I guess it all started when we arrived at 5pm and were told that our room wasn't ready, we were exhausted as we'd been travelling since 3am, so decided to wait in another room upstairs until ours was ready. Once our room was ready, we went to the room and realised there was a twin and not the double room requested. When I asked Oksana at reception to change the room, she agreed but refused to bring our key up, stating that she was 'busy' then proceeded to slam the phone in my face. She didn't seem to recognise that they had created the problem, by leaving it till 5pm to get our room ready when check in started 3 hours earlier, so should do their utmost to resolve it.
The hotel in general was frugal, spartan and felt more like a 3* than a 4*. The information in the room about the hotel was inadequate and I would have thought a 4* star hotel could afford to give us a bit of stationary in our rooms. The hotel was clean, but had this odd masculine decor with a gigantic elephant in the middle of the dining area which I found a bit bizarre and unnecessary.
The upside was dinner. It's served till 3am and is absolutely delicious. Julija who served us that evening was delightful and I challenge you to try the vanilla ice-cream with balsamic glaze and not feel like you've died and gone to heaven!
Breakfast, on the other hand was vile, 90% of the food was processed. I'd ordered a gluten-free brekkie weeks ago and although they'd found my order, they did absolutely nothing to ensure I had something to eat and the staff were not educated at all concerning gluten allergies or gluten free options.
The bus is hit or miss, on their website it says you should take the 22 and get off at Lielirbes iela, but that's actually the 53 bus stop. There is no Lielirbes iela on the 22. You should get off at the stop after 'Spice' coming from the airport on the 22 or the stop before the bridge if you're coming from Old Town. Buses come every 15 minutes. I'd recommend getting the bus, to 'Spice' and eating at the Lido, the food there is divine and authentic Latvian food, there's also a hypermarket and shopping mall there.
If you don't want to get the bus. It's a 15 minute walk. Also if you spot a 'Narvesen' it's like a newsagent. You can buy a pre-paid bus ticket for as many journeys as you need so you end up paying 70cents for the bus instead of 1 euro 20 for each trip.
Apart from 'Spice' there's not much in the area and the staff at Elefant have no concept of customer service apart from Julija (the brunette) in the restaurant and Julija (the blonde, young with glasses) at reception. Both of them were lovely. The gym was clean and equipped and not too busy, but I find it odd that I had to be accompanied there and let in, by someone as reception. Why couldn't they add entry to our key, so we could let ourselves in? There was also a bit of a struggle to get two keys instead of one for our room. They just seemed miserly and the hotel taxi overcharges. Apart from the dinner, it wasn't a great experience and I won't be going anywhere near this place in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rixwell Elefant Hotel is a 4-star superior hotel and it is conveniently located between Riga International Airport, which is a 5-minute drive away, and the Old Town. The rooms are bright and modern. All rooms come with a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a minibar, tea and coffee making facilities,a safety deposit box and ironing facilities, as well as a direct dial telephone. The private bathrooms also come with free toiletries and a hairdryer. Breakfast buffet is available in the mornings. Guests are welcomed to dine in the on-site restaurant "Elefant". A kids menu is also available. Rixwell Elefant Hotel offers guests access to a fitness centre free of charge and a wellness center, where guests can relax and take advantage of various treatments - all at an extra cost. Parking is possible on site at an additional fee. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Elefant Hotel Riga