In the 19th century, the telegraph changed the world forever, yet today, if you were to ask anyone under the age of 50, they probably couldn’t tell you a thing about it. In a building that used be an exchange station for the Estonian Telegraph Company in 1878, The Telegraaf Hotel sits in the center of old town Tallinn in Estonia. This property boasts a rustic historical wing, without the modern trimmings of carpets and drapes but oozing nevertheless with old fashioned charm.
After hearing that I get cold easily, the manager decided to put me in one of the more recently renovated rooms, largely because it would be warmer he said. They have 86 rooms with a spa downstairs, underground parking and free Wi-Fi. Their restaurant: Restaurant Tchaikovsky touts top notch Russian cuisine where you can experience authentic food from now its neighboring country, bearing in mind that Estonia used to be part of a then giant empire.
A mere two blocks away is the town square which dates back to the 13th century and while you can’t see the square from any of the rooms, you can see plenty of other medieval Tallinn Old Town views. The hotel is located in the Vene street (Russian Road) in the Latin Quarter of Tallinn – the heart and center of culture, education and spirituality in the old town.
The service was efficient and the staff friendly, catering to various requests I threw their way, including extra blankets and towels.
What I loved most about this charming hotel was not just the central location or its outstanding service, but the small details that created the memorable experience.
For example, the downstairs restaurant had a buffet breakfast every morning, which included salads, fresh meats, cheese, various kinds of breads, eggs, sausage or you could opt for healthy fruit and pancakes. It was here where I first tried Kama, one of their national drinks made from finely milled flour (roasted barley, rye, oat and pea flour powder) and sour or buttermilk. A thicker version is also made into a food, once a non-perishable, easy-to-carry food that people used to carry on longer road trips.
Each morning, I filled up on Kama, eggs, tomatoes and toasted bread. Even if you’re not a bread fan or are trying to stay away from carbs, it would be difficult for the most disciplined among us to pass up the delicious homemade dark breads made throughout Estonia.
In addition to its fabulous cuisine – morning or night — there was a comfortable lounge area in the lobby where you could hang your hat, read, take in the view of people passing by through its outward facing windows, or order a drink at the bar. The color combination was sophisticated and modern (see photo above) and while the upgraded wing carried vibrant less traditional colors on its walls, every room had an old fashioned phone sitting on a dresser just below the flat screen TV. A juxtaposition of sorts.
And yes, the phone worked.
Some of the rooms have bathtubs you can soak in although my room only had a shower, but the bathroom itself was spacious for a hotel so centrally located.
Their spa — Elemis SPA — offers a variety of traditional services, such as facials and massages.
They also offer a 3x10m pool, full-size Jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath. I took in the pool and jacuzzi on both mornings, a perfect way to rid yourself of jetleg after a long flight.
In the downstairs Symphony lounge, you can sit back and relax for a cuppa tea or have a 5 star culinary experience.
We would definitely recommend this hotel and would stay there again.
Below is the lap pool and behind it, the jacuzzi.
Disclosure: I was hosted by the Estonian Tourism Board but all views expressed here are my own.