Pullman Riga Old Town hotel review: Historic charm and contemporary minimalism combine in Latvia’s capital

From the outside, the Pullman looks like any other well-kept historic building in Riga. But behind the doors you’ll find a hotel that manages to combine its rich past with a strong contemporary aesthetic.

The Pullman opened in the Latvian capital last summer, spread across a big, colourful edifice that dates back to 1789 and has had a new extension added on. Old brick-walled cellar spaces have been given over to the likes of a “tea deli” and wine bar-cum-restaurant, with quirky art and furnishings dotted around, including a life-sized horse with a lamp coming out of its head. Pullman may be part of hotel mega-chain Accor, parent company of other accommodation brands such as Novotel and Sofitel, but there’s plenty of individuality here.

There’s also a spa, pool, and another restaurant, Equus, in the modern part of the building. This last has the feel of an airy conservatory, with plants climbing the walls and a glass ceiling.

Service could be better; the staff couldn’t tell us how to get to the airport by bus (I had to look it up online), and were rather brusque when we accidentally left something at reception. 

Location

As the name suggests, the hotel is in Riga’s Old Town. It’s on the edge of the historic centre of the city, but also a short walk from from the Pilsetas Canal, with its pretty waterside park, the Freedom Monument and St Peter’s Basilica, as well as the National Theatre (teatris.lv) and National Opera (opera.lv).

Minimalism gives way to eccentricity in the lobby (Pullman)

The Pullman is also very close to what’s arguably Riga’s coolest restaurant, Pagalms (facebook.com/pagalms). It does an excellent line in brunch, veggie bowls and cocktails, all in a wooden hut with Instagram-worthy interiors overlooking the tennis courts in Kronvalda Park.

Comfort

Pullman seems to be taking its cues from the Design Hotels group, of which I’m a big fan, and whose member properties usually tend towards the modern and minimalist. Grey is the order of the day across the 155 rooms and suites here, with pleasing touches such as tweed headboards and stained wood flooring. 

Bedrooms are chic and understated (Pullman)

Our bathroom, however, seemed to be designed by someone who’d never used one before – the shower was positioned far too low to use standing up, and there was no shower curtain to stop the rest of the room from getting soaked. 

Essentials

Pullman Riga Old Town, Jekaba Iela 24, Riga,…

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