Latvia Hotel

Inside The Jonathan Spa Estate—Latvia’s First Countryside Five-Star Spa Hotel

Written by Annick Dournes
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Latvians are nature lovers and care about their environment, and the Jonathan Spa Estate, located 90 kilometres northeast of Riga, is the perfect marriage of respect and love for Mother Earth.

We set out by car and eventually found ourselves along a small private winding road that took us to the doorstep of Jonathan Spa Hotel, a designer, eco-friendly resort built right into the heart of Amatciens, a 300 hectare private estate that’s as luxurious as it is idyllic.

Hotel Latvia
The hotel has 11 elegantly appointed rooms and apartments, all immersed in nature

 

Jonathan Spa Estate

This extraordinary wooden hotel with its impressive thick thatch roof is surrounded by lakes and woods and is a well-balanced mix of modern elegance and natural beauty. It’s an ideal place to reach pinnacle of Zenitude and find new levels of well-being.

The houses and cottages of Amatciens estate are far from each other, and beautifully separated by verdant plants, trees and shrubbery.

This uncommon village-like setting sits in the heart a region speckled with lakes, hills and forests, which creates a pristine landscape begging for further exploration.

We were overcome at once by the calm and beauty of the hotel and its surroundings.

 

Hotel Laatvia
The private wooden deck overlooks the lake, where guest can swim

 

Latvian luxury and feel-good experience

The Jonathan Spa Estate has only eight rooms and three apartments, each appointed with an individual style, where Feng Shui principles are used to usher in elegance, comfort and style.

The use of wood and stone is omnipresent and combine with designer furnishings, quality bedding, large and well-equipped bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, not to mention vast terraces with spectacular views over the serene surroundings.

We enjoyed an incredibly relaxing stay in our room, and found it hard to leave the hotel to go visit the surroundings. The hotel’s private lake is only a few meters away from the building and is waiting for swimmers who don’t mind a dip into cold water. The hotel can also organize fishing trips for guests.

There are also bikes available for rent for those who wish to explore on two wheels.

 

Latvia hotel
The hotel’s indoor pool is heated to 28 ° C

 

Relaxation and well-being 

Entrance to the spa is included for hotel guests and it really deserves a visit.

There is an indoor heated  chlorine-free swimming pool, a sauna, a hammam, a Jacuzzi as well as a unique “shungite” room where you can absorb all the benefits of this powerful black stone mineral, considered to hold healing and energizing powers.

Professional therapists are also on hand, and the spa menu proposes a vast range of body and face treatments including massages, facials and bath rituals.

Latvia Hotel
The hotel’s chef creates fresh modern Latvian dishes at the onsite restaurant

 

Exquisite local Latvian cuisine

Even though the hotel has only 11 guest rooms, the restaurant offers an exceptionally varied cuisine. As expected in a place with ecological demands, all products are grown and produced by surrounding farmers in natural and organic conditions, and it shows in the dishes presented to us.

The chef surprised us with unexpected and classic recipes from Latvia and around the world seasoned with modern twists.

All meals are served in the sunlit restaurant or on the outside terrace overlooking the hotel lake.

Latvia hotel
Cap off your meal with delectable desserts

 

The menu’s original dishes include specialties such as Latvian bouillabaisse with smoked herring, eel and crayfish, deer tartare, old-fashion baked Camembert, oyster and mushroom ravioli, and beef short rib millefeuille, among the standout dishes.

With a seemingly unlimited imaginative spirit, the chef creates new dishes and daily desserts according to his finds at the local farmers’ market and his mood. The restaurant also offers the best cheeses while sorbet and ice creams are always in stock for gourmands who want a little more.

Latvia Hotel
The most important meal of the day doesn’t disappoint at the Jonathon Spa Estate

 

Since the hotel welcomes a small number of guests, there is no breakfast buffet. However, the à la carte breakfast menu is more than satisfying, with a good array of sweet and savory dishes, plus breads, pastries and jam that combine for a perfect start of the day.

Latvia hotel
Cēsis Castle is just one of many easy excursions from the hotel

 

Out & about around the hotel

Latvia is one of the three Baltic countries, and is well-known for its heartfelt hospitality, and a country where most residents speak English very well, making it extra-easy to explore.

Nature lovers and history buffs will have plenty to do around the Jonathan Spa Hotel as the region shelters some of the most important historical sites of the country, all accessible by car within 20-30 minutes of the estate.

Highlights include:

Turaida Museum Reserve, the most visited museum of Latvia with a medieval castle dating to the 11th century.

Sigulda Castle, built in 1207, has been both a residence and a fortress for the nobility, and now holds classical music concerts every summer during Sigulda’s world-famous opera festival.

The former paper mill village of Ligatne

Cēsis is one of the oldest towns in Latvia and visitors can get a dose of the Middle Ages by climbin the tower at the Livonian Order’s Cēsis Castle

The area also offers a wide range of nature trails and the hotel staff can help you organize your own excursions by foot or bike, making a stay in the region magnificent with plenty to do over a few days.

Plan your next trip to Latvia by visiting: www.latvia.travel

***

BeSeeingYou In: Latvia

Good to know: Latvia is member of EU, and the currency is Euro

WOW! Factor: Latvian is one of the oldest European languages, but most Latvians speak English exceptionally well

Tip: The Latvian climate is never very hot in summer (average is around 20°C) but it can be a bit rainy 

***

Author’s bio: Annick Dournes
Photographer’s bio: Frederic de Poligny

 

Find more travel inspiration at BeSeeingYou

Annick Dournes
Annick Dournes and Frederic de Poligny are two French tourism journalists who travel the world for many years. They will share with you their very favourite experiences of worldwide travels. Those about France, their native country, will be found on a regular basis in their chronicle “Meanderings through France”.

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