October 31, 2010

Tallink Silja Superstar, Ferry Tallinn-Helsinki…business lounge was great stuff

Filed under: Estonia, Ferry, Finland, Travel — Tags: , , , , , — PEr @ 2:45 pm

Tallink Silja M/S Superstar line provides the fast ferry connection between Tallinn and Helsinki South harbour.  The travel time is slightly over 2 hours as Helsinki and Tallinn are only 80km apart.

Embarkation starts 30 minutes before departure, and there was a mad rush to board the vessel. They could have got assigned a different gangway for passengers on business class, I feel. Disembarkation in Helsinki was a straightforward affair, due partly to that fact that there is no passport control. I still felt that business class passengers should have priority of a different gangway.

Superstar has a well-equipped business lounge for 138 passengers. It offers wifi all the way! And comfortable seating. We had complimentary buffet dinner, and free drinks included in the price of the ticket. Great stuff.

This is the true truth an I say it as it is…

October 26, 2010

Olde Hansa, Tallinn…the toilets are an eye opener

This is a tourist trap. I think it’s over-rated. It’s extremely dark and whilst the candle light is atmospheric its disorienting and  hides what is on the plate. The food is so-so. To me, it’s a notch below pub fare. Everything is served in old crockery type dishes and bowls and old-style glassware.  The waitresses and waiters are dressed in very traditional looking garb (right down to the leather shoes). The whole place looks like a set for a historical reenactment.

The toilet is an eye-opener. It’s also quite dark and done in as medieval a style as possible for indoor plumbing. Visit the toilet before you leave…and bring a camera.

Yes, this medieval restaurant is touristy. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good, though once is good enough for me. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

October 25, 2010

Swissotel Tallinn, Estonia…modern hotel with a nice touch of Nespresso coffeemaker in-room

It is very modern and top quality hotel. The rooms have a luxury “Nespresso” coffeemaker. Be careful you don’t flood the room before you get the hang of the machine. The room was set up with a comfy arm chair and foot stool beside the window and I would have been happy to sit there all day watching the world go by with a coffee in my hand. Free wi-fi was  also available.

Location was slightly out of the way, but the old town (15 mintes for us Gen Y’ers trapped in baby boomers’ bodies) , restaurants and attractions are all easily accessible by foot.

Taxi from the airport to the hotel is approx. 120 kronas and from the hotel to the center depending on the taxi is between 35-80 kronas. As usual the one waiting in front of the door is the most expensive one in town; we got ripped off on one of the nights with a bill of 700 kronas while the return trip was only under 200 kronas.

Quite about the only thing, what irritated me was that concierge helps with check-in and we had to wait a mighty long time just to borrow a couple of umbrellas. My only other slight criticism would be that the square shallow handbasin in tasteful black looked good but was rather impractical in use – an example of design before function!

A truly memorable stay, as BeRt would agree…memories are made of this. This is the true truth because I always say it as it is…

October 23, 2010

Restoran O, Tallinn…outstanding by any standard

This is a classy, candle-lit restaurant, featuring exposed steel beams, soft music and well-schooled waitresses. Featuring modern Estonian cuisine, the atmosphere is lush and romantic. The interior is hung with dark, gauzy drapes and lit by chandeliers whose lightbulbs are adorned with angel wings

O is outstanding by any standard. It’s “delicate food” as BeRt so exquisitely described it. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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