Lapland, the forested lakelands, coastal towns and the capital Helsinki (known also as the Nordic hub of design) are all popular destinations in this peaceful country. A nation with a strong maritime history, water plays an important role in Finnish culture – and makes up a large part of the national geography. Its coast is home to the world’s largest archipelago and three of Finland’s seven Unesco World Heritage sites. Whether planning a tour of Scandinavia, a city break in Helsinki, a trip to see the northern lights (and midnight sun), or a sustainable vacation, here are some of our suggestions for the country’s finest accommodations.
Hotel Kamp Helsinki
Boasting the style and luxury of the late 19th century, this well appointed and elegant establishment is popular with celebrities who are spending time in the city. Each guestroom is spacious and boasts a marble bathroom set with both a bathtub and a shower, while guests are treated to an excellent range of amenities such as a full gym, a spa and sauna. The hotels’ Brasserie Kämp is the main restaurant, it is open daily for buffet breakfast as well as all-day dining and a popular Sunday brunch takes place there too.
Set close to the south harbour, Hotel Haven is stylish enough to attract travelling celebrities such as the Dalai Lama and Kylie Minogue while also providing premium service combined with plenty of homely touches. There are five different room categories for guests to choose from and those who have their hearts set on nothing but the best will love the Lux Sea View Rooms, which command stunning views of the harbour. Lovers of gourmet dining and fresh seafood will want to make sure that they indulge in a meal at the Havis restaurant, while the Bar Haven lounge is a decadent place to unwind in the evening.
Hotel St. George Helsinki
Famous as being one of the most stylish and luxurious hotels in the whole of Helsinki this excellent hotel is conveniently located in the very heart of the city. Lovers of contemporary Finnish art are sure to admire the style of the establishment, while each of the 53 guestrooms are unique and come complete with an excellent range of modern amenities and luxurious fittings. Dinner, lunch and breakfast are served in Andrea the hotels elegantly furnished restaurants who’s menu fuses Turkish Anatolian mezze with the freshest Finnish ingredients.
Clarion Hotel Helsinki
Conveniently located on the eighth floor of Helsinki’s airport, the Clarion Hotel is an excellent option for business travellers who like to be surrounded by luxury. The hotel also provides guests with quick and easy access to the city and the interior is sparkling new and very fresh. The guestrooms have been styled by celebrated designer Jaakko Puro and feature plenty of contemporary elements for luxury lovers such as ambient lighting control and huge walk-in showers, while guests are provided with a sauna that they can use to ease their senses after a long flight.
Scandic Grand Marina
Set in a former harbour warehouse on the pretty Katajanokka promontory, this grand hotel features a sumptuous yet understated art nouveau style with plenty of light and space in each room. Each of the 462 guestrooms have been designed to be refreshingly different, although those who have their hearts set on pure luxury will want to make sure that they opt for the presidential suite, which is set on two spacious floors. Guests who enjoy classic Finnish cuisine will want to take the opportunity to dine in one of the hotel’s excellent restaurants.
Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Located in the very heart of Helsinki, this elegant hotel boasts an authentic 1950s style, while each guestroom offers the best that Nordic contemporary design has to offer. the rooms that are located on the ninth floor of the hotel are particularly choice as they come complete with large balconies, while the furniture is perfectly in keeping with the hotel’s ‘50s theme. In the summer months, guests will want to take a seat on the huge dining terrace where they will be treated to a huge selection of Finnish tapas dishes and stunning views of the city.
GLO Hotel Art
Stepping inside the GLO hotel feels like walking through the pages of a fantasy novel and is sure to provide guests with a feeling of wonder and excitement. Guests step through a magnificently carved granite arch and an impressive ornate wooden door to reach the lobby, while the guestrooms are smart and comfortable. Those who crave a little extra space should opt for one of the contemporary GLO suites, which also come with a number of extra touches that will help guests feel truly special. Those who are travelling for business are offered full use of the Medieval-style function hall.
Set in a tranquil square and nestled amongst some of the most enchanting buildings in Helsinki, the Scandic Paasi is a real haven for design lovers. The white interiors are brightened with plenty of bold splashes of colour that creates a contemporary and quintessentially Scandinavian style. The Superior Plus rooms come complete with their own private sauna and spacious kitchenettes to help make guests feel right at home, while the large gym is the perfect place for guests to work up an appetite before indulging in the delicious dishes that are served in the enchanting floating Meripaviljonki pavilion.
An excellent location and imaginative style combine to make Klaus K one of the most popular luxury hotels in Helsinki. Fans of Finnish Kalevala mythology will note the many nods to the themes that have been utilised throughout the design of the hotel, which is followed through into each of the spacious guestrooms. The Sky Lofts are particularly impressive and come with very high-quality mattresses, while guests who book one of the Sky Suites will be able to unwind in a unique egg-shaped bed. Guests who secure one of these rooms will never need to venture far, as room service is available around the clock.
Arctic TreeHouse Hotel
Cross the Arctic Circle to find accommodation in line with your childhood aspirations. Sleep among the forest pines in your very own treehouse, where 60 modern pods have been designed to blend seamlessly with their surroundings. The restaurant is found in the enclave’s main building, but you can also elect to eat in the snowy outdoors beside a roaring fire, cosily wrapped in fur blankets. And it’ll be a guilt-free getaway – the green roofs have been built with sustainable materials, food is sourced locally, pods have eco showers and are heated using natural gas, while the main building utilises solar energy.
Arctic Light Hotel
Once Rovaniemi’s City Hall, the Arctic Light Hotel became Nordic Lapland’s first premium hotel back in 2015. Themed to reflect the local landscape and the hotel’s partnership with the WWF, the family-owned brand seeks to raise awareness of global warming. With 57 rooms (some boasting private saunas and starlight headboards), it displays a modern sumptuousness. Guest dine in the Arctic Boulevard restaurant, where the emphasis is on regional and healthy fare; the breakfast menu is world-class and comes from a celebrity chef. However, further eateries, shops, bars, the riverfront and tour meeting points are just a few minutes away on foot.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
Snuggle up under the stars in a glass igloo, surrounded by arctic wilderness, as the Northern lights dance above your bed when you book into the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. Guests can also opt for a log chalet, overlooking the igloos, or a self-catering Kelo (wood) and glass igloo that combines elements of the two. There’s also a two-bedded century-old traditional Finnish house and riverside chalets with private saunas. But reserved for the most adventurous are the full snow igloos, in which temperatures drop to between minus three and six celsius (super warm down-filled sleeping bags are provided to ensure a comfortable and inimitable night). Onsite are two restaurants, a glass igloo bar and the largest smoke sauna in the world.