It was me and my friends first trip to this part of the world and i can safetly say it shall be the last. I dont know weather we were a bit naive or its just because we are two 24 year old girls wandering around an eastern european city. I dont think we stood out too much, but obviously we looked like tourists, but we found everything about Riga intimidating. I have a Latvian friend whose son lives in Riga, so he picked us up from the airport and took us to the Hotel. He gave us a little tour around the old town and we loved it, it looked so pretty and we couldnt wait to go for a wander. On the way out of the city we soon changed our mind. It all looked soo depressing and bleek. We arrived at the hotel and decided that we would stay at the hotel for the rest of the day maybe go to the "spa" and just have a walk around as we had a walking tour of the city booked for the next day. We checked in everything seemed fine, the Hotel was nice, clean and seemed friendly enough. So after we unpacked we thought we would see what the hotel had to offer. Asking the girl on reception any question was like trying to get blood out of a stone!!!! It just seemed like we were an inconvieniance to her. We asked her where the bar was, she advised us that the resturant was the only bar and we were welcome to sit there and just have a drink. We were a little disapointed as we understood there was a nightclub/lively bar in the hotel. So we sat down and had some lunch whilst looking at the spa treatments. We decided we wanted to book some treatments which we did, we booked the Chocolate spa for the next evening and the cups and hot stones for the following evening. We wanted to know where the spa was and if we could just go in there. the girl on reception told us we couldnt go in there as we didnt have an appointment but we thought she had missunderstood our question. So we made our way up to the 4th floor in search of this "spa" i dont know what we expected to see (swimming pool, jacuzzie, sauna etc). Alll we found was a locked door, but we did find the nightclub!!!!! So we thought our weekend was finally looking up!!! So we went back to our room to get ready to go for a few drinks in the club, went back up to it and it was closed?! We went back down to reception to ask the nice girl we spoke to before and she then informed us that the nightclub is only open for private functions and conventions!!!! Oh dear! So we spent the evening sitting in the resturant having a drink- this is what we did every night!. Oh well tomorrow will be more successfull we thought. Had a good nights sleep except from the dog next door which decided to bark ALL NIGHT!!! Im all for pet friendly hotels, i havent got a problem with it, excpet when they keep you awake all night, wee in the elevator which was not cleaned up for two days and the whole place stunk of wet dog! on the plus side there was never any dog poo on the hotel grounds. Anyway after breakfast which was reasonable, no complaints there, we made our way down to St Peters Church to meet our tour guide. We took a red cab which cost around 8 Lats, very reasonable we thought. The tour was really good it was with Urban adventures and the guide was a local student and it was only the two of us on the tour, so it was very interseting, we walked around nearly the whole city and we went to all of the major points of interest including the market, which was a little scary but very real. After our tour we needed a nice drink and a sit down so we headed for the Sky line bar in the Radisson hotel, wow i wish we stayed there! it was lovely with panoramic veiws of the ciity, we sat up there and enjoyed a warm night in riga (blackcurrent, orange and riga Balsam) tasted a bit like winter pimms. We jumped in a cab from there and headed back to the hotel ready for our chocolate spa! as we got up to the room we got a phone call from reception to cancel our treatment! This was fine as we then booked it for the following day, but we did therefor miss out on the cups and hot stones. However we went down to reception to see what could be done about this. Maybe we could go and use the spa? apparently we werent allowed, we asked if there was a swimming pool or a sauna which is advertised!!!!! apparently there was nothing!!! Hardly a spa then, more like a treatment room which you get on your local highstreet in the UK. Anyway there was nothing we could do about it, no good will gesture was offered such as a discount on treatments even a free drink form the bar would have been a nice appology. We however made the best of our evening. This was when the spooky part came in, my friend took a picture of me that night in front of the Hostel, when we looked at the picture there is a bright white light leading to my head maybe in the shape of a finger in the distance, my friend then took another picture to see if anything else