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“Adorable Accommodation”

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Guesthouse Jakob Lenz
Ranked #8 of 69 Riga B&B and Inns
Reviewed 19 July 2013

We loved this place, dont be put off by its location down a shabby side street.A fine old building with stone floors and an iron spiral staircase-full of atmosphere, large airy rooms and an excellent breakfast plus good service.It is situated right next to the spectacular Art Noveau district of Riga.The only downside is that any not very fit guests might have a problem with all the stairs-dont think there are any lifts.Good value.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank SherpaMold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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26 - 32 of 76 reviews

Reviewed 7 June 2013

The price is realy good for riga. As mentioned bellow, breakfast is delicios. You got everything you need. Rooms are not so big, but with a good furniture. So it is a very good oplace to styay in Riga. The only issue is that it is located outside the city center. So youi will have to walk, and plan you time if you're going to catch a train or bus,

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Vanoleo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2012

While in Tallinn, Estonia I attempted to book Guesthouse Jakob Lenz online. All went well until I got into the booking page which was only in Estonian. I did note that the rates for the dates I wanted were 27-29 euros. Subsequently, I tried to book with other English-language Web sites but the booking page never came up. So we went directly to the guesthouse but were told that the rate was 42 euros. I mentioned the Web site but the young woman at reception said she didn't know anything about the site. I pulled it up and showed her, noting that the rates on the site were the same as in Tallinn. Nonetheless, she refused to honor the published rates on the site. Later, I read a Riga tourist guide that cited GJL as charging from 18-26 euros. I pointed that out to her to no avail.

It is disappointing that GJL did not take customer service more seriously and that, essentially, I just got the run around as it seemed to me that their was no intention of making good on their published rates.

The next day I spoke with the Administrator who said she would talk to the Manager about a "small" discount. and that I should check back later for a message. I did so the following day but was told that the Administrator was off and the Manager on vacation and, of course, there was no message.. No attempt was made by the receptionist to contact them.

The foregoing being the case, several things need to be done to bring GJL up to standard in customer service. Reception needs to be better trained to handle such matters and to be current on information on their Web site. When such situations arise, they must contact a person in authority if they have a question or doubt and someone in authority always must be available. And promises must be kept. Further, the Web site needs to have information available to a wide population of speakers or a way to translate it from a lesser-spoken language. If a Web site indicates a Web-only rate it should be explicit in noting that and that rates for "walk-in" are substantially higher.

This matter aside, GJL has numerous good features- quiet location, good bed, filling and tasty breakfast and otherwise helpful personnel. It is not near the Old Town but you can get there on foot in 15-20 minutes. There are several restaurants and groceries nearby. The only drawback to the room was insufficient lighting and curtains that did not fully cover the windows. It is disappointing that a place with good potential doesn't make the effort to bring itself up to a higher standard which would cost them little or nothing. Had they been more attentive to customer relations, I would have given them a higher rating.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank travel-the-wold-dude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2011

We spent 3 nights in this hostel. Very clean, big enough room, helpful and friendly staff and free internet (when it works..). A special mention for breakfast, definitely the best I've ever found in a hostel.
Situated in a quiet street in the middle of the Art Noveau district, just 10/15 mins walking from the old town. Highly raccomended to who wants to visit this beautiful city. It's definitely worth the money!!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank RobyTn79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2011

Before we came to Riga, we heard that Riga is quite an expensive city so we were happy to find Jakob Lenz guesthouse.
It is a nice guesthouse with special sort of atmosphere.
It is something between a hostel and a hotel. Personally, I don't like sterile hotels, I'd rather stay in a budget hotel with a "soul".
We were accommodated on the 5th floor and there is no elevator. But I didn't find it as a flaw because I usually avoid elevators. It is much healthier to walk and climb the stairs:)
The room was basic but spacious and pleasant.
We shared bathroom with three more rooms. Actually there were two bathrooms, the bigger and the smaller one. It was never crowded, we didn't have to wait for the bathroom, which was excellent. I don't like sharing bathrooms, generally, but here I didn't have a feeling that I share it with somebody. And it was very clean. Everything was clean.
There was also a kitchen in order you want to prepare your own meal, which gives a plus to overall impression.

I must mention the breakfast. The breakfast is served in a small dinning hall /which may be crowded; I assume, if lots of people come at the same time, but it didn't happen to us.
I was amazed at the quantity of food and drink in such a small space.
There was really everything what you can imagine to eat for breakfast (eggs, sausages, pate, two delicious kinds of ham, cornflakes, cheese, yoghurt....)
Great breakfast!
The hotel is 20 minutes walk to the city centre but it is a very nice walk because you pass some wonderful art nouveau buildings and you go through a beautiful park too.
Some reviewers mentioned the area where the guesthouse is located.
It does not look very nice beacuase some buildings around are run down but it is completely safe part of town, quiet... After all there is a school opposite the guesthouse (there wouldn't be a school in a dangerous area).

The staff is very friendly, helpful, kind.
There was a free internet in the lobby, next to the reception, which can be useful and practical.
All in all, great hotel for the money you pay and we were satisfied in all terms.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GabyCroatia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2011

We had a fab trip to Latvia for the capital's marathon. We've reviewed the Jakob Lenz under various headings, and given some recommendations at the end.

Comms - There is one computer terminal with free web access is available in the foyer. It's a bit slow. The receptionist kindly printed out a couple of important documents for us, for no charge. I think there is free wi-fi.

