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Hotels in Helsinki: a new level of Finnish luxury accommodation

Hotel News

Accommodation in Helsinki is changing rapidly. A number of new hotels have opened in the past two years. Falstaff visited two of the newest and most luxurious. They haven't even been completed yet.

The Maria

The world's jet set, who love to explore the vastness of Lapland and admire the Northern Lights, have complained that they would like to spend a few days in Helsinki, but there is no accommodation of sufficient standard. They are right. Forbes' highly trained luxury inspectors, who rate the luxury level of five-star hotels according to 900 different criteria, have so far found none in Finland or in the Nordic countries in general.

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The Maria aims to take luxury accommodation in Finland to a whole new level, becoming the first luxury hotel in the Nordic countries to be recognised by Forbes. Located on the street of the same name, the hotel is a stone's throw from the city centre on one side and the seafront on the other. The hotel complex consists of four different buildings, occupying half a city block and protecting its occupants from outside influences from all directions. The hotel has 117 rooms of the highest standard, including 37 majestic suites. Although the hotel has a very comfortable spa, the rooms and suites have been designed with particular attention to the bathrooms, which the hotel staff refer to as the private spas for the guests.

The hotel's restaurant offers a high standard of international cuisine. The multi-staffed concierge desk is on hand to satisfy even the most minute requests of the residents. Bed and breakfast rates start from €400 per night.

 NH Collection Helsinki Grand Hansa

The ambition of NH Collection Helsinki Grand Hansa is no less, but it is different. The most popular meeting place in the centre of Helsinki is the Stockmann department store under the clock. The hotel now wants to turn the Hansa Quarter into that kind of place.

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This is not an unrealistic wish. The hotel does not start at the door, but on the terrace in front of the hotel in the square. This is where light meals and refreshing drinks are served, not only to hotel guests but to everyone. Instead of a traditional reception area, a spacious bar welcomes you when you enter the hotel. When the weather does not permit the use of the terrace, this is a good place to relax. The hotel has a large number of meeting rooms and rooms for parties of different sizes and degrees of festivity. Again, these are for everyone and do not require an overnight stay at the hotel.

Listening to the hotel staff, you would think that all the important events in Finnish history have taken place here. For example, history-changing negotiations were held here by Marshal Mannerheim, the hero of Finland's independence and its defence. Part of today's hotel was once home to Seurahuone, Finland's longest continuously operating hotel. This block has also witnessed important gastronomic events. The Seurahuone restaurant was famous for its use of rare ingredients. The turtle soup was a hit. The current restaurant takes pride in their bouillabaisse and believe it will become a hit all over Finland. The very first French fries in Finland were eaten right here in the block. That is why they still feature prominently on the restaurant's menu. The very first bottle of coke in Finland was also opened here in the block.

As you move around the hotel, you can feel the history at every turn. The Seurahuone was once renowned for its innovation. A telephone in the room and hot water in the bathroom, wardrobes built into the walls – these were all very special features at the time. The latest in modern technology can also be found in the hotel today. The spa, the fitness room and the services of Quest Relation will allow you to stay in the hotel for a long time without having to leave it. The upscale hotel has a total of 224 rooms. Few of them are exactly alike. Prices start from €250 per room and breakfast.

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Aivar Hanson
Aivar Hanson
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