Estonia is rightfully proud of its 200 years of spa culture, but how well-known is the fact that the cradle of Estonian spa culture is in Tallinn? Georg Witte's bathing establishment, opened in 1813 in Kadriorg, Tallinn, quickly became the place where the Russian Tsar's family went for their summer holidays. It can be considered the start of the Estonian health resort tradition.
If you walk around the Old Town or in central Tallinn, you will find several small and lovely spas. For luxury and privacy, visit Elemis Spa in the five-star Telegraaf Hotel. It offers a wide range of treatments of the highest standard, and the area with saunas and a pool is perfect for visitors that value peace and quiet. Another five-star hotel, Swissotel’s spa facilities include also a fitness centre and group/private exercises, in addition to an indoor pool and spa treatments.
If you prefer to relax and enjoy the beautiful view of Tallinn’s Old Town, then the Nordic Hotel Forum is the place. The leisure centre on the top floor of the hotel is a true aquatic heaven. And in case you are looking for some facial or body treatments as well, then the Sinine Salong Spa & Salon next door will pamper you for sure. Just a little way from the Old Town, at the foot of Toompea hill, the von Stackelberg Hotel Tallinn welcomes its guests with the small and cosy Zen Spa. This little oasis of wellbeing offers different treatments, saunas, and Japanese-style jacuzzi.
More water fun for the whole family can be found at the Kalev Spa Hotel and Water Centre in the Old Town, at the Aqua Spa aquatic centre in the Tallink Spa & Conference Hotel (close to the harbour), and at the Aqua & Sauna Centre in the Park Inn by Radisson Meriton Conference & Spa Hotel Tallinn. If you don’t mind travelling a short way outside of the city centre, Atlantis H2O Aquapark in Viimsi welcomes all the adventurous souls. It is a combination of a water park and discovery centre.
Tallinn Viimsi SPA is also located in the same complex as the Atlantis H2O Aquapark, but is a separate venue with its own calming atmosphere. In Tallinn Viimsi SPA spa and sauna centre there are multiple pools and jacuzzis, along with seven saunas for you to enjoy. However, the newest part of Viimsi SPA is their exclusive spa and sauna centre – SPA18+. This is a place to enjoy a unique sense of grown-up tranquility, as SPA18+ is for adults only.
About 30 minutes’ drive to the west (from the city centre), takes you to a beautiful resort – Laulasmaa. This is a popular summer resort for swimming and sunbathing and an ideal recreational resort throughout the whole year. Laulasmaa Spa and Conference Hotel, located by the sea, has its own water and sauna centre, as well as a spa and beauty centre.
Besides the day spas and hair salons above, who also serve men, there are barbershops for men only. In the city centre, there are the Lumberjack and Pardur barbershops. The first one offers a glass of whiskey or a bottle of Guinness as an extra to trendy haircuts and hot shaves. Pardur has the benefit of long barber experience, as they have been cutting and shaving Estonian men’s hair since the nineties.
For some high-quality service, you can visit Kutz, located in the city centre as well in Kadriorg. At Kutz you can choose between the services of a barber and a master barber. Also a master in the subtle art of male grooming is the Truman barbershop. This exclusive and private barbershop brings you the shave you want and the haircut you need. Two locations, one in the heart of Tallinn and one in Ülemiste City, are open.
In Pirita, close to the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, there’s Chop-Chop, the local branch of a renowned Moscow-based barbershop chain. In Chop Chop they focus on traditional gentlemen's haircuts, though they're sympathetic to your every need. For a more down-to-earth experience, visit Rude Rats in Kalamaja. This barber shop welcomes you with a glass of whiskey and some legendary black humour.