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“Staff trying to intimidate, refused complain book, does not speak Latvian”

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Royal Square Hotel & Suites
Ranked #64 of 112 Hotels in Riga
Reviewed 21 June 2017

Me and my husband had booked Royal Square Hotel in Riga for our final nights stay in Latvia before going back home. We had a very bad and quite shocking experience. When looking for hotels, we wanted a place to stay in the old city, close to the restaurants and sight-seeing points.

When our taxi arrived at the hotel door, a bellboy came out, and after I greeted him in Latvian, he addressed me, in what I found a strange and very informal way - “Epā. Runā Latviski?” (Oh. You speak Latvian?) I answered to him:“Yes, I do!”

When arrived in reception, I approached concierge (called Timur) saying that I would like to make a check-in. Without greeting, his answer was “Russian or English!” At this point I got slightly confused, but was immediately interrupted by a bellboy who was there, leaning against reception desk, telling me in an informal way to not insist on speaking Latvian, but just speak Russian or English instead.

We finished our check-in in English. Filled the check-in forms and proceeded to our room. After we dropped our luggage in the room, we went again to the reception. We asked to speak with a hotel director or a manager to alert about the situation, that we felt uncomfortable with the way we were received. Person in reception (Timur) told us there was no-one we could talk to and that hotel manager only works till 16:00. “Come back tomorrow,” he said visibly annoyed.

We insisted that we wanted to talk with someone in charge, but again there was no-one. After asking several times, we decided to make a complaint asked a complaint book, to what Timur replied that they don't have such book and then simply denied give it to us. He called someone and passed phone to my husband. Person on the phone claimed to be some sort of hotel authority ( didn't identify himself) and said he is outside city, very far away.

We were socked and worried about this situation, so we decided to go to nearby Tourist information centre. There we where given Tourist Police and Hotel and Restaurant association phone numbers. We were also told that Tourist Police might not be very responsive, since there was no criminal action in refusing complaints book. We were worried that hotel might make some claims agains us for damages, since there was no complain book, no-one in charge and they had our credit card and passport data.

My husband called the Tourist Police. We were asked to stay at the hotel door and wait for police to help us. We waited around 45 minutes. A man from hotel came out for several times, staring at us, probably trying to intimidate, and then went back in to talk with the receptionist. The police was not showing up, so we decided to go collect our luggage.

When entering elevator, I was approached by a man shouting my direction in a barely understandable Latvian: ”You want to speak Latvian!” He didn't greet or say that he is from hotel staff, just shouted. It made me feel really uncomfortable. We took our luggage and went back to lobby to ask for a receipt. With a grin we were asked if we had any problem that we were leaving.

We went out and stayed at the hotel entrance, waiting for the Tourist Police that haven’t shown up yet. We now noticed receptionist Timur, bellboy and man at the lobby talking and looking our way (one who approached me earlier). After a while an other man appeared in the reception, pointing our way and talking with the rest of the group. My husband called the Tourists Police again, to know if they were arriving, since at this point we felt really uncomfortable and intimidated.

While my husband was on a phone with a police, the two men came out surrounding me. One of them introduced himself as hotel director (not saying his name) and asked :”What is the problem?” I said that his employees were impolite, unprofessional and refused to give complain book, to what he said that the book was in the reception the whole time. This was not true. At the time of check-out, I noticed a guest book they had brought in (one looked like the ones where you would write a thank you note for a pleasant stay, not an official complaint book), but I didn't feel like arguing. At this moment, haven't found any help from Tourist Police, we decided to move away.

As a resume - stay away from this hotel, there is nothing 5 star about it. Room was average, a bit worn out. Not up to 5 star standard in any Europe's capital. Service, however, is miserable. To intimate customers seems a common practice. It's not worth the trouble. There are many other good hotels to stay in Riga. I am traveling a lot all around the world and for the first time I encounter this kind of behaviour. The location is good, but the familiar and intimidating attitude from the staff made it the worst hotel stay ever - congratulations!

Room Tip: There are many other good hotels in Riga. Stay away from this one. The rooms are average and not up...
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank IlzeMarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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17 - 23 of 288 reviews

Reviewed 21 June 2017

We just left the Royal Square Hotel at Riga, few moments ago, where we had a very bad experience. We booked it for one night, we have a plane to catch tomorrow and were looking for a place at Riga’s city centre in order to be close to restaurants and to sight seeing during our night in Riga.
It happens we were attended in a very rude way since we arrived at the hotel by the bellboy, talking without any manners, and at the reception. My wife started speaking Latvian with the concierge person (called Timur) to check us in (since as far as we know Riga is in Latvia, and she is Latvian) and she was told “Russian or English”. She was surprised with such demand and asked how such thing is possible - what triggered the intervention of the bellboy (who was standing at the concierge all the time, looking like he had nothing else to do or maybe checking in guests is also his job) again addressing in a very informal way telling her to shut up, and ordering her to not insist speaking HER Latvian language!

