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HOTEL NEIBURGS, RIGA, LATVIA
Named for the family that built this 1903 building overlooking the narrow alleys of the Old Town, this 55-suite hotel is a work of art inside and out. Art Nouveau flourishes are everywhere, from the restored mask on the building's facade to the stencils on the bedroom walls, while contemporary abstract paintings by Katrina Neiburgs (artist and descendant of the original builder) furnish the rooms and restaurant. Accommodations are best described as Scandinavian-chicwhite, black, and gray color schemes with red accents, crown moldings, and simple black kitchenettes. A small library off the lobby is stocked with mystery novels and weightier tomes in English, German, and Russian (a biography of Lenin, GŁnter Grass on Nazi Germany), and there's also a modest Zen spa. The huge windows in the high-ceilinged Neiburgs Restaurant afford views of gingerbread buildings and cobblestoned streets, while the kitchen produces an inventive selection of Latvian cuisine, hence dishes like the sea salt-baked sea bass with beet salsa. The sleek bar has the usual selection of old- and new-world wines but also supplies the local Riga Black Balsam, a devilishly potent herbal liqueur.
Which room to book: No. 403, in the most basic Studio Apartment category, is also one of the loveliestit has perfect proportions and overlooks the thirteenth-century Dome Cathedral. Since Riga is popular for rowdy British bachelor parties, opt for a courtyard-facing room instead if street noise is an issue.
Tel: 371 6711 5522
See more hotels on Condé Nast Traveler's 2011 Hot List.