Stay the night: Rumene Manor, Latvia

This 19th-century manor house is in the vanguard of Latvia's hotel revolution, says Adrian Mourby

The country-house hotel is a new phenomenon in Latvia, a Baltic state that saw many of its old German-owned manor houses fall into disrepair under the Soviet regime.

Now, in the Courland region west of Riga, a number of these old properties have been bought up and restored. Possibly the best is Rumene, a 10-room neo-Gothic country retreat that has been completely refurbished by the architect Zaiga Gaile.

Gaile, the wife of a former prime minister of Latvia, previously worked on Bergs, one of the most stylish hotels in Riga. At Rumene, she started off by rebuilding a derelict country house for the Karlsons, owners of Bergs Hotel, then found that they wanted to open their exclusive retreat to the public.

The craftsmanship at Rumene has redefined what can be done with these old buildings, which were nationalised and then left to rot after 1921. Huge marble sink tops from Carrara in Italy, recycled bricks and parquet from other manor houses, reclaimed tile stoves, rare gypsum panelling by Latvian artist Gustavs Skilteris, Oriental prints, and a piano designed by Richard Wagner have been assembled in a delicate, uncluttered manner giving Rumene a spacious, relaxing feel.

The manor sits in its own grounds, an hour's drive from Riga. It was built in 1876 by the von Düsterlohe family on land originally settled by Teutonic knights. Gaile has not re-created the 19th-century manor house – something that can be seen in colourful detail at nearby Kuksas manor – but rather has reinvented it for the 21st century.

The rooms

The colour scheme throughout Rumene is a blend of wood and white with occasional hints of grey from the Dolomite floor tiles, quarried on the Estonian island of Saaremaa. It's ideal for maximising winter light and delivering a serene glow on long summer evenings.

There are currently 10 spacious suites, including three in the main house that have sun terraces. Each has enormous Dutch Linteloo sofas that can be pushed together to create extra sleeping areas. The beds themselves are by Orizzonti in Italy, with Latvian mattresses and Belgian linen. At the request of the Karlsons, long tables have been provided in each room.

Bathrooms continue the white theme with heated floors in Estonian Dolomite. The bathtubs are spacious as are the separate shower cubicles and his-and-her sinks. The toiletries are specially created for the Bergs enterprise by La Bottega of Italy.

The food and drink

There is a permanent staff of five, which includes chef Kaspars Jansons. Breakfast is served in a huge kitchen extension cleverly reworked to appear like part of the house, that is, until you look up and see light streaming in through the glass roof. The dining room offers a number of tables that can be joined together for baronial-style feasts or separated for a more intimate experience. Jansons and his team actually work in an industrial kitchen hidden beneath the house. Dinner is by prior arrangement from a menu that mixes international fare with modern Latvian cuisine. Expect to pay €150 per person for gourmet dining, excluding wine.

The extras

A billiard table in the basement is coming soon and tastings can be arranged in the adjacent and highly stylish wine cellar. Riding stables are 15 minutes away and hunting of wild boar and deer can also be arranged. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.

The access

Children welcome. Advance notice needed with pets. There is a ramp, two lifts and a toilet with access for guests with disabilities, plus good access throughout.

The bill

Double rooms from €480 per night including breakfast. Air Baltic offers limousine transfers to Rumene for £250. Contact ldt@airbaltic.lv to arrange.

The address

Rumene Manor, Rumene, Kandava district, LV – 3120, Latvia (00 371 6777 0900; rumenesmuiza.lv).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
tv
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Arts and Entertainment
Liam and Zayn of One Direction play with a chimpanzee on the set of their new video for 'Steal My Girl'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
music
News
i100
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales Manager - Commercial Cable & Wire - UK

    £60,000 - £75,000: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the major Aer...

    ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Junior Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    IT Systems Analyst / Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    Day In a Page

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
    The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

    Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

    Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
    Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

    What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

    Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
    A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

    Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

    Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
    Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

    'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

    A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

    Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

    The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
    Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

    Frank Warren column

    Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
    Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

    Adrian Heath's American dream...

    Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
    Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

    "I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"