The word for hotel in the Latvian language must be Radisson; the small town of Riga has four (!) Radisson properties within a mile radius. The Radisson Blu Daugava is a landmark property in Riga and occupies a huge real estate on the river bank right opposite the Old Town.
The hotel has 500 rooms and has seemingly been in business for quite some time; the exterior is certainly showing its age.
Check-in was joyful and friendly; by the time I handed over one document, the agent would quickly type away and be ready for the next one. Less than two minutes later and I was all set with my room keys. There is no code necessary for the property WiFi and there wasn’t any big explanation about restaurants here. Plus unlike other Radisson Blu properties, ALL guests receive a complimentary full buffet breakfast.
I had been upgraded to a business class room on the 7th floor, though unfortunately it was without a river view. The room wasn’t the newest but was still in great shape and was large with a sofa area. The bed was a joined-up twin bed.
The temperature was set magically without any interfering from me at any time. It was warm during the day (Riga has some pretty low temperatures in winter) and ideal for sleeping at night. An air humidifier would have been great for my sore nose and throat.
The bathroom had a mysterious shower that took me a good 20 minutes to figure out. There were signs explaining how to use it, but I must have been extra jet-lagged and slow as I had trouble setting it up. Once done, it worked with strong pressure and warm water aplenty.
The WiFi came it at 10 Mbit and often consistently beyond that. While the hotel was empty the first few days, it filled up pretty solidly after and yet the WiFi never crumbled. I heard that Latvians have 500 Mbit (!) connections at home for $20 a month. No wonder this WiFi never really ran out of bandwidth.
Downstairs there is a huge area with a gym, indoor pool and sauna. The hotel is pretty aggressive in marketing it to non-guests for a fee, so it was rather crowded there Monday to Friday.
Radissons in Northern/Central Europe usually provide a rather standard buffet breakfast, but the breakfast here was certainly one of the best Radisson breakfasts I ever had. There were lots of items that were well-presented and the quality was good (though not superb).
The hotel also makes fresh espresso drinks for no extra charge if you ask. This breakfast was certainly a highlight and I never missed it on any day (in fact, on certain days it was the sole meal I had).
The staff were understated, fluent in English and always ready to please. All in all, this was a great stay – no-nonsense quality hospitality for the right price. Impressive!
Rates during my stay were low – around $70 per night – which I found great value!