11.03.2019 /1: Review – The Tallink Express Hotel


The Tallink Express Hotel is a good option for those travelling with a budget, and to those who are willing to stay further away from the Tallinn’s beautiful Old Town.

The hotel is conveniently situated near the Tallinn Harbour’s A-terminal, which is not where the Tallink ships dock. If you are travelling from Stockholm or Helsinki with a Tallink cruise liner, you have to either walk about 15 minutes or take a taxi from the D-terminal.

Walking route from D-terminal to the hotel

New And Old

Currently the hotel is being renovated, so the whole building is wrapped in scaffolding and the entrance is through the adjoining restaurant, Tempo.

Despite the ongoing renovations, the lobby area is comfortable, spacious, and tidy. Even during the morning rush hour of checking out, the place didn’t feel crammed. Based on the fresh and modern feel in the lobby area, it is evident that the floor has already been renovated – and it makes me eager to see how the rest of the hotel will look like after the renovations are complete!

The need for renovation is evident when one steps out of the lifts to their floor.

Wall decorations at the lift lobby.

Surfy turtles on the room wall.

The wall decorations on the hallways and inside the rooms are fresh and make the place quirky.

However the floors are basically concrete floors covered with a thin layer of carpeting that clearly has seen its best days. Even though the overall cleanliness is good, it cannot hide the effects of time on the carpet itself.


For less than 40€/night/person the rooms are of good size. The rooms are equipped with a TV with a selection of Estonian, Russian, Finnish, English, and German language channels.

There is plenty of space to store your clothes, and on both side of the bed is a night stand with a power outlet! Also, a full length mirror is positioned just opposite the beds, so you can immediately check if your hair and make-up are as immaculate as in the Bold and the Beautiful when you wake up.

Bathroom is clean and spacious – there is room for two queens to share the space without a catfight. But, again, the need for modernisation is required – the shower head is a blast from the past: I took a shower and got a flashback from the early 80’s with the showerhead. It works well, but sprays the water everywhere else but under it in a very strong, albeit misty spray so it leaves you wondering if you actually got clean.

Perhaps the most major downside to the room is that there is no air conditioning. As the room was a no too warm when we came in the first time, I can imagine how the temperatures will be at the height of the summer. Only way to ventilate the room is to open the window, which doesn’t help you much if there is no wind outside or if the wind is blowing from a wrong direction.

Another downside has to do with the window and the curtains, as they are slightly see through. If you happen to be a six-packed hunk that doesn’t mind a bit of showing off it might be ok, but otherwise it made me quite conscious of the possibility of others seeing me.

On a happier note, there didn’t seem to be lots of unnecessary walking on the hallway. Few times I could hear people walking and chatting there, but there was no noise to the room from adjoining rooms, or other floors. And that I think is a very important aspect of any hotel.

The Verdict

We chose the hotel purely based on the price and as it came with a breakfast.

Breakfast itself was your basic breakfast with scrambled eggs, potato rosti, baked beans, and other things. There wasn’t anything particularly Estonian included in the variety of the buffet, which was a slight disappointment as this would have been possibly the easiest way to market local produce to tourists.

Healthy breakfast for the start of a good day!

Would it have affected our decision if we actually knew that there was a massive renovation going on? Perhaps not, but as the scaffolding was covering our view and with the possibility of seeing the renovators walking just outside our room window, it might have been a nice to know thing to mention before making the booking.

A handy shelf and a natural fridge.
View from our room’s window with the scaffolding.

Locationwise the Tallink Express Hotel is convenient if you want a place near the ship terminals, but if you plan to explore the town almost 24/7, then perhaps the location isn’t the best possible as the A-terminal side is perhaps the furthest from the city centre where the ship terminals go.

There seems to be an abundance of families with children and with the adjoining spa it isn’t a surprise. With only 8€/person (and 4€/child) to use the pools and saunas it is very affordable way to keep your kids happy.

All in all, would come and stay here again.

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