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Settling Down in Latvia And Some Inspiring Commercial Designs

March 17, 2014

Last week was a bit crazy and I even didn’t have time to write about our move to Latvia, which, I need to say, went pretty smooth. Now am very busy with unpacking our stuff and ongoing house renovation, as well as trying to assist my husband with his work. The reason we moved to Riga was his new job: this year he will be opening a boutique-style hotel right in the centre of the Old City. I will definitely write more about this project as long as it goes. At the moment we are thinking hard about concept of the future hotel. Last week we dedicated to sight inspections of other hotels in Riga. We saw some amazing designs and interesting ideas which I would like to share with you in this post.

We started our tour from having a coffee in the Riga Black Balsam Bar. It is located in the antique building and the design of the place is aimed to support and highlight its historic value. I absolutely loved how the entrance to the cellar was converted to the amusing display with old books and vintage bottles. Similar display was used to decorate one of the walls, where plenty of old style drawers provide lots of storage space:

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Next place we visited was “Royal Square” hotel. Once entering the lobby, you understand that the highlight of this hotel is extraordinary and memorable design. Lobby is decorated in black, which is a perfect colour for commercial design, providing masculine chic, optical illusion of unlimited space and originality. Recently, I have written how well black looks together with warm brown leather, and this charming interior is another proof of that. One impractical feature to keep in mind though is that dirt and dust on the black tiles gets super visible, which is especially problematic during the rainy season. There is practically no solution for this problem: you either allocate a person with a mop in the lobby, or you choose another more feasible solution.

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Space which amazed me most of all in this hotel was its restaurant. Won’t say that I am a big lover of kitschy modern furniture in rococo style, but there were several really cool design decisions, which make this place attractive and remarkable. Among them: ancient draw-well covered with glass, phantasmagoric lighting, wall decor with dry trees and private all-in-stone dining room:

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It might be a little scary to sit over the bottomless pit, but what a “wow” effect it has!

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Those amazing pending lights and chandelier just took my breath away:

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Really loved this cozy and intimate space, and also support the choice of designers to combine “old” and “new” – rococo style chairs together with modern industrial lamp: commercial-8

Below are two hotel lobbies, proving the fact that any space can be made outstanding by only placing there spectacular chandelier:

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In this lobby I liked interesting wall finishing resembling the shape of leaf nerves:

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And finally my favourite hotel room:

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We will continue our research and I will keep you posted about great design ideas that we see.

By the way, the weather last week was absolutely stunning – plus ten degrees Celsium, sunny and no wind, which is very unusual for Latvia for this time of the year. However the nature took revenge this weekend and we had almost 15 millimeters of snow fallen outside. Hopefully it is a short strike by the weather and we will return soon to what it was, when I just arrived:

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By the way, I want to seek for some advise from you. I would very grateful, if you could answer the following questions:

1) Have you ever stayed in small boutique or family style hotels?

2) What was the most memorable experience/service/facility/amenities or maybe design during your stay?

Your response will be much appreciated as we are now open to any ideas and want to open the best hotel in Riga.

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