This was my second visit to Tallinn so the Olevi was selected on the basis of its location (which is excellent for the old town centre). We were a group of 9 Gents on a weekend away from the wives so a central location was a must. The Olevi was however a complete disappointment on almost all fronts.
We had booked rooms described as "Simple, with wooden ceiling". They certainly were that - picture a narrow room with wooden floorboards (the wooden ceiling was in fact the floor) two narrow single beds pushed up against each wall and a gap between them of around 2 feet! The window turned out to be barred, but the window itself was not secure leaving a draft to blow through in the night. There was no wardrobe - clothes storage options consisted of 2 coat hangers left on hooks on the wall. In fairness the bathroom contained a reasonably large wet room area.
The room itself was buried deep in the bowels of the hotel - I counted 50 stair steps down from reception along dark, musty smelling corridors and winding staircases. Do not even consider this hotel if you have any mobility issues - you will never make it back from your room to reception!
I complained to reception about my room (as did most of our party, and also several other sets of guests that I overheard during our stay) and said "It feels like a prison cell" - to which the receptionist answered that it was - apparently the building had been a women's prison and we were in the old cells. A couple of the lads had rooms on upper floors and these were much larger than the "Simple" rooms but apparently just as uncomfortable.
Now to the dangerous bit. Next to my room (103) was a fire escape. I usually check out the escape options and the door led into a garage area where another door led to a courtyard - fine I thought. But given the rambling nature of the building we all took to checking the fire exit each time we came in. On every evening it had been locked, and the key removed from the usual red box next to the door. It was with the greatest reluctance that reception replaced the key in the box each time we complained - make sure they do it. This is not a western european gone health & safety mad - that building would be a death trap in the event of a fire and all would perish on that floor if that exit was locked - there was no other exit and remember the windows are barred.
Having taken my laptop with me I did not feel the room was safe enough to leave it in so I deposited it in the hotel safe. All room keys are left on a shelf that is easily accessible in reception by the public and the desk was often unmanned - I helped myself to my key on several occasions. Anyone can walk in off the street and help themselves to a room key. And unfortunately the safe key isn't well hidden either (although my laptop was fine, they never gave me a receipt for it or even noted what room it belonged to)!
Apart from the location, the only other saving grace of the hotel is breakfast which was a comprehensive spread of tasty food. At £75 a night this place is terribly overpriced - had we paid say £35 I think we would have been less unhappy (although the safety issues would still have been worrying). But it's not worth more than that. Avoid at all costs!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rixwell Olevi Hotel is located in the heart of Old Tallinn, in walking range of the legendary church of St. Oleviste, Town Hall Square, Maritime Museum and much more valuable city sightseeing places. The location of the hotel is very suitable for travellers – the Passenger Port and the Railway station are close to the hotel. The building is a great example of 14th-century architecture; its unique design is the best choice for those who are thrilled to sense history in the centre of modern city. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Olevi Residents Tallinn
- Olevi Residents Hotel Tallinn