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Merchant's House Hotel
Ranked #24 of 86 Hotels in Tallinn
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 April 2008

We (a group of 3 couples) stayed at the hotel in March 2008
We bought the winter package plus one extra night
The Hotel was lovely, staff could not do enough to help
The breakfasts and candlelit dinner was great
Position of the hotel is right by the market square and just across from the beerhouse perfect
Highly recommended

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled with friends
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2  Thank SunseekerUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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498 - 504 of 754 reviews

Reviewed 5 March 2008

We choose Merchants House based on other reviews and were not disappointed. We booked the 3 day winter package which we thought was excellent value.

The hotel is slap bang in the middle of the old town and all its bars and restaurants etc.

We had a standard room (as advised by a previous reviewer we requested, and were given, a quiet room at the back of the hotel) which was a good size and tastefully decorated. The bathroom had a brillant shower which was great for my friend who is 6ft 5ins!. In the room is a safe, mini bar, hairdryer, robe and slippers.

Whilst the room does not have tea/coffee making facilities you can request these for your room - we did this and our request was granted straight away.

As part of the package we had a 90 minute personal tour of the City which was excellent. We also had a three course meal in the hotel - we thought that the food wad very good and the service excellent (although we were the only ones there!).

Breakfast is a combination of hot and cold food. Whilst the hot food was not piping it looked (and tasted) very fresh and not congialed as I have experienced in other hotels.

We had several drinks in the Ice Bar and found that the prices were on par pricewise with other bars we went to. Can recommend trying a few cocktails.

All the staff we meet were extremely friendly and helpful and nothing was too much for them.

The only downside for us was the sauna. Whilst it is really nice you have to prebook and cannot use it if someone else has booked a treatment - I guess just bad design.

I would definately go to this hotel again if in Tallinn.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled with friends
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2  Thank TTK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2008

I spent a 3 nights at the Merchant suite with my wife. We booked a package directly with the hotel and although not cheap we felt it was worth it. The Merchants suite is very atmospheric and spacious and we enjoyed the open bathroom. The problem was that some ventilation tubes are just outside the window (who is overllooking the backyard...don't expect any views) and there is some backgrount noise can be disturbing if you are used to sleep in complete silence. I was about to call and ask to change room but the noise stoped around midnight. As we liked the room a lot and we are not going early to sleep we didn't bother at the end.

The staff is very friendly but they can use some training...e.g. we were escorted to our room but we had to carry our bags on our own...i thought they could at least offer to carry my wife's laggage.

We had the dinner the first night as part of the package and we liked the food although the service was a bit slow and our waitress didn't really now how to serve wine (she spilt almost half of it while trying to serve us) . She was constantly smiling with embarrasment and appologising though.....I found it a bit entertaining actually.

The sauna is well maintained and modern. You have to book it in advance through the reception but you have it on your own. We also had some spa treatments which we enjoyed a lot.

As for Tallinn itself, the old town is a very beautiful, very well maintained and restored. It's perfect for a long weekend but not more. The museum of the city of Tallinn is interesting and on the top flor the (very) old guard will give you an interesting tour and a lot of details of the soviet era of Estonia. We also had dinner at peppersack and we recomend it. The food was tasty and the ambience very medieval!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank aek21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2008

Firstly, let me state from the outset that I was not massively overawed by Tallinn generally, so this might colour my review a little. However, the hotel was one of the better aspects of our trip so hopefully I can remain objective.

When booking I requested a street-facing room rather than a courtyard room, as recommended by a previous review. This was a mistake – the room we were given was not brilliant. High-ceilinged walls in a dandelion-brown colour did not work. Also, there was a huge, square piece of plaster missing from the wall (around 1.5m high from the flood and around 3m across). I suspect that this was a stab at a mediaeval feature, however being just unfinished skim underneath it actually made the room appear as it if had been water damaged – a perception not helped by the fact that the wall was unevenly painted, i.e. appeared to be stained. In a medieval context I suppose this would be fine, but the rest of the room was finished in a modern style with no medieval references. I asked for another room and was promptly shown another, which was actually quite large with a huge bathroom (large bath, separate shower AND a sauna room – very nice). I really appreciated the reception supervisor’s helpful attitude and his offering of what essentially amounted to a free upgrade. The room was very nice, however it showed signs of minor neglect; there were mould spores on the shower curtain that were in no way acceptable; the paint on the wooden furniture was beginning to chip, and; the sofa in our room was stained. You wouldn’t necessarily notice these things immediately but they shouldn’t really have been present at all.

The location is perfect, possibly one of the best in the city, it being so close to Town Hall Square. The service was at all times absolutely perfect (the receptionists rise to their feet every time you walk into reception, and they were always very helpful) and the breakfast was fine (are hotel breakfasts every really mind-blowing? Not in my experience).