After we dropped our luggage at our assigned room, we come down and asked to talk with the hotel director. Mr.Timur (the bellboy was standing at the desk chatting with him) told us “there is no hotel director available”. So we asked the hotel manager and again the answer was “he is not here”. It was 4.30PM.

We asked then the Hotel’s complaints book. Systematically he denied to give it - all sorts of excuses were presented, from not having such thing to other absolutely ridiculous ones.
Due to our persistence he finally said he would make a call. He called someone and after they were speaking in Russian (a language I don’t speak) he handled the phone to me, where someone on the other side barely speaking English told “I am out of the city, I am very far away”.
We started felling uncomfortable with this situation, and feeling we were needing help we decided to go to the local tourist office to know what we could do.

At the tourist office they gave us two phone numbers, one from the Tourist Police (+371 67181818) and another one from the Latvian Hotel and Restaurant Association (+371 67014131). The Association wasn’t answering the phone so we decided to call to the Tourist Police. After we explained we were refused to get the complaints book from the hotel, they said they would send a police car to the hotel to help us out with it. The offer asked us to stay at the hotel’s door in order to receive the police there. So we did it waiting for around 1 hour. The police wasn’t showing up, and we noticed the bellboy and Mr. Timur plus a third man who come from nowhere suddenly talking between themselves and looking at us. The third man was walking around at the lobby and even come out staring at us from the hotel’s door.

At this moment, feeling really uncomfortable with the situation, we took a decision: to go to the room and get our luggage and to find another hotel. While crossing the lobby to the elevator the mentioned man - without introducing himself or greeting us or anything else - come after my wife saying something like “ so you want to speak Latvian “ in badly spoken Latvian language.
Not knowing who that person was, and judging by the way he addressed to us, we ignored him and took the elevator to get back our luggage. We finally did so and I went to ask for a receipt at the front desk. At this moment we noticed there was another man at the lobby staring at us. After getting the receipt and while I was checking what was charged, Mr.Timur asked in english, ironically: “so you’re moving out? Is there any problem?” while grinning.

We went out carrying our luggage and we stayed at the hotel’s front door waiting for the police who didn’t arrive even after 1,30 hrs. So I decided to call them again, and while talking on the phone again with the same police officer who I talked first, letting her know no one appeared to help us, the two mentioned above “fellows” come out of the hotel and surrounded us, staring and speaking something we did not understand (I believe they were speaking Russian). They did it in a intimidatory way making us feel really uncomfortable.
Once more, without introducing themselves, they said to my wife “whats your problem” or something like that, in badly spoken Latvian. One of them then said he was the hotel manager - who appeared “magically” it seems, for someone who was “out of the city according to the other one words.
At this moment, not having found any help from the Tourist Police, surrounded by those two men we had no idea about their intentions besides to intimidate us, we decided to move away.
The whole thing costed us 93.60€, not counting the two hours we spent trying to get the help we never got from the Tourist Police.
Later we found a number from a so called “Latvian Hotline for visitor complaints and problems” supposed to work 24 hours a day but no one answered the phone.
According with our bad experience, I wouldn’t recommend the Royal Square Hotel to anyone, since their staff is rude and unprofessional.

Room Tip: Avoid this place, rude and unprofessional staff
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Service
Thank ZD8369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2017 via mobile

We stayed at this place for 4 nights in June 2017. We had the hotel help us with booking transfer from the airport to the hotel when we arrived, but when we came to the airport there was no one waiting for us. So we got into a regular cab that actually turned out to be cheaper than our first option.

When we came to the hotel and told them that our pick up hadn't shown up they just said 'Oh'

The air circulation in our room was terrible and we couldn't open a window. The last day we looked under the bed and its was so disgusting, tons of dust and a really really old lemon. The place hasn't seen a vacuum cleaner for at least 3 weeks... yuk.

