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“A wonderful break at Homestay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Homestay Riga

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Homestay Riga
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Stokholmas iela 1 | Mezaparks, Riga LV-1014, Latvia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 53 Riga B&B and Inns
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
“A wonderful break at Homestay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2011

For my wifes birthday, I picked up some 2 for 1 flights from Dublin to Riga with Airbaltic. I was looking for something different. This offer came along so I booked it.

WithAirbaltic, online checkin and hand luggage only. it was very easy to do, , no problems whatsoever either way. No measuring of bags or problems at all. The only problem we saw was at an adjacant gate, Ryanair giving a girl grief as her bag was to big. I had to go and help her.

Using Tripadvisor, we found Homestay Riga. This turned out to be brilliant. We flew in at half six in the morning and for a small fee, they had someone there to meet us and take us straight to the house.

A few days before arrival, we emailed and asked if we could check in early - 7am Friday mornng, and it was fine. We arrived and Rik offered us a cooked breakfast. We then went to sleep for a few hours and headed out about 11am. Diga, Riks wife, offered us suggestions about what to do and even told us the best tram ticket for our visit. She then wrote it down for us in Latvian, and we handed it in at the tram office. SO EASY. The trams are clean and safe, we saw no problems on our visit and they were regular and had plenty of seating. They use smart cards that you just tag when you board the tram. I am not sure what the official time for breakfast was as Rik and Diga just cooked it when we got up! One day I think it was nearly noon. Oh, the ability to have a lie on was great.

The tram is about a 10 minute walk around the corner and is the last stop - just after Riga zoo. We visited lots of places in Riga, but did not go to far beyond that. The Central Markets were fantastic, old Zeplen hangers from WW2 which have been converted into a massive market.

One of the days we went down to the river for a boat trip but we were the only ones on it so they cancelled it. Oh well, another time maybe.

We found a good bar called the Kiwi Bar where the beer was cheap and the staff friendly, its quite near the main square where the museum of occupation is. We found another one called Transylvania. It was a rock/metal bar and had tables built from mock-up coffins, complete with glass lids and corpse inside. Really weird.

We did visit the museum but while it is was interesting, (and free), it was not great for me. I have previously visited Auschwitz, so it was quite tame, but I guess it is interesting with a view to what went on in Latvia during the war years.

We visited a few restaurants while we were there with mixed results. My wife is a COELIAC and will get sick if she eats gluten, flour or wheat. FONSANTA, here on Tripadvisor sent me a message explaining this in Latvian. We would like to thank her. We put it into a text message and showed it to the staff when we went out to eat. It was a great idea. Everyone understood and my wife enjoyed her meals completely.

We found one called KIPLOKU KROGS - the garlic restaurant, but found it quite poor. The service was rubbish and food medicore. We used one of the bike taxis and he had a lot of trouble finding it. It was not worth the trouble.

We came across a small place called Deer and Beer. Not bad, not bad at all, very small and it seemed to be a one man show. The Deer burger was really nice. On our final evening we had a slap-up meal in a steak restaurant called RESTORANS "ZILA GOVS. Well I think that was it, I took it from my credit card bill. This was expensive but fine for a special final meal out.

On checkout, I paid the bill, and offered extra for the extra breakfast we had the morning we arrived. Diga shrugged her shoulders and said 2 lats? I would have been happy to pay more than that but thats what she wanted.

Rik and Diga have a lovely place. They are so laid back and so relaxed, I would recommend them to anyone. They do have a dog and a cat hanging around, but the dog is a big floppy eared thing which was a lovely. The cat was around but didnt bother anyone. If you dont like animals, then this probably isnt for you.

We enjoyed our visit to Riga. Its a nice city. Everything is around the centre within a five block radius and easily walkable. Homestays is about half an hour out on the tram, but believe me, its fine. The whole place seemed safe, we were not worried about anything, and it just felt good.

I would have no problems sending my parents to this place.

If going to Riga, check out Homestay. Its not number one in Riga for nothing.

