Falstaff selects five distinctive hotels in the capital of Lithuania.
Vilnius is not one of the most frequented European capitals, perhaps because it is not too well known, but once you've found your way here, you'll want to come back again and again. Vilnius offers much to see and experience, and on certain occasions a visitor can feel like a real king, while on other occasions it will feel like being the guest of a king.
The impression you have of the city is very much dependent on which hotel you are staying at. The experience can be completely different, even if the distance from one hotel to another is only a few hundred metres. Here are Falstaff's recommendations for five very different hotel experiences in Vilnius:
If it is a boutique, it is – The JosephWhen you arrive at the hotel, the dilapidated façade of the building will certainly give you pause for thought on whether it was a good idea to book a room in such a building. You have to phone to get someone to open the front door of the building, but then the fun begins! The most personalised hotel service in Vilnius where every guest is made to feel like an old friend of the host.
Walking around the area you can see for yourself how Vilnius is modernizing: the façade of the nearby buildings and the hotel itself has the feel of a bygone century but once you step inside, with rooms on two different floors, a modern boutique establishment awaits. There are a little more than ten rooms with breakfast served in the room every morning. Throughout the day, guests can rely on the knowledge, advice and care of the hotel family.
If luxurious, then – Grand Hotel Kempinski VilniusSituated on the Cathedral Square in the city centre, the building looks more like a palace than a hotel. Those who have booked a room will feel a sense of privilege even before entering the building, a feeling that continues in the hotel's spacious lobby, with Kempinski setting high standards for itself in every one of its establishments.
The spacious rooms are decorated in a timeless style, and those with a view of the cathedral square (e.g. room 205) are particularly recommended. The hotel offers a sumptuous breakfast in its restaurant, Telegrafas, with the high windows overlooking the central square giving the impression you are sitting in the square itself. The restaurant boasts a cellar-worthy wine list and a coffee corner with tempting cakes, both sure to entice you to stay.
If it is design, then – PacaiLocated in one of the most pedestrianised streets of Vilnius Old Town, the hotel combines a baroque manor house with a spacious courtyard and modern extensions. The historic and the modern are literally intertwined here, a theme that continues with the hotel interior – who else but the prestigious Design Hotels could this establishment belong to?
The rooms are furnished in a comfortable and tasteful style, guests have access to a private spa, the breakfast buffet is one of the most comprehensive in the city, and the restaurant provides a sustainable dining experience. Observing the hotel's clientele, it's easy to conclude: you don't come here by accident, it's the lifestyle that attracts you.
If it is bohemian, then it is – ArtagonistIt's easy to miss the entrance to this small hotel as it's surrounded by some of the busiest street shopping in Vilnius; all sorts of jewellery and souvenirs line the counters, but the vendors are not pushy despite the haggling being loud. The atrium of the hotel is much quieter and the bohemian chic décor says it all – this hotel belongs on this street.
The same style continues in the four Superior Art Rooms, but less so in the other rooms, so choose one of these four if possible. Despite the noise of the street, the rooms are peaceful and quiet, and you won't get the same experience from other streets or hotels in Vilnius.
If it is historic, then – StikliaiLocated at the crossroads of the narrow streets of the Old Town, Stikliai (Glassblower) Hotel is literally history in action. It is a cultural monument and the first historical five-star hotel in Lithuania.
A stay here, even for one night, is an experience that is beyond words. Breakfast in the winter garden, relaxation in the private spa, lunch in the tavern, an aperitif in the bar, dinner in the spectacular restaurant, and a night in a romantically decorated room are all very different experiences, none of which will be easily forgotten.
There is no better time to visit Vilnius with the Lithuanian Gastronomy Week running from November 6-12.