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“Good choice!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Guesthouse Jakob Lenz

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Guesthouse Jakob Lenz
2.0 of 5 Guest house   |   Lencu 2, Riga LV1010, Latvia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 55 Riga B&B and Inns
Trento, Italia
Level Contributor
80 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Good choice!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2011

We spent 3 nights in this hostel. Very clean, big enough room, helpful and friendly staff and free internet (when it works..). A special mention for breakfast, definitely the best I've ever found in a hostel.
Situated in a quiet street in the middle of the Art Noveau district, just 10/15 mins walking from the old town. Highly raccomended to who wants to visit this beautiful city. It's definitely worth the money!!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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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51 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Croatia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

Before we came to Riga, we heard that Riga is quite an expensive city so we were happy to find Jakob Lenz guesthouse.
It is a nice guesthouse with special sort of atmosphere.
It is something between a hostel and a hotel. Personally, I don't like sterile hotels, I'd rather stay in a budget hotel with a "soul".
We were accommodated on the 5th floor and there is no elevator. But I didn't find it as a flaw because I usually avoid elevators. It is much healthier to walk and climb the stairs:)
The room was basic but spacious and pleasant.
We shared bathroom with three more rooms. Actually there were two bathrooms, the bigger and the smaller one. It was never crowded, we didn't have to wait for the bathroom, which was excellent. I don't like sharing bathrooms, generally, but here I didn't have a feeling that I share it with somebody. And it was very clean. Everything was clean.
There was also a kitchen in order you want to prepare your own meal, which gives a plus to overall impression.

I must mention the breakfast. The breakfast is served in a small dinning hall /which may be crowded; I assume, if lots of people come at the same time, but it didn't happen to us.
I was amazed at the quantity of food and drink in such a small space.
There was really everything what you can imagine to eat for breakfast (eggs, sausages, pate, two delicious kinds of ham, cornflakes, cheese, yoghurt....)
Great breakfast!
The hotel is 20 minutes walk to the city centre but it is a very nice walk because you pass some wonderful art nouveau buildings and you go through a beautiful park too.
Some reviewers mentioned the area where the guesthouse is located.
It does not look very nice beacuase some buildings around are run down but it is completely safe part of town, quiet... After all there is a school opposite the guesthouse (there wouldn't be a school in a dangerous area).

The staff is very friendly, helpful, kind.
There was a free internet in the lobby, next to the reception, which can be useful and practical.
All in all, great hotel for the money you pay and we were satisfied in all terms.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2011

We had a fab trip to Latvia for the capital's marathon. We've reviewed the Jakob Lenz under various headings, and given some recommendations at the end.

Comms - There is one computer terminal with free web access is available in the foyer. It's a bit slow. The receptionist kindly printed out a couple of important documents for us, for no charge. I think there is free wi-fi.

Info - Riga InYourPocket is available from the reception desk. Don't rely on the Lonely Planet - the InYourPocket guides are much better - far more reliable, loads more choice, written by locals. Liga, the receptionist who was on duty for most of stay, was super-helpful, a fab smiley person to have on the front desk. Also good on the reception desk was a chap studying engineering. Both spoke excellent English.

Room - We had a large room on the street side with two single beds, night-stands, lamps, a huge sofa, wardrobe. The room was light and sunny all day long, with vertical blinds. The window opened wide. I was given an extra duvet, but it wasn't chilly, plus there was a small electric heater we could have used if it was cold.

Bathroom - We had a 'basic' room which means we shared a bathroom. In theory we did - we never actually saw anyone else using it, and never had to wait, so it was as good as our own bathroom but just at the end of the corridor rather than 'en-suite'.

Kitchen - at the end of the corridor, with an oven including hob, large fridge/freezer, sink, table and five chairs. There was also a microwave and dishwasher which didn't work. We used the microwave in the breakfast area on the ground floor.

Breakfast - We didn't know it was possible to request breakfast but discovered this when another guest told us - very handy if you have an early start, as we did on both the day of the marathon, and our check-out day. Breakfast usually starts at 8am. Available: German-style cold meats, cheese and salad; eggs (fried, boiled and sometimes omelettes) and frankfurter-style sausages; cornflakes, milk, low-fat fruit yoghurts; sliced white, seeded and Latvian black bread for toasting, with butter, jam and honey. We took along bananas and Marmite!

Fitness - There are no fitness facilities - this would normally be near the top of our wish-list for accommodation but since we were running the marathon & half-marathon, it wasn't so important. I was tempted to swim at one of the Radisson hotels but not for their fees of 10+ euros!

Atmosphere - We chose the guest-house Jakob Lenz because we liked the hostel ethos but didn't want to stay in the hostels in the centre, with their stag parties, big dorms and round-the-clock noise. This place was ideal - peaceful, nicely decorated, helpful staff, interesting fellow residents (most were German, plus a Finnish family, a Russian family and a Pole; we were the only Brits; everyone spoke English as the common language).

Location - It's approx 10 mins walk from Old Town which seems to put some people off but the walk is possible in a myriad of ways, through the well-kept parks or along the wide boulevards. The guest-house is in the middle of the district containing the famous Art Nouveau architecture which is truly stop-you-in-your-tracks awesome. Another advantage of the location is that it's so quiet - we stayed in the middle of the city but the quiet side-street the JL is located on has hardly any traffic at all. There is a school and maybe a college opposite but you'd hardly know they were there.