happend, but nothing. We then went back up to the room a little freaked out but didnt think too much about it. When we woke up the next morning we noticed that both of our bedside lights had been switched on? these were pull cord so we were a little concerned but when the ceiling light kept flickering on and off we just put this down to faulty electrics. That day we went to the zoo, a word of warning, dont visit the zoo if you are an animal lover, we were both disgusted in the way the animals were kept, i think we stayed there for an hour and left very upset! By this point we really werent enjoying our stay in Riga and just wanted to go home, we really didnt want to go back in to the city because of our previouse experience and we just wanted some comfort, so we headed back to the radisson where we had lunch. We then made our way back tot he hotel to get ready for the spa. To be honest we did both really enjoy the spa it was very realxing but it was just a presidentail suite with a jacuzzie, two treatment benches and a sepertate bathroom. After our treatment we went back to the room, to find that either someone had been in our room or something spooky was happening, as soon as we opend the door we felt a presence. i went in to the bathroom to find the plug was rammed in to the sink so much that we couldnt pull it out and the sink was half full with water??!! we were freaked out that morning with the lamps turning on etc now this was happening, as girls do we freaked ourselves out evenmore as my friend thought she could see feet under the curtain. so we ran out of the room and stood in the hall way for 10 mins paniking! we finally got brave enough and went back in to the room, and went down for dinner. As we were soo freaked out that night we decided to make a point of locking the door (with the please do not disturb sign covering the lock) from the inside as we werent sure if someone was coming in to our room. We slept with the lights on and with music playing, i hardly slept atall as i thought someone was coming in and im sure if anyone had come in i would have woken up. However we got up, got dressed everything seemed normal and as we had left it that was until we went to the door, it was unlocked and the dont disturb sign was stuck behind the lock!!!!! Neither of us sleep walk i saw my friend lock that door and freaky stuff had happend to us since we took that photo, im still unsure if someone was coming in to out room but nothing was ever taken or moved that we were aware of!!!! We stayed in room 310 i would be really grateful if anyone could get back to us if they experienced anything like we did or have heard anything on this matter!
All in all we did have a good time i just dont think it was our cup of tea, we found the city a bit daunting and the hotel very scary i think it was just a mixture of bad experiences! whoever the veiws from the hotel were beautiful of the lake, the hotel was clean, the staff, bar one were friendly and the food was of good quality and good value. I dont think that the hotel should advertise themselves as having a spa because they really dont have one, we dont ask for much but a nice swimming pool or even a sauna and an open lively bar wouldve really made our weekend!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Opened in 2007, hotel Baltvilla is located in the picturesque Riga district Baltezers. You will need only 15 minutes to get there from the capital of Latvia. You'll be afflated by the view of lake and pinery that surrounds the hotel. Homely interior, professional hospitality - these are are the main characteristics of hotel Baltvilla. There are 34 standard rooms, 2 Suites, 1 Junior suite and President apartment in the hotel. We also offer special rooms for guests in wheelchairs.There is a restaurant on the first floor of the hotel, where you can enjoy a delicious meal at leisure, feasting your eyes on the stunning view of Baltezers through the restaurant's expansive windows. In summer, guests may dine on the terrace. Small visitors will enjoy the LEGO activity table beside the restaurant, and during warmer months of the year - the playground by the lake. For conference and seminar organization hotel Baltvilla offers 5 different style and size modern conference rooms, which are able to accommodate up to 120 participants. The SPA salon is located on the fourth floor of the hotel, offering you the opportunity to forget your daily worries and hurries, relaxing into soothing or restorative procedures. A wide selection of SPA procedures allows you to choose the most appropriate one for a refreshing and wonderful rest. The hotel is located on the Via Baltica highway (E67) and is also accessible by public bus. It is an ideal stopover for travellers on the way to or from Estonia, Lithuania, Poland or Scandinavia. ... more less
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