Overall, I would agree with the earlier review that suggested that this hotel was perfect when it opened a few years ago but that the focus on delivering a quality product may be slipping a bit in the physical fabric of the hotel. They should lose the orange and brown painted walls and I don’t know what’s going on with the red lights in the second flood corridor to the ‘Relax Room’. Problems like a mouldy shower curtain need to be addressed quickly – I wouldn’t put up with it at home, so why would I want to shell out a few hundred pounds to put up with it.

Finally, Tallinn does have a beautiful old town (not to mention a glittering new town district rising up rapidly) but I do not think that I could honestly recommend it to a friend as a city break destination. Levels of service are inconsistent - specifically, I enjoy a few beers during my holiday and in Tallinn most of the bars served me the first 2 drinks from the tap that day, i.e. vinegary and revolting to taste. Two places even used a spoon to push off some of the stale head of beer that their pour gave me. I don’t wish to sound like a beer monster or anything, but not being able to get a decent drink in 5 bars on the trot really put a crimp in my mood. Also, Tallinners have a very unwelcoming habit of staring at you for no good reason – in the street, in bars, etc. My girlfriend spotted it and I discussed it with another guy from the UK who we met who has also noticed this. That said, we went in February so the Town Hall Square was practically deserted rather than busy as some pictures suggest, and we went midweek, so it was bound to be a little quieter than at weekends.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank tom_teaches
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hotelstallinn, General Manager at Merchant's House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2008

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your comments. I am sorry that we did not have the opportunity to meet, as I was in the hotel all week and during the whole weekend also. I was additionally informed by reception that all your requests and comments you made, from check in on Wednesday (13.02.08) until your departure this Saturday (16.02.08), where taken care of.

The Merchants House Hotel is presently undergoing a brush-up/update since December and the 1st floor phase is nearly finished and by the end of March all hotel rooms should be completed.

I have no words regarding the shower curtain (shock, disappointment and apologise to you), when I visited the room first thing this morning (Monday 18th Feb 2008 at 8am), after seeing your review the shower curtain where clean and spotless. So during your visit/check out this Saturday 16.02.08 and me checking first thing this morning (18.02.08) action had already been taken. However I was not informed of this issue….. I have spoken to the Head Housekeeper and Front Office department regarding this matter.

Your first room that you where shown (room 302)

(The huge plaster missing from the wall around 1.5m high and 3m across “and your comment that you wrote regarding this was a stab at medieval feature”) well this is actually from the 16th century and is a feature of the room and protected by the Historical department in Estonia. (I am going to add brass or glass labeling around historial items in the hotel, to give guests information regarding the many different historical items in the Merchants House Hotel.

I am sorry that you did not have the opportunity to try a beer in the ice bar as the beer lines are short (from keg to tap) as you mentioned other bars in Tallinn do not draw off the first beer that stays in the lines over night and having the first beer in a tap can be stale.

Tallinn is very quite at the moment which you mentioned, but I feel this adds to the romance of this medieval city. Especially when it snows.

Again I am very sorry for the Housekeeping issue.

With Kind Regards,

Jonathan M. Poole
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2008

We stayed in Merchants House for the weekend. The hotel is nice and cosy with good decorations, very good location , but we had a few misgivings. The hotel has no lift and this made it difficult for me and my wife as the rooms are quite spread out over diffrent floors. The other thing that tainted our stay was the "Basil Fawlty" way the management seem to handle things. A simple question to the receptionist turned out to be almost entertaining as someone who seemed to a senior member of staff decided at that moment to "let rip" with a verbal torrent that seemed to go on for an age and left the receptionist very red faced. To say the language was "fruity" is being polite. My wife was very shocked and surprised to hear such strong use of the English language being used by a manager in public with their staff. Still it livened up our afternoon. The member of staff berated was allowed to deal with us eventually (rather red faced) and recommended that we try the restaurant at the Hotel Telegraph.

We did eat at the hotel telegraph that evening, and the Russian menu was very interesting and very refreshing for us to try something diffrent from the usual hotel fare. The service was also very good and we would recommend it if you visit Tallinn.

Tallinn is a beautiful medieval city with many arcitectural delights, the people friendly (apart from Mr Fawlty), weather was a bit on the crisp side, but suited the city. We would recommend Tallinn as a wonderful weekend break away from the beaten path, but to maybe try one of the other hotels.

  • Stayed: January 2008
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1  Thank RCemal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hotelstallinn, General Manager at Merchant's House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2008

Dear Sir,

I am glad that you enjoyed our Hotel, but was very sorry to hear about the incident that spoiled what we hope to be the perfect stay; I am glad you agree with us that there is no better location in Tallinn than the Merchants House Hotel.

