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Vana Tom Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
Vana Tom (formerly known as the Old Barn Hostel) is a wonderful hostel in a wonderful town. The owners are friendly and the hostel is everything that a hostel should be – cheap, clean and in an excellent location.

Coming by ferry or by air it can be confusing getting into the centre of town since most buses/trams stop outside at the Viru Hotel. It is only a short, although not very well signposted, walk to Raekoja plats, the main square. Vana Tom is within minutes away from the main square and its bars and restaurants.

Western prices are slowly catching up within Tallinn – but the hostel is still excellent value for 235 EEK/15€ (and 15EEK discount for HI cardholders) at the time of this review. The price also includes a breakfast pack of a baguette and ham/cheese, egg, orange juice and fruit.

The hostel has been recently renovated and is in excellent condition. The bathrooms are all impeccably clean and hot water always flows, although the chlorine smell of Estonian water can be potent at times. The triple-decker bunkbeds look a little intimidating but are quite comfortable. Although there is only one key for each room, the reception is open 24 hours and is quite secure. There is a stripclub upstairs above the hostel but no problems should be expected from it.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
January 2004
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How is Vana Tom Hostel rated on other websites?
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Not listed on Hostelworld.
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HostelsClub  
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Vana Tom Hostel Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
3   First good impression decreased in time I accommodated in this hostel just for one night, but it was rather enough. First impression was ok -- good place in the Old Town, nice interior (the only really nice thing there for me). We were two persons and booked room for eight. It was a small room with four two-floored beds, fortunately no other clients were in that room that time. No towels (in previous hostel we stayed in towels were included into the price). No lockers actually -- you have to get a key for token payment. Internet was not for free. Water in bathroom is rationed. So we were a bit confused and didn't want to take "free" city maps -- who knows, maybe we would have to pay for them as well. The staff looked bored and without any interest in clients. In conclusion I am rather disappointed, but it could be worse.  , Lithuania ()
4  Thought it was fine, no hygeine issues. Kitchen was the only communal area and dorms could maybe get a bit crowded if full but I'd happily stay there again.  ()
5  Hostel is very nice and friendly and very well located. and with Liza as receptionist, is really the top of the top where i ever been.  ()
1  Location is great. Hygiene is fine. Some paper thin walls would make it necessary that the staff ensures the application of the rules of the hostel. However, the staff was not capable to deal with people who use the kitchen as living room (and stay there until one to two a.m., that was the problem in two nights) or who were drunken (shouting at each other, singing, slashing doors until four a.m., that was the problem for the other two nights). We complained, the reception appologised and nothing happened. Avoid the double room (room two, next to the kitchen) under any circumstances. Please also be aware what this means when the receptionist does not have the skills, capabilities, and tools to deal with drunken people.  ()
2  I stayed in this hostel for ten days and I think it is acceptable but only when it is half-full. The nine-bed dormitory room are too little for nine persons with their luggage. The water pressure is not enough when all the showers are in use. Moreover, the wireless internet connection signal is very weak, or totally absent, in upstairs rooms. Sometimes, the sheets are torn. Apart from that the the position is good (five hundred meters from the Old Town center), the upstairs bathroom (the one I used) is clean, and the staff is enough polite.  ()
1  This is the worst hostel I've ever stayed at. The staff are unfriendly and absolutely unhelpful. When I complained about the service the woman at the reception said this would not be her problem and then claimed she could not understand me anymore! The rooms are tiny and crowded with people. We had to sleep on the luggage bunks and did not even get sheets or pillows on the first night. The bathrooms are not very clean and there is no hot water in the showers. I do not recommend this place to anybody.  ()
2  This hostel was both good and bad. The location is great, but the hostel itself certainly did not live up to all the hype I had read about it. I thought it was too expensive (it comes out to a couple euros more than great hostels in Berlin). It was actually cheaper to take a ship to Helsinki than to pay for a night at this hostel. The breakfast was the biggest free breakfast I had during my entire four-month trip, but it wasn't very good. I didn't want to waste it, so it took some effort to get all of the soggy sandwich and bruised fruit down. The staff are pretty much not helpful — they're not trying to be mean, it just seems that they don't know *anything* about Tallinn. To add to that, all of the information binders they have available (with timetables for trains, ferries, museums to visit, etc.) are over five years old. Why bother having such outdated information? The downstairs bathrooms smelled absolutely foul so I was very pleased to be upstairs where the bathrooms were very clean. The place was nearly empty while I was there — but if this place filled up I could see the 12-bed dorm room being stupidly crowded — with not enough room for packs/luggage and people.  ()
5  This is a great location, with excellent staff and the kitchen is just great. Everytime I come to Tallinn I stay at the Vana Tom.  ()

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