Price - We asked for a deal and paid for four nights and got one night free. It's worth asking if you're visiting at a quiet time. This made it much cheaper than staying in a central hostel.

Recommended nearby:

Sienna Art Cafe on Strenieku iela, very near the Jakob Lenz, does great coffee, proper leaf tea, delicious homemade cakes and cookies, board games, and lots of interesting English books dotted around the shelves for patrons to read.

Piranha Pizzeria, on the corner of Strenieku and Mednieku iela, also very near the Jakob Lenz, was recommended to us by fellow residents but we didn't try it, preferring to save money by cooking most nights at the guest-house. We had a great pre-marathon pasta feast at the guest-house with a fellow marathon runner and his family.

Rama, on K. Barona iela, does delicious vegetarian canteen-style food and Indian sweets & pastries. It's run by the local Hare Krishna community and is a good cheap place for lunch.

Illy Innocent Cafe, on Blaumana iela, just off A. Caka iela, is a cool modern cafe with fab coffee and ideal for hanging out and reading.

Latvia and Riga were far more charming and interesting than we were expecting - and so was the Jakob Lenz! Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Use photos on Jakob Lenz website to choose room.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cental Belt Scotland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2011

As some other reviewers have pointed out, the area around the house is less than inspiring - I honestly wondered where the taxi driver was taking me...and have to admit I didn't feel particularly safe late at night on the streets around. There are graffitied walls, buildings which are padlocked just along the street.

It takes a good 15-20 minutes to walk into the old town although it is a nice walk through the art nouveau area.

Room was at the back of the building, view of semi derelict buildings behind. Curtains didn't cover the whole window, dingy lighting, unpleasant smell coming from the bathroom, one tiny radiator for heating (minus 15 or lower outside!), furniture looked dated, grubby and scuffed....basically it looks very old and in need of a little tlc. The four flights of stairs up to the room with bags were hard going but manageable.

Breakfast was in a tiny room (given they have 25 rooms I have no idea what happens if several people come in together!), a small collection of cheese, sausage, meat, breads, cereals.

All in all, the price is not high, but I feel sure that for not an awful lot more you could get somewhere closer to the action and more pleasant to stay in.

This said, on my arrival the lady at reception was very pleasant and walked up the stairs when the lock on my room door jammed (before I even got in!)

Its a shame as my guide spoke of 'charming' rooms....there certainly is no charm here!

  • Stayed February 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
87 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2011

My very good assessment is qualified by the low price. Given I only paid €20 or so per night, I was tolerant of some of the drawbacks. Overall, I was delighted with my stay and would certainly come back again. Trying to be fair to both the guesthouse and any prospective guests, here's how I saw things:
The positives:
1. Really cheap with a simple but satisfying breakfast included.
2. The hotel is cheery and clean in an Ikea minimalist kind of way.
3. While not exactly in the centre of it all, it's only a 20 or so minute walk through delightful streets and parks to the old quarter. There are some nice bars and restaurants nearby.
4. The room was very clean and spacious. The bed was comfortable and I had no problem at all getting a good night's sleep.
5. The reception staff were nice and very efficient.

Negatives - not enough to deter me from coming again, but it might bother some people.

1.There is no lift, so you might have to walk up several floors.
2. My bathroom had an unpleasant odour. There was nothing wrong with the bathroom so I suppose it was some kind if systemic plumbing issue. I noticed the same problem in other parts of the city too.
3.The room was only serviced once in the six days I stayed there and soaps etc never replaced after that occasion. Perhaps this might have been addressed if I mentioned it, but it didn't bother me.
4. While the guesthouse is in the art nouveau area, the immediate surroundings are less inspiring. But I was assured by Latvian friends that it's a good area after all.

Given the overall pleasant feel of the place and the low cost, I was not persuaded to think of these drawbacks too seriously. I would happily choose this place again.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2011

Guesthouse was in a nice area, about a 20 min walk from the centre of town. Breakfast was simple, but fine. Staff were great and really helpful!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2008

The Jakob Lenz Guesthouse is located in the Art Nouveau area of Riga, where there are lots of lovely streets and buildings, plus bars and cafes. The gueshouse is about 15 - 20 minutes walk to the edge of the old city, though.

My room was large and spacious, although I was surprised to find out when I arrived that my bathroom was shared with another room. I think some of the rooms have private facilities and some don't, so be careful when booking that you get what you expect! Considering how much I paid for shared facilities, I might have chosen another hotel closer to the centre.

That said, the staff were very friendly and went out of their way to help. The building was a lovely old Art Nouveau building so I really felt that I was experiencing the area! The breakfast was also good and the rooms were very clean.

  • Liked — Location in Art Nouvea area, helpful staff
  • Disliked — Quite a long way from the old city, and shared facilities were unexpected
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Guesthouse Jakob Lenz

Address: Lencu 2, Riga LV1010, Latvia
Location: Latvia > Riga Region > Riga
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 55 B&Bs / Inns in Riga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Guesthouse Jakob Lenz 2*
Number of rooms: 25
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