Hotel Viru... I stayed here once, on one of the worst hotel experiences in my life (and I have a pretty good collection of personal hotel horror stories!). The year was 1992 (I believe). The hotel's management hadn't yet absorbed western ways; the experience was largely unchanged from Soviet times (which had ended just the year before), right down to the not-so-little old lady who sternly dispensed and handed out room keys in the hallway where my room was located. The highlight: my bed. It was made from a carefully stacked collection of thin, flat cinder blocks – each about the size and shape of a half-high shoe box. There were no holes in them; they were solid blocks. On top of this stack was a straw-filled “mattress”, roughly 2 inches thick. Pieces of straw stuck through the mattress and the sheet, leaving me full of skin irritations in the morning. I'm a civilized guy – sleeping on a pile of uncomfortable straw was not my idea of fun!
I was traveling with a colleague, who told me his room was ok. Nothing to write home about, but perfectly acceptable. We were there on a business trip, to meet with a small Estonian company that we were considering acquiring (we did). Several people we met from that company told us of the KGB reputation of the Hotel Viru. I felt as though I should be careful what I said, though I didn't really have anything to talk about that would be interesting to anyone at all, much less the KGB :)
Post a Comment