The Best Hotels in Latvia for Every Traveller

Art Noveau lovers will appreciate the design of the Neiburgs Hotel in Riga, Latvia
Art Noveau lovers will appreciate the design of the Neiburgs Hotel in Riga, Latvia | Courtesy of Neiburgs Hotel / Expedia.com
Photo of Amar Grover
3 March 2021

Riga, Latvia’s capital and the most populous city in the Baltics, dominates most travellers’ itineraries, almost to the exclusion of other destinations in the country. Famed for its historic old town (a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1997) and a particularly generous clutch of Art Nouveau houses, the city’s range of hotels ticks most boxes. But, look a little closer to Latvia’s coastal towns of Liepāja and Jūrmala, and you’ll uncover opportunities to combine city and sea, discovering wholesome beaches known only to regional visitors – and, now, you, too.

Grand Poet Hotel

Spa Hotel, Chain Hotel
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Grand Poet Hotel
Strait-laced businessmen might just unleash their “inner bohemian” at the Grand Poet, the first five-star design hotel in Riga. The lauded Latvian poet in question is Rainis, a 19th-century literary prodigy, who’s name is remembered here, on city-centre Raina Boulevard (a variant of his pseudonym). Opened in 2018, the hotel’s goal was to inject bohemian pizzazz into this smart but staid neighbourhood. Almost every inch of its interior drips with striking design, from zigzag carpets, herringbone parquet and tiled floors to elaborate lighting and furnishings swirling with patterns and colour.

Dome Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Hotel
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Dome hotel
Courtesy of Dome hotel / Booking.com
In Riga’s Old Town, barely a block in from the river, design-types will love this remarkably characterful-yet-updated property. The 17th-century building marries prior renovations and additions, encompassing layers of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Baroque and Rococo, with the needs and amenities of a modern boutique hotel. All 15 rooms are unique: expect anything from sleek Scandi-style modernism to exposed beams and bare brickwork, tray ceilings and colour-washed walls. There’s a charming roof terrace (for summer dining), and the Dome Fish Restaurant ranks among the best in the city.

Grand Palace Hotel

Hotel
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Grand Palace Hotel
Courtesy of Grand Palace Hotel Riga / Expedia.com
One for the bourgeois in the heart of Riga’s charming Old Town, this former Bank of Latvia building, built in 1877, oozes almost Tsar-like grandeur and finesse. No surprise it’s been voted the leading hotel in the country for over a decade. Rugs, vases, chandeliers, candelabras, framed wall paintings and vintage wallpaper dominate its theatrical public areas. Bright commodious rooms have a more modern feel, tempered with maritime-themed prints depicting a 19th-century cityscape and dark retro furniture, including travel-chest cabinets and drawers.

Neiburgs Hotel

Boutique Hotel
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Neiburgs Hotel
Courtesy of Neiburgs Hotel / Expedia.com
Art Nouveau aficionados will readily connect with the striking façade of this imposing Old Town mansion, its entrance topped with a sculpted face and flowing tresses, segueing into a pillared archway. An award-winning post-Independence restoration by the original owner’s descendants saw the building’s apartments reconfigured into a 55-room boutique hotel. Subtle Art Nouveau touches in the interior – stucco coving, parquet floors and arched windows – are melded to contemporary furniture, groovy ceiling lamps and graphic wall art. All accommodation features a kitchenette.

Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel

Chain Hotel
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Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel
Courtesy of Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel / Expedia.com
Opposite the city-centre Vērmanes Gardens near Riga’s Old Town, the Elisabete’s avowedly modern architecture exudes a cool hipster vibe. Its steel-and-glass façade (emblazoned with calligraphic Latvian poetry) and large atrium (filled with shrubbery and patio-style furniture) lend a sophisticated edge. A remarkable 200-plus rooms and suites fill this TARDIS-like property. Expect stripped floors, contemporary styling and floor-to-ceiling windows, some with pleasing park views. The gargantuan buffet breakfasts might keep you going all day.

Hotel Bergs

Hotel
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Hotel Bergs
Courtesy of Hotel Bergs / Expedia.com
Shopaholics will love this all-suite boutique property tucked away in Bergs Bazaar, Riga’s first “shopping centre”, erected in 1900 and loosely inspired by Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. Built by developer Kristaps Bergs to help Latvians assimilate into the city, then dominated by a sniffy Germanic-Baltic elite, the bazaar’s shops and restaurants became a thriving cosmopolitan melting pot. With the complex now immaculately restored after Soviet neglect, Hotel Bergs’ neat brick façade is crowned by a futuristic steel-and-glass canopy. Accommodation is sleek, modern and particularly spacious, with several split-level apartments.
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Opera Hotel & Spa

Spa Hotel
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Opera Hotel & Spa
Courtesy of Opera Hotel & Spa / Expedia.com | Courtesy of Opera Hotel & Spa / Expedia.com
Overlooking central Riga’s Opera Park near the train station, the Opera’s late 19th-century façade and gently updated interiors have genteel upscale travellers in mind. Its superior rooms are a cut above the standards, with mustard-yellow decor and burgundy accents, while the top-floor mansard suites feature exposed beams and trusses. Panoramic Old Riga prints above the beds and on the ceilings lend further character.

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  • Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga

    Spa Hotel
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    Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga
    Courtesy of Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga / Expedia.com
    Opera-lovers, take note: you won’t find a grander or more stately hotel this close to the National Opera House. The original building was virtually destroyed in WWII, quickly rebuilt and opened as Hotel Riga, where, it appears, history was made by having Latvia’s first bar and serving the first cocktail in the Soviet Union. In these less heady days, Kempinski’s major refit is making happy, if not history, with live piano in the lobby lounge, a cigar and cognac lounge and notably large rooms and suites.

    Promenade Hotel

    Spa Hotel
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    Promenade Hotel
    Courtesy of Promenade Hotel / Expedia.com
    The Promenade’s brick façade stands testimony to its 18th-century heyday as a shipping warehouse, when the coastal town of Liepāja was a thriving Baltic port. Overlooking a canal barely a kilometre (0.6mi) from the sandy beach, the hotel’s warehouse-chic look – all weathered-timber flooring and lofty arched brickwork – is handsomely paired with elegant wood panelling, chandeliers, rugs and paintings, along with tufted armchairs and sofas. Rooms and suites feature attractive retro-styled furniture and an appealing palette of mustard-yellow, gold and amber.

    Old City Boutique Hotel

    Hotel
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    Old City Boutique Hotel
    © Old City Boutique Hotel Riga
    One for revivalists, the Old City Hotel is a curious, eccentric blend of old and new. In Riga’s Old Town, almost every building has 17th-century origins; here, what began as a warehouse became an early-1900s cinema, and then a Soviet sports complex. Rising phoenix-like after collapsing in the 1990s, its interiors is between homely-heritage and modern-modish.

    Amber Spa Boutique Hotel

    Spa Hotel, Boutique Hotel
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    Amber Spa Boutique Hotel
    Courtesy of Amber Spa Boutique Hotel / Expedia.com
    Beach bums will love the glorious stretch of sandy Baltic coastline at Jūrmala, around 25km (16mi) west of Riga. A resort town for centuries, whose visitors ranged from early German settlers to Imperial Russian officers and diehard Soviets, its curative mud and healing mineral-rich waters remain as appealing as ever. Bathed in the locality’s pine-scented sea-tangy air, the Amber’s wellness resort features contemporary rooms and suites with subtle Art Nouveau touches. Guests have free pool and gym access as well as Russian-style banya, or bathhouse, facilities.
    These recommendations were updated on March 3, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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