Our story

In Cesis, on the slope of the bank of the Gauja River, in the history of the VILLA SANTA hotel, two stories have been intertwined, the aura of which has been created by outstanding personalities. Currently, in the large area of six hectares there are three residential villas with a restaurant, a banquet hall BRIDGE HOUSE, an ancient apple garden and a restored wooden arbor.

Beginning

Beginning

At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the nobles of Russia built villas for family recreation purposes in Cesis, on the banks of the Gauja River, in a place surrounded by the pine forest. They also rented the villas as summer guest houses, and here their summers have spent such personalities as the poet Aleksandrs Caks, (Aleksandrs Čaks) painter Romans Suta, actress Marija Leiko.

In 1918, villas were nationalized and a military field hospital for Latvian Riflemen was established here. Since then, the premises were used for healthcare purposes, for a very long period of time it was known as tuberculosis rehabilitation hospital CESIS. Well-known Latvian writer Miervaldis Birze worked there as the chief physician.

Such well-known personalities in Latvia as poets Imants Ziedonis, Ojars Vacietis (Ojārs Vācietis), composer Pēteris Plakidis (Peteris Plakidis), painter Valdis Kalnroze received hospital treatment here. The hospital provided good healthcare, which was facilitated by the great high-mountain air. The patients were not only treated with medicines and physical therapy, but were also offered a cultural treatment – walks, picnics, books and cinema.

The story of this place was paused in the 1990s when the hospital was shut down. It went into the ownership of the Cesis Municipality, and the villas were closed for ten years.
Restoration

Restoration

The story of the publishing house “Izdevniecība Žurnāls Santa” started with the Third Latvian Awakening. In 1991, two young graduates of the University – Santa Anca (Dansberga) and Ivars Zarins – published the first glanced women’s magazine SANTA. It became the cornerstone for the largest national magazine publishing company, which currently publishes 21 magazines, each of which is the leader in its niche market (IEVA, KLUBS, DEKO, PRIVĀTĀ DZĪVE, etc.). In 2008, Santa Anca was awarded the Order of the Three Stars (the rank Officer, 4th class) for meritorious service to Latvia.

In 2014, the publishing company bought from the Cesis Municipality the property of the former hospital at an auction. It was rebuilt from the ground up, keeping the historical appearance of the two smaller villas. In June 2017 the hotel VILLA SANTA was opened.