Driving into Parnu for my stay at Estonia Resort Hotel and Spa I assumed it would be very busy. Afterall, it's a brand new swanky resort on the Estonian coastline. I drove into the car park and there were just a few spaces available, I took the first one I found and headed straight to reception.
Very keen for the relaxing to begin, I arrived early. Warmly greeted by the multi lingual reception staff, I was told my room wasn't ready. Initially disappointed by this notion, I was invited to spend some time at the Spa until my room was ready.
Handed a wristband and given some directions, I casually accessed the very swish changing rooms. Using my wristband to lock and unlock my locker which was now holding all my worldly possessions. A quick cleansing shower and I was off to assess the soaking options.
I entered the large indoor pool and nearby resting areas, but it was the outdoor hot tubs that caught my eye. Before I knew it, there I was completely content to don my sunglasses and bask in the sunshine from the warmth of the outdoor hot tub. Ahh bliss. I instantly felt my stresses wash away.
As I sat there in the sun I thought, the car park has deceived me. I had expected a place as relaxing as this to be inundated with people wanting rest and recuperation. But at that moment, it simply felt as though I had the whole place to myself.
As the hours passed me by I completely forgot that I was yet to check in, I simply moved inside to the large indoor pool to conduct some light swimming to get the body moving. In honest reflection, the only moving I really did was some light breaststroke to the swim up bar.
After perusing the cocktail menu and a light refreshment at the bar, I found myself spa hopping. With the majority of spas heated to 32°C, I was steadily moving to hotter and hotter spas have until I found the deep still waters of the Raba Järv. This plunge bath is heated to a toasty 40°C. Here there's no lava-esq bubbles or whirlpool, but simply still warm waters in which to rest.
Whether you're travelling as an individual, family or group there's a variety of activities at your disposal. If activity is more your scene, a whirlpool for some fun or a curved lie-flat jacuzzis. One lies mostly flat in a molded seat that curves just enough around you that you won't float away as your body is tapped and lightly pummeled by the bubbles.
Curious to discover how different saunas can be, I set off out of the spa to investigate. There's seven different saunas available to guests, ranging from 40 to 100°C. I found my skin soft and supple after some time in the Steam Sauna. This sauna is a gentle 45 degrees but the high humidity did wonders for my complexion, giving it a soft glow. It works nicely when combined with the Salt Sauna, and to take advantage of the sea salt to rub into my skin.
If you're feeling brave, try the HOT spot, a traditional Finnish style sauna. It's a dry heat and it's seriously hot at 100°C. Alternate this hot space with a cold shower for the authentic experience.
Unique to the Estonia Resort Hotel and Spa is the Smoke Sauna. An Estonian tradition steeped in history, there aren't many working smoke saunas anymore. Located outside near the outdoor hot tubs, it's worth popping in to see for yourself.
Leaving the spa for the evening, I'm feeling very content. My wet hair wrapped up in a towel, my body cocooned in a white robe and slippers provided to all guests. I venture across the enclosed walkway joining the spa to the hotel to finally check into my room.
My room is a Superior double. There's well-functioning WiFi, desk, a TV with some English channels and an ensuite with a walk in shower. I peel back the curtains to reveal a balcony facing the street, upon opening the door I'm hit with a salty sea breeze. It doesn't take long for me to fall into a restful slumber on the extremely comfortable mattress and SleepAngel™ pillows.
Morning comes rather quickly and I'm famished. Breakfast is served in the large open plan restaurant on the ground floor. An abundance of varieties are available from local cuisine such as herring pickled, beef ham to more commonly featured items such as scrambled eggs, cereals and juice. I start my day with a glass of champagne as today it's not my turn to drive.
I head back to the spa for one last round of soaking and sauna before checking out. I feel so relaxed I wish I had more time here. I know I'll leave this place with fond memories.
If I'd had more time, I'd definitely have booked in for one of their yoga classes to find my Zen. For additional fee you can sign up to an array of fitness classes. There's also a menu of Spa treatments available for guests to schedule. I suggest you book upon check in to ensure availability. Treatments ranging from salt table to Estonian treatments or to more familiar experiences of massage and pedicure are all available.
Roma Small is a freelance travel writer and blogger at RoamingRequried