Ask a dozen people about their favourite hotel, and you’ll likely get a dozen different responses. A favourite hotel is as much of a personal preference as your favourite movie, book or singer. But in our opinion, the best hotels have a few things in common: they feel intimate and personal (regardless of size or number of rooms), they have a distinctive vibe, the staff offers superb service and the architecture and interior design are unique and full of character. We love them even more when they are deeply ingrained in the local neighbourhood and culture. Here’s our list of ten carefully crafted Helsinki boutique and luxury hotels that tell a strong story.
Although beige is the colour of choice both for its facade and in its rooms, Helsinki’s Hotel St. George is anything but, well, beige. A sophisticated, grown-up yet never boring bolthole, this luxury property, housed in a former printing and publishing house from the 1920s, captures the Finnish capital’s stylish side. Teaming up with Finnish doctor and coach Aki Hintsa, it offers St. George Care, a range of holistic services that centre around wellbeing.
Photography courtesy of Hotel St. George
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Photography courtesy of Noli Studios
Photography courtesy of Mestari Hotel
To live out your wildest princess (or prince) fantasies, check yourself into Hotel Kämp, located on Helsinki’s chicest street alongside Esplanadi park. Established in 1887, the hotel is Finland’s first and only Grand Hôtel and was originally designed by Finnish architect Carl Theodor Höijer. Hotel Kämp quickly established itself as the centre stage of the political and cultural scene of Helsinki, and historical figures such as Gustaf Mannerheim and Jean Sibelius would frequent the hotel. In 1996, the hotel went through a major restoration project to dust the hotel off and bring it back to its former glory.
Photography courtesy of Hotel Kämp
Photography courtesy of Hotel F6
Set in the Sundman building, the second oldest stone building in Helsinki is Hotel Haven. As its name implied, the elegant 137-room boutique property takes great pride in offering warm and relaxed service to make guests feel right at home, estimating that 30 per cent of them are returning guests. There are two restaurants in the hotel’s courtyard, Ultima and Sue Ellen, and at Bar Haven the cocktails can be enjoyed in front of the fireplace. Hotel Haven was designed by Finnish designer Jaakko Puro.
Photography courtesy of Hotel Haven
Hotel Torni, built in 1931, was a pioneering hotel in many aspects. Housed in Helsinki’s first skyscraper, a rooftop bar, as well as an American-style cocktail bar with round bar counters, the hotel was a happening spot. In 2022, Hotel Torni completed a two-year revamp and enlisted the help of design studios Joanna Laajisto and Fyra to restore some of the historic property’s former pizzas and understated luxury.
Photography courtesy of Solo Sokos Hotel Torni
Photography courtesy of Hotel Lilla Roberts
Photography courtesy of Hotel Ax
Photography courtesy of Glo Hotel Art
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