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2021-11-29 13:20:08

Expat Favorites

By 09.08.2015

A long-time VIP expat presents his special hidden gems of Riga

Michael Jacobi is General Manager of the Radisson Blu Latvija Hotel and District Director for the eight managed Radisson Blu hotels in the Baltics. The two core brands he manages in the region are Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson.


I am married to Katy and we have three lovely children Emily (12), Sophie (9) and Sean (8). My wife and I have travelled together ever since we met in 1996. At this stage I left Germany to follow her to Ireland and we have since lived and worked in the US, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Georgia and now Latvia since January this year. I work for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which operates over 430 hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa and is one of the fastest growing, most dynamic and most ethical hotel companies in the world.


We were lucky to find a lovely spot in Ķīpsala, which makes the daily commute very easy, especially for our children who are all attending the International School of Riga. It also allows me to walk or run to and from the hotel which is a great way to get some fresh air and clear your head after a busy day.


As we are still new in Riga and exploring day by day, every walk is new and exciting as we keep discovering. Obviously walking around the Old Town and the Art Nouveau district is beautiful, but my favorite walk is along the waterfront in Ķīpsala on a sunny morning, enjoying the views of Riga and the River Daugava.


A trip up to the Skyline Bar in the Radisson Blu Latvija Hotel is a must to enjoy a “Mojito in the Sky” along with arguably the best views of Riga. Also, there is a strong Irish connection in my family, so checking out the local Irish pubs was high on the agenda when we moved here.


Riga is blessed with incredible choice for good food. There are a lot of really good restaurants, with some really talented and passionate Latvian chefs. I love lunch in our D’Vine Restaurant and the food that our team around our creative Executive Chef Girts Leijns presents is simply delicious. We have visited 36.Line in Jurmala a few times already which we find excellent. Besides the wonderful food, efficient service and unique location, it is the relaxed and friendly atmosphere that makes this an outstanding restaurant.


I don’t think it is necessarily a hidden gem, but we love the farmers’ market on Kalnciema on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm, where you can get some incredibly nice, fresh slow food!


We’ve been to the Opera House recently to watch “La Boheme” – the venue and the performance were both world class.


We just got ourselves some bicycles as Riga is a perfect city for the entire family to explore on wheels.


Since moving to Riga we have only been as far as Jurmala a couple of times. However, as the weather is improving we plan to explore more of the surrounding areas over the summer. We have actually canceled our planned vacation in Ireland this year to explore the Baltics instead.