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Saturday, 30 June 2007

Travel Lithuania! - Page 6

Written by Christina Kay Bolton
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Looking for a safe place to explore with friendly and beautiful people, ancient castles, magnificent churches, cobblestone streets, quiet forests, thousands of lakes, huge sand dunes, and sparkling beaches lining the sea?

I kept up the spa atmosphere the next day with my arrival in Vilnius. I checked into Le Meridien Villon for one night and was very impressed with the service, the spa, and the country-like setting. The rooms are huge with balconies, seating areas, and marble baths. Welcome cookies and mineral water was a nice touch, and every amenity you could possibly need was either in the room or easily attained through room service. I liked the fact that there was a window with screens that could be kept open all night for air (instead of the kind of windows that are more common where the two choices are: wide open or folded in a bit at the top without much air flow), though there is the noise to consider – the rooms have fabulous views over lakes and trees, but are also right on the highway, so you hear the swish of fast moving cars all night.

 

My first stop was the spa – which is gorgeous with a large pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, and Turkish bath with lounge chairs both inside and outside. As soon as you walk in you’re handed a robe and a key to a locker by a smiling attendant. The locker room itself is beautifully designed and there are single-sex saunas and Turkish baths and large open showers here as well as the co-ed ones by the pool. Unlike in Druskininkai, there are no time limits on the pool and I loved coming in the evening and again in the morning before breakfast. A gym, tennis courts, and a putting range are also at your disposal.

 

lithuaniaThe breakfast buffet offered a dizzying array of choices – hot and cold bars, fruits, and pastries, and the dining room offers a wonderful view. Their highly touted Le Paysage restaurant has a popular chef. Unfortunately, I didn’t stay for dinner, so I can’t comment on his creations.

 

This is a 5 star establishment, but since it is located in Lithuania it is less expensive than a similar hotel in another country, with spa packages for 255 euros pp including 3 nights, breakfast, spa access, and 4 hours of treatments. One thing that I liked was everything was included in the room price and they didn’t try to nickel and dime you like so many other places – for instance a business center is available if you’re not traveling with a computer and is free (instead of some other places who charge $8 an hour to use the computer). Some places also charge for the use of their spa areas, or for breakfast. It is a good place to splurge while keeping within your budget.  Its only real drawback is its distance from the center. There is a free shuttle bus 8 times a day to the center – which is very convenient if you don’t have a car. When I took it I was one of only a few passengers, so I think most people staying here rely on taxis or their own cars. It took about 25 mins to reach the drop off point in the new town and it’s another 5 minute taxi ride to the old town, or 15 min walk. Depending where your plans are centered while you’re in Vilnius, you may want to consider this.

(Page 6 of 9)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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