“ Address: Jomas Street 90 / Majori Jurmala / LV-2015 / Telephone: +371 7771999 „
Villa Joma Hotel (http://www.villajoma.lv/eng/) is located in the 'resort city' of Jurmala, 25km from the capital of Latvia, Riga. We had chosen the hotel in Jurmala due to its proximity to Riga (for sight seeing) and that it has a 33km long white sand beach (for sunbathing). I had not heard of Jurmala prior to our booking and the only reason I had heard of Riga was due to the fact that it had had the dubious honour of hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003. I had no clue as to what to expect from our holiday or our stay at the Hotel Joma- my only information being from the pocket sized guide we had bought before our trip.
It is probably worthwhile at this stage to quickly introduce Jurmala. I will avoid talking about Riga here, apart from the fact that there is a quick and cheap (return less than £1) train service to Riga- the nearest station to the hotel, Dzintari, is a ten minute walk away and departs approximately every 30minutes to Riga central station. A good source of information about Jurmala can be found on its website: http://www.jurmala.lv/en/home/default.aspx. Jurmala was founded as a resort in 1838 when none other than the Russian Tsar Nikolay II gave the land for the 'health resort'. We found Jurmala to be an attractive place with a busy main promenade on which the hotel is located. The promenade had plenty of restaurants and several bars (although some were shut as it wasn't quite yet peak season) that are reasonably priced. There are lots of attractive old and new wooden houses adding to the charm of the place. At the time of our visit, there were a lot of derelict buildings which was a shame, but the area is definitely up and coming with various improvements taking place and is overall an attractive, friendly place. As well as the nice beach and a couple of museums, there is also the Kemeri national Park and the biggest (so the website says) aqua park in northern Europe nearby.
Hotel Joma has a fantastic location in the centre of Jurmala. Despite being on the main promenade it is on the quiet side and we had no problems with noise. The hotel had been renovated a few years ago and is a charming and attractive wooden building- it is a shame that photos cannot be posted on the dooyoo website. It certainly makes a change from modern hotels. We got to the hotel from the hotel by taxi for under £10- not bad considering the distance involved and it is worth pre-booking taxi as we did. Check in was easy and we found the staff to be friendly and spoke good English- a good job really as our Latvian is non existent.
The room was reasonable clean, although not spotless, and comfortable if a little small- but different size rooms can be booked. I was not 'wowed' by the room but it was comfortable and we had a trouble free stay at the hotel. The room came with the usual TV and fridge etc and our room had a shower. There is no air-con, although we had a large window and were cool enough, but be warned it can get hot in Summer. We had booked the hotel just before peak season (in May) and with breakfast included it was good value for money- check the hotel website for the latest prices for different dates (the prices are a LOT higher for peak summer dates).
We always looked forward to the included breakfasts. Guests have breakfast in the hotel restaurant, a pleasant (almost posh) place with additional outside seating. The service was good and the menu had some interesting items such as fruit crepes with chocolate sauce as well as the usual offerings of cereal. We worked our way through the different options as the holiday progressed. Be warned though that you have to order milk separately from your cereal and it comes in a glass. We never tried the restaurant in the evening though so I cannot tell you how good the evening meals were.
Overall, a pleasant stay in a comfortable hotel. Jurmala is a charming place with a nice beach and a fair few bars and restaurants. We also found it convenient, quick and cheap to travel to Riga to see the usual tourist hotspots. We used the hotel mainly as a base for sightseeing in Riga, but Jurmala and its surrounding areas have lots to offer too. I would recommend Hotel Joma, Jurmala and also Riga.
Located on the main promenade and just a two minute walk from the beach and Dzintari concert hall.