Superscouse

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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108 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
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English first
virginia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2011

My husband and I recently spent four lovely nights at Homestay in Riga. The house is beautiful, and our room was very comfortable. Ric and Diga are very welcoming hosts and charming conversationalists. We did our best to solve, or at least analyze, the world's problems over some good Latvian beer. They gave us excellent suggestions about getting around Riga and what to see. The breakfasts were absolutely delicious-- eggs, bacon, homemade bread and muesli, stewed apples from local gardens. Ric is a fantastic cook.

The house is in Meza Park, a very upscale suburb just a short trolley ride from the center city. Ric led us on a fascinating tour of the neighborhood. The architecture and history of Riga and Meza Park is amazing.

Homestay has my highest recommendation.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2011

Simply the best B & B experience with a fairy godfather named Ric included. Our flight out of Riga was cancelled on a blustery heavy snow day. We were befriended by this affable guy Ric, who was also booked on our flight. Ric skillfully managed to rebook our flights and invited us to join him at his home on the outskirts of Riga. WOW we arrived at this grand three storey beautiful timber HOME STAY home with a backdrop of winter fantasy. We enjoyed the BEST 2nights stay. All floors were heated. We enjoyed an oversized comfy king bed with all facilities
Ric and Diga were the warmest hosts. We felt part of the family and it was an extra bonus to practice my Latvian language with Diga and her Mum. Ric was an excellant chef " Best Breakfast " and Tour guide as well. Even the local pub provided a good brew.
Diga and Ric have the local knowledge and skills to make your stay extra special. It is an experience not to be missed and we look forward to a return visit

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Lothian
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2010

Spent 5 fantastic days in this beautiful house on outskirts of Riga city . Thanks to Diga for all her help in advising us where to go during our time in Riga . Lovely room , very quiet area of town and that great breakfast to start our day . Homestay is a 20 min tram ride from city and tram stop is less than a ten minute walk from the house ( number 11 , cost 0.70 Lats per way , card for ten trips 4.75 Lats ) . Thanks again for a really fantastic stay Diga .

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2010

I agree with all the positive things said in the other reviews and would like to add some of my own. We felt welcome from the first phone call with Ric when we rang enquiring about vacancies. After we booked, Diga sent useful information about their home and about Riga. Diga arranged a taxi from the airport. The taxi driver's speed allowed us to catch the end of the world cup and a welcome drink.
I can't thank Diga, Ric and their family enough for their wonderful hospitality throughout our stay. I've never been made to feel so welcome in a home before. Their beautiful wooden house is situated in quiet, safe Mezaparks, about a 15 min ride on the nearby tram into central Riga. Our room was spacious, comfortable and clean, with a cool breeze from the large windows during a July heatwave. Several well-fed cats also enjoy their hospitality, along with a friendly old dog, Zara who was suffering from the heat and spent her time looking for a cool spot to lie down and hang out with her feline buddies. Ric and Diga make big delicious breakfasts while chatting to their guests, answering sightseeing questions and giving tips on what to see and do in the area (including brochures and maps).
A highlight of our trip was an entertaining guided walking tour given by Ric of the Mezaparks area (see photos). If you are interested in history or architecture, I would recommend going on the tour. Ric also kindly brought us to see some abandoned military fortifications at the seaside - something we wouldn't have found in a guidebook or by accident. I was treated to a trip into the countryside for a picnic washed down by Latvian beer followed by a Russian cigarette (great combination, and yes the house is smoke-free). On the rare occasions when we dragged ourselved away from the Old Town to arrive back at a reasonable hour, we were invited to join Ric and Diga who were having a cool beer and a chat with the other guests in the garden.
Warning - Riga is 2 hours ahead of London, not 1 hour as I thought. I realised this after I casually arrived 1 hour late for breakfast on the first morning. Apologies!
My wife and I were sad to leave after a delightful 8 days and both hope to return to Riga and to Homestay.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2010

