Cozy boutique hotel matches Estonia locale

TALLINN, Estonia -- Estonia is a tiny place and the Hotel St. Petersbourg is a suitably tiny hotel.

The 27-room property is a member of the Schloessle Hotel Group, a collection of three boutique hotels, two in Tallinn and another (the Hotel Grand Palace) in Riga, Latvia. The Schloessle Hotel Group is owned by Ober Haus, a Tallinn-based real estate firm.

Like the others, the Hotel St. Petersbourg is a member of Summit Hotels & Resorts, a hotel representation division of Dallas-based Pegasus Solutions, the technology company that also owns Utell International.

The hotel dates to 1850, when it opened as the Hotel de Petersbourg. During the Soviet era, the St. Petersbourg served as a hotel for government officials. Your chances of getting a room were much enhanced if you were a zealous Communist.

The hotel is less exclusive these days. Hotel St. Petersbourg, which reopened with new management in June 1999 following an extensive renovation, is a cozy and elegant boutique hotel that will remind no one of communist times.

The property has a fantastic location, especially if you're hoping to see the Old City. It's just a block from Raekoja Plats, the city's central square, and the Toompea hill, where several key attractions are located, is also close by. The airport is about 15 minutes away by taxi.

Hotel guests will find the staff very accommodating -- all speak English to some extent -- and the hotel's small size means help is never very far away.

The hotel entrance opens onto a small lobby, which has a few couches and a selection of newspapers. The registration desk is adjacent to the entrance, and a door opens into the hotel's restaurant, the Hermitage, a small, very attractive space where guests can partake of breakfast or dinner.

The hotel also has a bar on the lower level and a sauna on the top floor.

Guest rooms are spread over three floors and include 12 standard rooms, seven deluxe rooms and eight suites.

The room decor is pleasantly bright, with cream-colored walls, yellow-patterned chairs and curtains, powder blue carpet and light wood furnishings.

The comfortable beds are covered by two duvets. Guests will find plenty of closet space, and there's also a desk, complete with phone and data port.

The bathrooms have black/white tile flooring, sturdy fixtures and a selection of amenities.

All guest rooms have voice mail and in-room safes. A cordless phone is located on the nightstand. Curiously, rooms do not have a clock, which might be a problem when the sun is up at 3 a.m. during the summer.

As there are 27 rooms spread among seven room types, rates vary.

Standard rooms go for about $130 per night, double, and junior suites cost about $190 per night. The hotel's most expensive room is a two-bedroom suite that goes for about $280 per night.

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