Info - Riga InYourPocket is available from the reception desk. Don't rely on the Lonely Planet - the InYourPocket guides are much better - far more reliable, loads more choice, written by locals. Liga, the receptionist who was on duty for most of stay, was super-helpful, a fab smiley person to have on the front desk. Also good on the reception desk was a chap studying engineering. Both spoke excellent English.

Room - We had a large room on the street side with two single beds, night-stands, lamps, a huge sofa, wardrobe. The room was light and sunny all day long, with vertical blinds. The window opened wide. I was given an extra duvet, but it wasn't chilly, plus there was a small electric heater we could have used if it was cold.

Bathroom - We had a 'basic' room which means we shared a bathroom. In theory we did - we never actually saw anyone else using it, and never had to wait, so it was as good as our own bathroom but just at the end of the corridor rather than 'en-suite'.

Kitchen - at the end of the corridor, with an oven including hob, large fridge/freezer, sink, table and five chairs. There was also a microwave and dishwasher which didn't work. We used the microwave in the breakfast area on the ground floor.

Breakfast - We didn't know it was possible to request breakfast but discovered this when another guest told us - very handy if you have an early start, as we did on both the day of the marathon, and our check-out day. Breakfast usually starts at 8am. Available: German-style cold meats, cheese and salad; eggs (fried, boiled and sometimes omelettes) and frankfurter-style sausages; cornflakes, milk, low-fat fruit yoghurts; sliced white, seeded and Latvian black bread for toasting, with butter, jam and honey. We took along bananas and Marmite!

Fitness - There are no fitness facilities - this would normally be near the top of our wish-list for accommodation but since we were running the marathon & half-marathon, it wasn't so important. I was tempted to swim at one of the Radisson hotels but not for their fees of 10+ euros!

Atmosphere - We chose the guest-house Jakob Lenz because we liked the hostel ethos but didn't want to stay in the hostels in the centre, with their stag parties, big dorms and round-the-clock noise. This place was ideal - peaceful, nicely decorated, helpful staff, interesting fellow residents (most were German, plus a Finnish family, a Russian family and a Pole; we were the only Brits; everyone spoke English as the common language).

Location - It's approx 10 mins walk from Old Town which seems to put some people off but the walk is possible in a myriad of ways, through the well-kept parks or along the wide boulevards. The guest-house is in the middle of the district containing the famous Art Nouveau architecture which is truly stop-you-in-your-tracks awesome. Another advantage of the location is that it's so quiet - we stayed in the middle of the city but the quiet side-street the JL is located on has hardly any traffic at all. There is a school and maybe a college opposite but you'd hardly know they were there.

Price - We asked for a deal and paid for four nights and got one night free. It's worth asking if you're visiting at a quiet time. This made it much cheaper than staying in a central hostel.

Recommended nearby:

Sienna Art Cafe on Strenieku iela, very near the Jakob Lenz, does great coffee, proper leaf tea, delicious homemade cakes and cookies, board games, and lots of interesting English books dotted around the shelves for patrons to read.

Piranha Pizzeria, on the corner of Strenieku and Mednieku iela, also very near the Jakob Lenz, was recommended to us by fellow residents but we didn't try it, preferring to save money by cooking most nights at the guest-house. We had a great pre-marathon pasta feast at the guest-house with a fellow marathon runner and his family.

Rama, on K. Barona iela, does delicious vegetarian canteen-style food and Indian sweets & pastries. It's run by the local Hare Krishna community and is a good cheap place for lunch.

Illy Innocent Cafe, on Blaumana iela, just off A. Caka iela, is a cool modern cafe with fab coffee and ideal for hanging out and reading.

Latvia and Riga were far more charming and interesting than we were expecting - and so was the Jakob Lenz! Highly recommended.

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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Sooze_SUA_VLC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2011

As some other reviewers have pointed out, the area around the house is less than inspiring - I honestly wondered where the taxi driver was taking me...and have to admit I didn't feel particularly safe late at night on the streets around. There are graffitied walls, buildings which are padlocked just along the street.

It takes a good 15-20 minutes to walk into the old town although it is a nice walk through the art nouveau area.

Room was at the back of the building, view of semi derelict buildings behind. Curtains didn't cover the whole window, dingy lighting, unpleasant smell coming from the bathroom, one tiny radiator for heating (minus 15 or lower outside!), furniture looked dated, grubby and scuffed....basically it looks very old and in need of a little tlc. The four flights of stairs up to the room with bags were hard going but manageable.

Breakfast was in a tiny room (given they have 25 rooms I have no idea what happens if several people come in together!), a small collection of cheese, sausage, meat, breads, cereals.

All in all, the price is not high, but I feel sure that for not an awful lot more you could get somewhere closer to the action and more pleasant to stay in.

This said, on my arrival the lady at reception was very pleasant and walked up the stairs when the lock on my room door jammed (before I even got in!)

Its a shame as my guide spoke of 'charming' rooms....there certainly is no charm here!

  • Stayed: February 2011
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4  Thank Linklaterharold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Guesthouse Jakob Lenz

Address: Lencu iela 2, Riga 1010, Latvia
Region: Latvia > Riga Region > Riga
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 69 B&Bs / Inns in Riga
Price Range: £16 - £26 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Guesthouse Jakob Lenz 2*
Number of rooms: 25
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