My partner and I stayed at Jonathan Spa Estate for 2 nights in early August 2014. This is a small boutique hotel in a traditionally-designed Latvian cottage with thoroughly modern interiors. The hotel is situated right in front of a lake which makes for a beautiful view. Every aspect of the hotel right from the rooms, bathrooms, terraces, the spa and the restaurant have luxurious and yet local touches.
The restaurant served delicious food at really reasonable prices and as the hotel is quite far away from the nearest town, we chose to dine in on both nights of our stay. However, these were both very long dinners as the restaurant is a bit understaffed and every course took a great deal of time to arrive but since we were 2 adults enjoying dining outdoors in their balcony over looking the lakes on a warm summer's evening, we did not mind.
Breakfast was very simple and this was a surprise given how luxurious the rest of our stay was. There was only a limited quantity of a few items and there were hardly any waiters around to bring tea or coffee. It would be much more fitting if the range and quantity of food served at breakfast was increased.
The hotel has a small row boat which we borrowed one evening and used to go around the lake. This was a blissful experience as the waters are very calm and clean. Eventually, we ended up jumping out of the boat and swimming in the cool water which was delightful. The only problem is that there is no ladder to climb back on to the pier and so it was quite strenuous getting back on shore. The hotel really needs to build a ladder at the pier to get in and out of the water as the lake is such a joy to swim in and currently people are hesitant to do so due to the trouble with getting back on the pier.
Also, while the hotel does provide free wifi, it didn't work very well in our room. So we had to go out to the common areas of the hotel to use it. We didn't mind this too much as the hotel really feels like a large cottage which you are sharing with a few other families.
All in all, a wonderful, idyllic, rural retreat which allowed us to see the Latvian countryside in all its summer glory. Do visit the nearby town of Cesis to see their castle and the lovely park attached to it. If you have a car, its wonderful to drive around Cesis as there are many lakes which are great to swim in. So do carry a swim suit and towels.
Areas for improvement:
1. Better wifi in the rooms
2. Faster service in the restaurant, especially in terms of bringing out the food faster. Better service and more options for breakfast.
3. Must build a ladder to get in and out of the lake.