On the most recent leg of the Life in Norway Baltic adventure, we headed to the Latvian capital, Riga.
We stayed for two nights in the Radisson Blu Latvija in downtown Riga, just minutes from the Old Town, train station, river, and pretty much everything else in Riga.
The Latvija is one of four Radisson hotels in Riga, three of which are bundled close together on the city centre side of the river. The Latvija, overlooking the Esplanāde public park, is the easiest to spot as its 27 floors make it one of the tallest buildings in Riga.
A resort hotel in the city
Usually my hotel reviews cover the room and that's about it – but there's so much more to this hotel. In fact, it's more like a resort with a spa, casino, wine bar, a 26th floor bar, sports pub, convenience store all in addition to the 571 rooms. So let's start with that!
The ESPA Spa is inspired by the art nouveau surroundings of Riga. The six floor spa includes a swimming pool, saunas, relaxation rooms, thermal suites, a fitness studio, a Chi studio, an ice fountain, a healthy cafe bar and an outdoor vitality pool. Available treatments include facials, body treatments, massage, body wraps, and a selection of treatments designed especially for men. To say this place is comprehensive would be an understatement!
On top of the world
The Radisson Blu “sky bar” concept seems to be spreading across its hotels. This is one of the best examples I've seen, offering unrivalled views across Riga from the 26th floor. The Skyline Bar is huge, providing a great place for an afternoon cappuccino yet transforming into one of Riga's hottest nightspots when the sun sets.
Sushi and slots
There's a direct entrance from the hotel lobby into the Olympic Voodoo Casino – terrific or temptation? You decide 😉
While we didn't partake in roulette, poker or slots, we did check out the highly regarded sushi restaurant inside. The restaurant takes the same opening hours as the casino – 24/7 – meaning Shogun is the only 24/7 restaurant in Riga!
When we entered at 7.30pm we were the only customers, but the place slowly filled up as the evening progressed. It was a unique atmosphere with the buzz of other customers and the bing-bings from the slot machines nearby. We enjoyed it, but if you don't fancy the atmosphere, you can order delivery directly to your hotel room.
You might think any food offering inside a casino would be sub-par. Not here. The sushi was outstanding, beating anything I've had in Norway to date.
As good as the rest of the hotel is, all will fall apart if the room isn't up to scratch. Thankfully, there were no problems here. The room offered a great view of Riga and judging by the shape of the hotel, so does every other room too.
The modern design and large, comfortable bed were the other standout features of the room. The flatscreen TV offered channels in English, Latvian, Russian, French and German, while the free wireless internet was fast and easy to connect to, requiring just your room number and surname.
As with all other Radisson Blu hotels, the breakfast is something to look forward to with their “super breakfast” concept. The usual range of breads, cold cuts, cheeses, fruits, juices and salad are on offer, along with a chef ready to take your order for eggs and omelettes.
Overall, we were really pleased with our stay at the Radisson Blu Latvija, after a frustrating experience at a different hotel earlier in our stay. If you're after a good quality, centrally located, familiar hotel for a weekend break in Riga, I can highly recommend the Latvija.
Our stay at the Radisson Blu Latvija Hotel was complimentary, however this review is free of any influence from the hotel itself.