I would like to give you our feedback on your comments on your stay, which we fully appreciate (good and bad!).

Rooms
When we renovated the original 14th & 16th Century property (with 3 floors and a medieval cellar), we looked into installing a lift for exactly the reasons you outlined. However, the property is under a UNESCO world heritage protection status, and on enquiry, we were informed that installing a lift in the property would be declined by the Tallinn Historical department, as they think this would spoil the charm & character of this property. However, we understand and appreciate your feedback and I will check again that our literature does not promote or advertise having a lift.

Reception
I was very sorry to hear about the incident in the hotel reception, an experience I would not wish on any of our valued guests. As soon as I was made aware of this, I personally looked into the issue, since it is unacceptable for guests to be disturbed by such an episode.

The results of my investigation show that the individual involved (who you thought to be a manager) was a guest who stayed with us during this period. I also investigated his complaint (although this was not formally made) and it appeared minor. We appreciate feedback, but of course in the appropriate form, and in way that does not disturb other guests nor is abusive. Thanks to your comments and my subsequent findings, I have been made aware that this guest, who regularly stays in Tallinn, has already been blacklisted from two other hotels in Tallinn due to his abusive “fruity” language to hotel employees. We have subsequently taken similar action. Notwithstanding the above, I am very sorry that your stay was tainted by such an outburst.

In the light of the above, I hope you feel are staff managed the situation appropriately. Finally, if you or your friends return to Tallinn, I would very much like personally to give you a tour of Tallinn’s medieval Old Town, have a drink with you.

I look forward to welcoming you back to the Merchants House

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Poole
General Manager – Merchants House Hotel Tallinn

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2008

I have stayed at this hotel multiple times while on business trips in Tallinn, the last time in Jan 2008, and just realized I never wrote a review. Here goes:

As other people have said, you absolutely can't beat the location for sightseeing, dining, etc. in Old Town. The hotel is generally very comfortable, but the rooms vary from tiny singles with just a stand up shower to spacious suites with standalone tubs. Your experience at the hotel may depend a lot on the room you get, so ask about this when you make a reservation.

Some other people have commented negatively on the service at the hotel, as well as the food. I think you need to take into consideration where you are. Having stayed, dined, and worked in other places in Estonia, it is at least partially a cultural thing. I found the staff to be more friendly and outgoing than most places, but it's relative. The food was also comparatively good, especially considering how bland a lot of the dishes are elsewhere. Breakfast is typical of what I expect in Europe - meat, cheese, salmon, yogurt, cereal, bread, fruit - all good.

The free wifi works best in rooms closest to the lobby and not at all in some of those further back.

Generally I would give this hotel very high marks. It's beginning to show a little wear though and I hope the owners/staff work to maintain it.

  • Stayed: January 2008
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Thank Seat24A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2008

We've just spent a long weekend at this hotel, our first in some years away from our 3 children, so expectations were high and we weren't disappointed! Our free transport to the hotel was waiting for us at the airport, our check in was fast and efficient, and the room was to die for. We had booked the Winter Package and upgraded to the Courtyard Suite and it was everything we had wanted - rustic, comfortable, quiet and chic. Our dinner and the service in the KN restaurant on the first night was faultless, though for much of the time we were the only diners, and I slept like a baby that night. Day 2 was equally great, starting with a blissfull chocolate massage in the spa followed by a leisurely sauna. We had our private tour of the old town in the afternoon and our guide was friendly and knowledgeable. A browse round Stockmann department store was followed that evening by dinner at Peppersack. The food was good, and the soundtrack of 80's hits sung in a monastary style was very entertaining! More shopping on day 3, then late lunch at C'est La Vie, where I can confirm that their mushroom soup with puff pastry crust is officially the best I have ever tasted! The hotel staff were exceptionally helpful and friendly, and the hotel's Ice Bar was a regular pre and post dinner haunt - the blond lady behind the bar does a mean marguerita! I thoroughly recommend it and will definitely go back, maybe in summer with the kids in tow!

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank andejo3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Merchant's House Hotel

Address: Dunkri 4/6, Tallinn 10123, Estonia
Phone Number:
Region: Estonia > Harju County > Tallinn
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Tallinn
#15 Business Hotel in Tallinn
#21 Luxury Hotel in Tallinn
Price Range: £66 - £145 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Merchant's House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Steeped in local history, the Merchant’s House Hotel stands on a charming cobbled street just a few seconds walk from Tallinn’s beautiful and captivating Old Town Square. The Merchant’s House Hotel has 37 suites and rooms, which all vary in shape and design due to the flexibility and character provided by these 14th & 16th Century historical buildings. Each room in the property offers guests an exciting combination of mediaeval architecture and state-of-the art fixtures and fittings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Merchants Hotel Tallinn
Merchants House Hotel

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