A Day in Parnu, Estonia

The seaside resort town of Parnu, known for its beach and spa hotels, is one of Estonia’s top summer vacation spots.

The town center retains a turn of the 20th century ambiance with colorful wood-sided buildings. Tree lined lanes and parks add to its charm.

Despite its popularity we found the beach, lined with unattractive buildings, uninspiring. The water was super calm on bright late September day. Supposedly you can walk forever into the shallow waters and never be fully submerged.

Resort Hotel and Spa Estonia

Resort Hotel and Spa Estonia a large hotel, spa and conference complex is located just a five minute walk from the beach and 10 minutes from old town. Although it is not our usual hotel style I wanted to try their sauna and pools.

Our room was smallish with a sizable bathroom and nowhere to put anything. The sink had no counter, just a narrow ledge below the mirror. There were also no hooks or racks to hang your towel or anything else. Despite the rather cheap looking décor the towels and sheets were of good quality and the bed comfortable.

Pool and Sauna

The pool and sauna is located in a separate building across the road from the hotel and connected by a 3rd floor passageway, making it easy to leave your room in your robe and slippers and cross over to the spa. They also have full spa treatments available as well as a gym.

The pools, a sizable indoor facility with a number of special features, such as whirl pools, jets, a current spiral, etc. is a pleasant place to hang out. The water temperature in the “hot” tub type pools, however, is not very hot, including the ones located on atrium terrace. They have a number of sauna rooms, both wet and dry. It took some searching but Don finally found the hot (170°) dry sauna he was looking for followed by the artic water dump.

In a separate room requiring an additional 9 Euro charge they have a Dead Sea float. The smaller pool of neon green water does have similar buoyancy to the Dead Sea, and you need to take the same precautions, such as not staying in too long and making sure to drinking plenty of water. The hypersalinic water can sting injured or sensitive skin.

The facility also has a good dressing area with lockers, operated by a wrist band, and showers.

Lunch at Resort Hotel and Spa Estonia

The lunch menu is the same as dinner. We found the food well-presented and prepared. The chicken thighs and the sea trout were both served on mashed potatoes with barely cooked vegies.

Breakfast Buffet

The breakfast buffet includes an extensive selection of mediocre items. Cold choices include the usual cereal, seeds and nuts, cheeses, cold cuts, fish, pickled veggies. Hot items included – fried eggs, potatoes, breakfast meats, beans, etc. The bread selection was poor, sliced white bread and brown bread and one kind of roll. A few pastry items, desserts and sparkling wine are also available. Coffee is from a self-serve machine.

Parnu Kalamajakas

Parnu Kalamajakas, a small strip mall eatery, was doing good business on a Friday evening. Despite the out of the way location, the industrial meets cozy living room interior concept has a hip vibe. The short menu offered mostly fish dishes. Irish oysters are one of their specialties.

We started with the calamari with a squid ink infused crust and served with mayo. The skimpy serving of only 4 pieces was served with enough mayo to dip an entire basket full. I was excited about the squid ink crust but found that although the calamari was nice and black there was no hint of the squid ink in the taste.

For mains the whole dorade (bream fish) served with salad was sizable and beautifully done. My octopus in a chili sauce with peppers, however, was not so successful. The dish consisted of one undersized but well-cooked tentacle in a too sweet sauce tasting more Asian than Mediterranean. They get an A+ for the dorade but everything else was not more than a C.

September 27, 2019

For links to all the posts in this series see the Baltics Road Trip page.