they're gruff and uninterested. I guess it depends who you get at reception and what mood they're in. The girl we dealt with when checking in was very welcoming and helpful but the next time we went to reception there was a different girl on who was perhaps the worst and most bad mannered girl we ever came across, be it hotel, hostel, camp site or kennel!!! Its a pity because she tainted our overall positive experience of the hotel.
Overall I would recommend this hotel and despite staffing problems, I would stay here again if visiting Tallinn.
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Address: Lai 5, Tallinn, 10133, Estonia