Where is it?
Radisson Blu Latvija Hotel is one of the largest hotels in Riga (if not the largest) with an impressive 571 rooms. It is located right in the city centre of Riga with walking distance to most sites of interest as well as restaurants, bars and shopping.
It is easy to get to the hotel by taxi from the airport and the ride should take no more than 15-20 minutes.
The arrival experience
I arrived at the hotel in the late afternoon. With such a large number of rooms the lobby is quite sizeable and there were several people working at the front desk and I was immediately checked in with no wait.
I had booked a superior room this time, mostly as the superior rooms (in contrast to the standard rooms) also give access to the large hotel spa and the difference was actually smaller than paying for the spa entry separately during the stay. The check-in process was swift and I was informed about the breakfast times the next morning and offered a wake-up call.
The superior rooms are located slightly higher up in the hotel and also have a city view. They generally measure around 20 sqm and on top of the standard amenities provided in the standard rooms the superior rooms also include bathrobes and slippers, a pillow menu, complimentary water and access to the spa.
The room was quite small for a superior room and had a fairly standard Radisson Blu room design. It felt somewhat old-fashioned but with a few nice modern details such as the cool photo collage above the bed. The room had a queen-sized bed, a desk, an armchair, a closet and a TV and of course the standard amenities such as a minibar and a safe.
The bathroom was also quite small and had an older-style shower cubicle and the standard Radisson Blu toiletries.
Overall, although nothing wrong with it, the room itself was not really the highlight of the hotel. But at least it had a decent view.
Food and drinks
A much more memorable facility of the hotel is the Skyline Bar located on the 26th floor offering a magnificent view of downtown Riga in a hip atmosphere and with a well-stocked and rather nice-looking bar area. There is an entry fee to access it in the evening (from 6 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and from 9 pm on other days) however entry is free for guests staying in a business class room and for members of the Club Carlson program.
The bar offers various drinks and cocktails and well as typical bar snacks such as burgers.
The view is lovely and the bar is a popular place also among locals who come here for a cocktail during weekends to enjoy the view and the music. During weekends there is usually a DJ playing.
There are two restaurants in the hotel. D’Vine serves lunch whereas Restaurant Esplanade offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
There is also a second bar in the hotel, the lobby bar, a much more old-fashioned place compared to the hip Skyline Bar. The lobby bar is open during most of the day, from 8 am in the morning (slightly later on weekends) until just after midnight and offers bar food, snacks, coffee, tea and various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Another highlight of the hotel is the ESPA, the largest spa facility in the country. This is really an experience and if you decide to visit it you should make sure you are not in a hurry. It is divided into several different floors with an 18-metre swimming pool, different saunas, steam rooms, treatment rooms and relaxation areas. There is also a small cafe offering healthy drinks and various snack options and there are several skin and body treatments available to book. There is also a gym in the same area.
Entry to the ESPA is included in the room rate when staying in a superior room or a business class room but not when staying in a standard room.
A friendly and courteous service was offered by the staff throughout the hotel. At the reception, in the spa, the skybar and the restaurant. Nothing to complain about.
Breakfast was served in the Esplanade Restaurant on the ground floor, a fairly good Radisson Blu breakfast buffet with all kinds of hot dishes, cold cuts, fresh fruits, bread rolls and pastries.
The hotel is very large with nearly 600 rooms and to some extent it feels rather impersonal. But the location is good, the skybar is an excellent place to wind down after a long day and the spa is very good as well. But the hotel room itself was small and nothing special.