Ruth & I seldom stay in the same place we chose on a previous visit if we happen to return to a city or area a 2nd time. We do this because we always wonder if we’ve found the best place to stay, appreciate the differences in amenities, and eternally hope for a better deal, which often occurs. Even in a city like Seattle, a city we return to often, I can only think of one repeat hotel that had a great location and restaurant. One hotel that we went out of our way to repeat was The Ratonda.
The Ratonda Centrum Hotel is in Vilnius, Lithuania, one of the 3 Baltic countries. All 3 are worth visiting, especially Latvia and its capital Riga. Vilnius is compact, walkable, and has a wealth of baroque buildings to admire. Riga specialized in Art Nouveau architecture. The 1st time we stayed at the Ratonda, the staff graciously gave us an upgrade and its breakfast was exceptional. This city is unusual in the number of attractions it offers and is an offbeat gem of a destination. Up Gedimino Street from The Ratonda is the Neris River, and across the bridge over it is the Orthodox Church of Our Lady of the Sign. In the other direction are a number of restaurants and shops, a local theater, and the stunning Vilnius Cathedral shown above. Its belfry is a major landmark. To walk by the cathedral daily is a genuine treat. The Ratonda is practically across the street from the National Library, close to many museums, and it’s an easy walk from it to Vilnius’ Old Town and Castle Tower.
The Ratonda Centrum was renovated in 2017. All of its rooms are spacious, well lit, modern, and comfortable. It’s a 4-star, family managed hotel on Ratonda Street next to Lithuania’s Parliament Building. It has a restaurant, a sauna that is typical for this part of the world, and its in a neoclassical building of note near the fun boulevard seen above. On one street is an amber museum, and on another is a tribute to Frank Zappa of all people.
If we went back to Lithuania, The Ratonda is where we would stay.