The Novotel Vilnius Central was my second hotel in Vilnius during my Baltic Explorer trip. I was very close to making Platinum in Accor’s LeClub program and picked it based on a promotion! It turned out to be a great choice: I enjoyed a beautiful suite in a central location at a reasonable price, making for a very good value!
Location: The Novotel Vilnius is on Gedimino, the main shopping street in the new part of Vilnius, within easy walking distance to the cathedral, Gediminas tower and the old town. You can reach the bus and train station by public bus or taxi in under 15 minutes and the airport is a little further, but not much more than 15 minutes either! During my visit there was a street fair out front, so you are really in the heart of things! Despite the central location, I didn’t have any issues with street noise.
Service: The Novotel offers friendly and professional service. Compared to some of the other hotels I stayed at in the Baltics, the service was a little warmer than usual and carried out with a smile! I was, to my surprise, upgraded thanks to my Accor Gold status to a beautiful suite! The staff at the bar (to enjoy my welcome drink) was equally friendly and very quick to get my drink. Housekeeping had prepared my room flawlessly, leaving it clean and fully stocked for my arrival!
Room: The room was modern and stylish as I’ve come to expect it from Accor properties – and it was very large as well, which is a uncommon for European city hotels, courtesy of the suite upgrade. On entry, I found a mini-kitchen with a fridge, coffee/tea facilities, some storage and a safe. It opened to the living room with a table with seating for 4 and a couch as well as a TV. There were several windows making it a bright and friendly room! A half-bath near the entrance would make this a perfect set-up to host guests in the living/dining area! The bedroom was through a doorway, with a comfortable queen-size bed, with a bench and an additional TV set. The full bathroom was off the bedroom through a sliding door, with a separate shower and bathtub, stylish vanity and toilet. All of it was modern and clean, fully tiled. The layout and style would have made it perfect for a longer stay – too bad I was only there for one night. I room was facing the street and old town, making for a nice view! Internet access was free and worked well in my room as well as in the lobby and bar!
Amenities/Restaurant: The hotel, like many Northern European hotels, features a gym and wellness area. The gym was pretty small, with basic cardio and weight equipment. The sauna was big, nice and clean and there was even a resting area, so you can recover from your workout or rest between rounds in the dry sauna! The equipment, wet area and sauna were all in very good condition, even though it felt a little spartan.
The lobby bar had nice seating with windows and views to take in the street life – I enjoy that when traveling solo. They had a good menu of drinks and snacks, but I only had a glass of wine before exploring the city for dinner. I did miss my (included) breakfast to catch an early bus out of town. There is a full restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you have a full service restaurant.
Conclusion: The Novotel was a pleasant surprise. Not only was it the first Accor hotel to ever offer me a free upgrade, the service staff was very friendly throughout, rather than just polite and professional. I also enjoyed the modern room (similar to other Novotel/Mercure) and the central location, making for an overall pleasant stay. At around $100/night, the room was a very good deal and a great alternative to the Radisson Blu Astorija. While the Radisson Blu felt more luxurious with its old building and traditional style, the Novotel has a lot to offer at a much lower price (check current prices here). If modern suits you, this is a great option and I’d stay there again!