Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, found close to the border with Belarus. It’s well inland and has a medieval heritage that’s clearly evident in its architecture. A more unusual city break option, visitors to Vilnius avoid the throngs of tourists found in many of the major metropolises of mainland Europe. The Old Town with its neoclassical and baroque buildings is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its cobbled streets are littered with vibrant cafes, bars and restaurants that’ll take you several days to fully explore. While the city’s tourist industry may be young, Vilnius boasts some wonderful hotels.
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 into 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.