As you all might have heard, we’ve recently opened a brand-new 4-star business hotel, the Centennial Hotel Tallinn, which is built to celebrate the centennial anniversary of Estonia's freedom and independence and its integration into Europe. With its modern architecture, bright interior and contemporary facilities, our hotel is first of all a testament to what Estonia has become today 25 years after regaining its freedom and independence in 1991. We’ve also had the honor to welcome our first guest in our brand-new Centennial Hotel Tallinn this August – Lewis Payton. Originally from Australia, Lewis began his creative career working as an advertising copywriter and later as a creative director. Since 2003, Payton is based in Los Angeles, where he works largely on magazine editorial work (with over 50 covers) and film and TV commercial projects, shooting publicity for films including “Avatar" and "The Hunger Games”. We asked Lewis about his impressions of Estonia, our hotel and about traveling in general and here’s what he said. Hello, Lewis! What brings you to Estonia? Is it your first time here? My connection to Estonia started back in 1991 when I was studying at a school in Norway with three Estonian classmates. We became great friends, and I first visited them here in 1995 and fell in love with your beautiful country then. This is now my fourth visit and I am sure there will be many more! How have you been enjoying Estonia so far? Clearly, I'm a fan, given my multiple return visits. I love so many things about this little gem of a country. What are your 3 favorite aspects about Estonia? I love the energy, medieval architecture, and vibrant street life of Tallinn's Old Town. The Estonian countryside is so green! I love hiking in your forests, picking wild berries and mushrooms in season and the fresh air. I find the nature in Estonia quite magical and it's got a strong, ancient spiritual energy that feels totally unique to this country. I think modern Estonian cuisine is among the best food I have experienced. I was here last month shooting and writing an article about it and had some of the best meals of my life. I've been raving about Estonia's best restaurants to friends in Europe, the US and Australia ever since. Why did you decide to stay at The Centennial Hotel Tallinn? I love Tallinn's Old Town and wanted to stay somewhere within walking distance of this area. Centennial's appeal is that it has all of the comfort, style and features of a thoroughly modern hotel, yet it's a stone's throw away from Tallinn's medieval beauty. As a well-traveled man, what are your expectations from a brand-new hotel? I've learned to be a little forgiving of new hotel properties. Given that, I've had two very pleasant surprises this year - one new hotel in the Maldives and now my stay at Centennial. Both properties had just opened, yet felt already established thanks to very well trained staff and an attention to the smallest details. With new hotels, I expect a cohesive style and design, a very comfortable bed and high quality bed linen, good water pressure in the shower, friendly and responsive staff and a really good breakfast - for me, hotels live or die based on their breakfast (laughs). What nuances and factors in a hotel are important to you? For me, it's always the smallest of touches that truly make a hotel stay memorable. Hotels can often feel impersonal, and for a frequent traveler they can be quite lonely experiences, so a genuine smile or greeting from a staff member grounds you in a new space. And somebody going out of their way to help with even the smallest details can transform the guest experience into a far more personally fulfilling stay. What are your impressions of our new hotel so far? Quiet and peaceful, a modern Scandinavian design, very friendly and helpful staff, comfortable and stylish rooms and great food in the restaurant. As a photographer, I particularly love the inclusion of historical images as wallpaper behind the beds in all of the rooms. I had a tour of the hotel before it opened, and think creating a photographic story highlighting a different era of Estonia's past 100 years on each floor is really genius. How long are you planning to stay in Estonia? I've been here for a week and have another week before I fly out. When will you be returning to Centennial Hotel Tallinn? I look forward to returning to stay when I'm next back in Tallinn. It's been a pleasure and an honor to be your first official guest and after staying here for your first week, I feel like a part of the Centennial family now!