Apart from the gate bell malfunctioning when we arrived, our stay was entirely perfect. We felt immediately like we were staying with friends. It was a 37deg summers day and it didn't take Ric long to thrust a cold complimentary beer into my hands and engage in some witty banter. This place is so relaxed, the front door stays open all day, Sarah the dog curls up on the steps and keeps a friendly eye on you as you walk up to your room. Did I say room? Our rooms were as cheerful as Diga's smile, and as large as you might expect in a purpose built log mansion, set in a tree lined street with other architectural marvels.
After phoning my wife on the other side of the bed in the morning (well they were rather large), we went downstairs to a cooked breakfast if we wanted, delightful meats and cheeses, but I couldn't get past Ric's scrumtios pancakes .... as many as I could eat really. What else to say? A perfect location .... walk to a huge nearby park and lake, then the tram stop is at the end of the street to take you into the heart of Riga in only about 20 mins.
We'll be back!!!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2010

We stayed with Ric and Diga at their lovely home on our honeymoon vacation across eastern Europe. After the soulless, charmless, joyless hotel we had in Tallinn, this was just what the doctor ordered!

All of the other reviews are pretty much spot on, so I won't elaborate too much. You'll be staying in the home of Ric and Diga, two very young-at-heart grandparents with a gorgeous house in a suburb of Riga, Latvia. Ric is a Kiwi, Diga is Latvian, they're both wonderful, warm, and funny. Ric will cook you a gourmet breakfast in a cast-iron skillet and take you on a stroll around their neighborhood to look at the fantastic architecture and extol the virtue of modern real estate development practices. Diga will help you figure out where to go for dinner and which beach is best and arrange a cab to the airport for you and generally make you feel right at home.

And yes, this is a HOME. It's not a B&B of the standard kind. It's definitely not a hotel. It's their house, decorated with their art, filled with pictures of their family and friends, etc., and you are very much their guest. Think of a stay with your favorite aunt and uncle or family friends, the jovial, creative ones who are always cracking jokes and have the comfiest furniture and the loveliest yard and are always busy with one hundred projects but never too busy to have you over and make you feel welcome. Then transport that stay to Latvia. It's pretty much like that.

Things you should know:
-there's a dog and a couple of cats. I'm allergic to cats but the room was well-ventilated and my claritin did the trick, so there were no big issues. The dog is a gentle old sweetie who sleeps all day in the driveway.
-the house is at the end of a tram line into the city, it takes about 20 minutes and runs frequently. Single rides are about $1 each way, you can get multi-ride passes for less. A cab was 7-8 Lats (about $15) late night from the old town after some haggling. Diga was outraged at this price, which apparently was inflated for us tourists. There is a passable restaurant nearby, a lovely lake and small beach within 100 yards, and a gorgeous park...and not much else. If you want hustle and bustle, go elsewhere.
-You're a guest in a guesthouse. If you don't know what that means, or want daily linen changes, or a full service concierge, or room service, or absolute privacy, don't stay here.
-The neighborhood is very safe. You need a key to get in their gate, but the actual front door to the house stays open at night to let the breeze in. If you're the kind of neurotic traveler who sees thieves and rapists behind every bush, stay in a fortress somewhere instead of here.
-Our room (the only one on the ground floor) was lovely and huge, with a massive bed, antique furniture, a view of the garden, and a bathroom that was mostly ours. No air-conditioner, but we didn't need it at night and were off exploring most of the day.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Homestay Riga

Address: Stokholmas iela 1 | Mezaparks, Riga LV-1014, Latvia
Location: Latvia > Riga Region > Riga
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 53 B&Bs / Inns in Riga
Number of rooms: 1
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HOMESTAY is where we live. Our house is a friendly eco-build log house in the leafy diplomatic suburb of Mezaparks; Europe's first Garden City. We usually do a free tour of the Art Nouveau and Deco buildings after the best cooked breakfast in Riga. We have 1 large double as well as 2 100m2 fully self contained luxury short or long term apartments. Plenty of secure parking is available. The tram to Riga center takes 20 minutes. There are great facilities on our doorstep. Forest, Lake, boating, cycling, golf, BMX track, tennis, squash, fitness, saunas and a couple of class restaurants. We will gladly lend you our tandem. Book early. If in doubt stay the extra few days to give us the chance to help you organise the perfect Northern holiday. ( for Finns and Estonians we organise the perfect Southern holiday ) ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Homestay - Riga Hotel Riga

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