One of the Baltic nations, this coastal European country is relatively new to the tourist trail (although Klaipeda has been a port of call for cruise ships over several decades now). The capital, Vilnius makes for a stimulating city break, with diverse historic architecture – the Old Town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for decades – and a thriving arts scene. Head into the countryside and there are verdant forests to be explored, lakes, flatlands and beaches. Spring and summer are the best times to visit – or December for the Christmas markets. Here are our favourite places to stay in luxury, in Lithuania.
Esperanza Resort & SPA
Located along the shoreline of the Ungurys Lake and beside a sandy beach, this resort provides a secluded escape – it’s surrounded by private forest, home to prolific bird life. The setting provides ample opportunity for some water sports and as a relaxing backdrop for the spa area with its Finnish sauna and steam bath. Made of stone and Canadian cedar wood, Esperanza is an eco-friendly hotel with three restaurants serving dishes crafted from organic ingredients. Families will enjoy the tennis courts, bowling alley, billiards table and board games. Esperanza Resort & SPA is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group.
This Design Hotel just oozes contemporary cool, yet its facade is a reminder of the building’s five-century history. Once the Grand Duchy’s seat, it retains many original features, yet with a modern edge; exposed brick, frescoes, wooden ceiling beams, pillars, and wrought-iron balconies are offset by cutting edge artworks and effortlessly chic minimalist lines. 104 bedrooms come with Molton Brown bath products and Nespresso machines, while below ground lies an atmospheric spa. The stables have been converted into a brasserie, 14Horses, and Nineteen18 is the fine dining room serving 10-course tasting menus. Lighter meals can be enjoyed at Sofija Bar, with the option of dining/drinking alfresco.
Grand Hotel Kempinski Vilnius
The Grand Hotel marked the Kempinski brand’s first foray in the Baltic region. Found in the Old Town and itself a heritage building, the Grand Dame’s 96 bedrooms are appropriately decorated with lavish sophistication. Guests staying here receive a white-glove service throughout. Its award-winning Telegrafas restaurant – with views of Cathedral Square – is a draw for many, but guests can also drink and dine in Le Salon Bar, at the Atelier Wine Boutique and Tasting Bar and in Le Café. Treatments at Kempinski The Spa make use of local ‘Baltic gold’, said to firm and tone the skin. Plus there’s a pool, sauna and jacuzzi.
Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel
Radisson is an international name that here inhabits a turn of the 20th-century property. It comprises 126 bedrooms, a French restaurant, cocktail bar and a health club with a pool. The decor is, in the main, modern and bright with pops of vibrant colour – although some bedrooms offer a more traditional feel, with polished wood furnishings. It’s a great choice for those travelling with children; the Rad Family Program offers kids a welcome pack including games, gifts and activities and there are family rooms and children’s menus available. The Royal Astorija Hotel is also accessible.