Every moment counts. Our hotel proves it. As does the history of our family.
The boutique apartment hotel and restaurant Neiburgs is a family Art Nouveau era property located in the heart of Riga's Old Town (Vecrīga), next to the Dom Cathedral. It is only a five- to ten-minute walk to the Latvian National Opera and Ballet, the best concert halls and museums. The views from the hotel's windows are of the Old Town and the left bank of the Daugava River.
The hotel was constructed, combining careful attention to the architectural heritage, with care for every guest's satisfaction. Where possible the original details of the building were preserved: wood parquets, adornments of walls and ceiling, widows, banisters and doors. Ornaments found in the original interiors were used in the renovation.
The historical elements are supplemented by carefully selected designer furniture and interior objects – the unique Moooi Dear Ingo ceiling lamps in the restaurant; the impressive Zava Ociu ceiling lamps, Ligne Roset armchairs and restored Thonet furniture in the library, Artemide lamps in the apartments and public space, etc.
Works by the well-known Latvian painter and sculptor Kristiāna Dimitere hang in the restaurant, whereas the apartments and conference rooms feature original graphics by Katrīna Neiburga, a representative of the Neiburgs family who is a video and installation artist, set designer and film director of international renown.
The apartments are airy and light. All have built-in kitchens with an electric range, microwave, and an electric kettle. The suites feature two flat-screen televisions – one in the bedroom, the other in the living room. The well-appointed bathrooms have heated floors.
Natural light and lots of space, all modern conveniences and a personal approach allow our guests to fully enjoy each moment they spend at our hotel.
After the Second World War and the nationalization of the Neiburgs family properties, this rental residential building was completely transformed.
A "business hotel" (numbered rooms) for Soviet functionaries from other parts of Latvia was installed on the third floor. The remaining apartments were changed into communal flats. In 13 original apartments 22 families were housed and, for this purpose, the original layout of the building was completely destroyed: rooms were divided by new partitions, some door openings were closed in while others installed, etc. On the ground floor, a spacious beer restaurant Pie Kristapa opened, which became a typical example of socialist restaurant culture. Despite the fact that it, not unlike other Soviet restaurants, was far from crowded, entry was guaranteed either by paying off the doorman or one's rank in the Soviet nomenklatura.
The building was immortalized not only in books dedicated to the architecture and cultural monuments of Riga but also in Soviet movies, for it seemed to match ideas of what a Western capitalist environment should look like; it was used as a backdrop for scenes taking place in many different Western European cities.
The late 1980s brought change to the Soviet Union. The restaurant Pie Kristapa became a place where well-known promoters of free entrepreneurship and national awakening often gathered.
After Latvia's sovereignty was restored, the ownership rights that had existed before the Second World War were also restored and developer Ludvigs Neiburgs's heirs could reclaim the properties that were taken away from them.
With the ties between the heirs living in Latvia and in exile strengthening, the idea was born to install a hotel and restaurant in the building 100 years after it had been constructed.
At the very beginning, the owners had a clear idea of what the new hotel should look like: with brightly-lit, spacious rooms where the historical heritage and feeling for art nouveau combine with modern design and conveniences to create a sense of privacy, cosiness and peace.
The hotel was designed by the architect Artūrs Lapiņš. Developing the sketches benefited from the involvement of a descendant of Ludvigs Neiburgs, the Australian-based architect Andrejs Andersons. The interior design was developed by the architect Iveta Cibule.
The Neiburgs Restaurant opened in the summer of 2009 and the hotel began operating in the spring of 2010.
The Neiburgs Family
The hotel building preserves not only the memories of the Neiburgs family but also of the consolidation of the Latvian nation and birth of an independent Latvian state. In the second half of the 19th century, after abolishing serfdom in the province of tsarist Russia that later became Latvia, there was a vigorous development of cities as they saw an influx of people from the countryside. Education was now accessible also to country children and young people. New factories and dwelling houses were built, the new entrepreneurs established well-to-do families. This was the time when Ludvigs Neiburgs (1871-1948) also came to Riga with his mother – they arrived in a boat used for transporting hay.
Having learnt the bricklayer's trade, he became one of the most prominent city developers and one of the first Latvian entrepreneurs. He also oversaw the building of the present-day hotel Neiburgs, designed by the well-known Baltic German architect Wilhelm Bokslaff (1858-1945).
After the First World War and revolution in Russia, as new nation states emerged in Europe, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians who lived in the western part of the Russian Empire also gained independence and established their own national states.
Ludvigs Neiburgs was actively involved in building the new Latvian state also in the literal sense of the word: his company constructed important public buildings and also helped to fulfil the dreams of private individuals.
The building of the Ministry of Finance in the Old Town, the Tower of Three Stars at the Riga Castle, the Brethren Cemetery Monument, Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital in Pārdaugava, sugar factories in Krustpils, Jelgava and Liepāja as well as the bridge over the Gauja in Sigulda, technologically unique for its time – these are only some examples of Neiburgs's work.
The Second World War and loss of Latvia's independence disrupted this work. Ludvigs Neiburgs died in relative poverty at his country house in 1948. Of his five children, one spent years in a Gulag camp in Siberia, one was deported and two emigrated. His wife Alma Neiburgs spent years not knowing the fate of her children. Ludvigs's properties were nationalized. Many among the Latvian middle class and intelligentsia were either deported or had emigrated and the authorities turned their abandoned homes into communal flats often housing five or six families, which used the same kitchen and bathroom.
Ludvigs Neiburgs's properties were restored to his heirs only in the 1990s, after Latvia regained independence. The company Neiburgu Īpašumi was established to manage them. Almost 100 years after the building in the Old Town was completed, Neiburgs's heirs decided to transform it into a hotel bearing the name of its builder.
Art nouveau heritage
Designed by the Baltic German architect Wilhelm Bokslaff (1858—1945), the building with the ornate, turn-of-the-20th century façade was not constructed to house a hotel. It was a typical early 20th century dwelling house with small shops on the ground floor selling all kinds of everyday goods, from fruit and vegetables to kerosene. On the upper floors, there were rental flats. There are over 800 Art nouveau buildings in Riga, but the Neiburgs building is one of the oldest in the centre of the Old Town.
Even though 1904 is officially considered the starting point of Riga's art nouveau architecture, Ludvigs Neiburgs constructed his building a year earlier, reflecting in the façade the same eclectic art nouveau or Jugendstil tradition that is found in the later examples of this style mostly imported from Germany.
In the subsequent years, leading up to the breakout of the First World War, this style was gradually replaced by the 'perpendicular' art nouveau or Warenhausstil, and then by the national romantic art nouveau closely related to the style that was popular in contemporary Finland.
The Building of The Year in Latvia
1st place in the category Restauration – reconstruction of a building for the needs of a hotel.
Annual Prize in Interior Design
1st place, Hotel and Restaurant Neiburgs.