Riga Old Town Hostel
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A reliable option for the budget conscious, Riga Old Town Hostel 'does what it says on the tin'. It's a hostel, in the Old Town, in Riga. Of course these days the word 'hostel' implies much more than a bunk bed in a dorm full of sweaty, noisy travellers. Modern hostels boast a range of amenities to make your stay more comfortable; washing machine, kitchen facilities, internet, handy lockers and even a sauna are all provided here (although sadly nothing can be done about the sweaty, noisy travellers). Bear in mind that the hostel is situated on top of the Backpackers Pub and those looking for a quiet night should ask for a bed on the higher floors.
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Whoever named this hostel obvious knows a thing or two about keywords and search engine optimisation! Either that or they have a distinct lack of imagination. But pointless pontifications aside, I stayed in Old Town Hostel some while back for a few nights and as with most hostel experiences it had its ups and downs. Positives were the superb location, decent rooms and facilities and the fact that, from my position on the top bunk, I could see nubile young Latvians practicing their routines in the dance school opposite. Negatives were the staff, who, whilst stopping short of being rude, groaned in irritation whenever I interrupted one of their frequent naps or DVD sessions to ask them to actually do their job in some way or form. The sleep-conscious should also note that some of the rooms are directly above the hostel's pub, meaning it can presumably get noisy... although I cunningly side-stepped that potential pitfall by simply staying out until 5am every night. I didn't try out the famous sauna, although it definitely saw some hot action one night (another story, involving Finnish rockers and Canadian art students). The downstairs kitchen is decent enough place to plan your day with a cup of tea in the afternoon or watch hardcore porn with an old Japanese geezer early in the morning. Hey if old people do it, it must be respectable - right?
decent and comfortable place. The staff were pleasant enough although i sometimes felt that as a mere customer i was an unwelcome distraction from their real job of watching DVDs and being hungover. First floor was a bit noisy but nice views of young girls doing danceclass in the building opposite;-)