With the Soviet era just a fading memory, and the Baltics now absorbed into the EU, it was only a matter of time before the concept of the design hotel touched down in Latvia. Within the walls of these two late nineteenth-century buildings lies what may be Riga’s most stylish lodging, the Hotel Bergs.
The look here is surprisingly mature and elegant, eschewing eye candy and non-functional design hysterics in favor of a muted palette of greys, browns and creams, incorporating remnants of the district’s art nouveau heritage and the original century-old brickwork of the facade.
Anyone entertaining a 1980s misperception of Riga as some kind of backwater will be surprised to discover just how up-to-date the Hotel Bergs is. You’ll find CD and DVD players in every room, wi-fi access throughout, and, perhaps most tellingly, utterly modern bathrooms with brand-new fixtures and heated floors. Studios come with a small sitting area beside the bed, with armchairs and sofas, and the apartment suites have functional kitchens. Loft suites are quite literally lofts, with sleeping quarters up a small spiral staircase, and the penthouse could pass for a luxury residence.
Downstairs one finds two lounges, an African-themed bar and one of the city’s finest restaurants. Somehow, though, amid all this hipness, the Bergs retains a measure of calm—though it seems to us the best hotel in town, there’s delightfully little fuss about the place. At just 38 rooms, it’s perhaps too intimate to be much of a social scene; just a hotel, and a fine one.