It wasn't at all the standard it said it would be. The shower was broken and the breakfast was lame. The food at the restaurant was at least ok.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
1  Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2017

location of this hotel is very good and convenient. We were a party of two adults and two kids at €110 a night plus €25 got valet parking.
We arrived and were given a room on the third floor. When we entered the room, it was too small for four. I was told this was the biggest double room. If we wanted a larger room we would have to pay 200 EUR extra. I refuse it

I was told there was free parking and upon arrival realized it was 20 mins walk away. Not very convenient. However, we could use their valet service for €25 a night. Each time I needed the car it would take them 25mins to get it to me. The wifi was very poor and there was a lot of noise outside till 2am every night.

The customer service was Horrific they only talked Latvian and had trouble understanding me. I travel a lot, and know that you get what you pay for - but the customer service here was some of the worst. As this hotel purports to be a 5*, this is not even close to acceptable.
Avid this hotel.

Room Tip: Avoid this hotel. It is expensive and not value for money.
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Joy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2017

Firstly, the location of this hotel is very good.
Unfortunately that is where the good points end. We arrived and were given a room on the third floor. When we entered the room, it was as hot as a sauna, with the air conditioning blowing hot air. It could not be adjusted to anything lower than hot air, and when I tried to open the window I found that the handle was hanging off of it.
We called reception who sent up the "maintenance" man, who turned out to be a security guard who knew nothing about air conditioning.
The total staff at the hotel at 7pm on a friday evening appeared to be a receptionist, a secrity man and a bar man. We went back to reception and asked to be moved - at which point a 45 minute ordeal ensued. Unfortunately the receptionist was clearly out of her depth and did not know how to resolve the situation. We were told that the aircon was broken and would not be fixed until monday (we were leaving on sunday), so we asked to be moved to a room where the AC works. Apparently of the 30 rooms, the AC was broken in 20. The receptionist clearly knew this before assigning our room, and yet didnt say anything, and then sent the "maintenance" man up for the charade of repairing it.
We were told there were no rooms that they could move us to where the AC works - so we asked to speak to a manager. No manager was on site, and nobody was contactable. We were then offered a room at their sister hotel, but a quick seach on TA showed it to be even worse (and given we had paid more to stay at the Royal Square and no refund of the difference was offered), we refused.
Eventually we were offered an executive room, if we were willing to pay the difference in rate (the exec room was 4 times the price of our standard double!). We refused, stating that we had paid for a room with AC and it was the hotels obligation to provide this to us. Que a lot of talking in Latvian, where we were made to feel very uncomfortable, and eventually after a lot of complaints the manager was somehow called and we were moved.
The standard room we had first is probably the equivalent of a tired 3* in the UK, but the customer service at the hotel was basically non-existent.
We can echo the comments about the breakfast - it was very basic and not replenished. Additionally my partner felt ill all day after eating a boiled egg.

I have traveled a lot, and know that you get what you pay for - but the customer service here was some of the worst I have encountered. As this hotel purports to be a 5*, this is not even close to acceptable.

My advice would be to avoid this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Zeroquai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2017

We got a standard double room for a good price (€70 a night). For this price that included breakfast and the relaxation room with sauna/jacuzzi, we got a lot of value. On the other hand I would strongly disagree that this is not a 5 star hotel. Check-in was delayed, no bellboy, and at times unmanned reception. The breakfast was adequate but not lavish as you may expect, but If you ask for it, you'll at least get a cappuccino...
My tip to the hotel: drop one star and expect far more satisfied guests/reviewers.

Stayed: April 2017
Thank reisedreng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2017

We had beer in the bar of the hotel. It was quiet and clean. We were the only guests there, but the bartender was attentive and gave us good suggestions. It was nice to seat there in the middle of downtown and enjoy the sunshine and peace.

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Yali L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Square Hotel & Suites

Address: Kalku iela 3a, Riga 1050, Latvia
Region: Latvia > Riga Region > Riga
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Romantic Hotel in Riga
#45 Luxury Hotel in Riga
Price Range: $83 - $1,283 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Square Hotel & Suites 5*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Charming five star Royal Square Hotel & Suites is situated in the main street of the Old Town of Riga with the convenience of an international airport just 15 km away. Is ideally located for those who want to relax, explore or do business.Facilities and services meet the needs of today’s traveler - the rooms are spacious and bright, fully furnished in European style with a private sauna and natural fireplace in suites.The fine dining restaurant Desiderata, where you can taste gourmet menu, will be at your service. The Royal Square Hotel & Suites your home in Riga with comfort in heart of Riga. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Square Hotel And Suites
Royal Square Hotel Riga

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