Q: What is it? A: A hotel with no more than 15 rooms at the heart of Riga’s Old Town. Friendly and helpful staff and a very good feeling throughout. But apparently their head chef was away on a long vacation.
The 2014 European Capital of Culture had some bad luck in the past.
From 1940 to the 21st of August 1991 Latvia was under Soviet and then Nazi and then again Soviet rule. Apart from affecting itsy-bitsy things like freedom of speech, dictatorships always put and end to the hospitality industry. Unhappy citizens in a suppressed country will simply not go the extra mile for a guest or a customer, or even deliver a smile. But since the peaceful “Singing Revolution”, Latvia has risen from the ashes in a most impressive way, and The Dome Hotel & Spa seems determined to prove just that.
Arriving here is like…
…entering somebody’s private home, although the home has a spa, a restaurant and a front desk. The Dome Hotel & Spa is delivering proof that Latvians can also smile like they mean it. If the future of Riga looks like this, it’s a bright and Colgate-shiny one.
The small size of the hotel adds to the homey atmosphere as does the interior design. You won’t find it grand, nor is it very spectacular. On their website, some “award-winning Latvian designers” are mentioned, but they still remain nameless. In my opinion, pulling the design-card for this hotel is the wrong way to go. Our nameless friends did an OK job, but after staying here, the design is not the first thing you will tell your friends about.
But dinner wasn’t a big hit…
Expectations for the hotel restaurant were high. Kitchen chef, Alexander Ziluk, is an alumnus of Vincents, the most renowned restaurant in the Baltics. This reviewer finds it obvious that good ole Alex rewarded himself with a long summer vacation this year, as the restaurant completely failed to impress. Chef Salvis Putans seemed to have left early this evening as well. Severely overcooked and lacking the any stimulus for my sensory system. Add to that two waitresses who were successful in showing zero interest in their guests. Room for improvement, Dome!
It should be said that the total experience was pleasant. In fact it was pleasant enough to let Dome Hotel & Spa keep their fourth star, despite the flaws in the restaurant. It is a small, intimate place where you be very well taken care of. It isn’t exactly cheap by Latvian standards but it will not vaporize your piggy bank either. ”Recommended” is a good word. Yes, I think I’ll use that particular word for this hotel.
Dome Hotel & Spa
4 Miesnieku Street
LV 1050 Riga