To make things easier, I'll write this one in English as I guess someone outside Finland could also be interested in hearing about the hotels in Helsinki. For those loyal Finnish followers who might get muddled with my Finglish, do not worry, I will continue with my beloved native language in the next post.
To give some background on why I would write about hotels - I stay in one at least once a month. So I'd say I've had the chance to learn what makes a nice hotel nice and what are the things that don't really add value to a hotel stay. Having said that, it is of course possible that someone looks for different things and wouldn't mind a bad brekkie if coffee is all they need, but even if my negatives are someone else's positives, I'm sure my reviews would be helpful in pinpointing what the different hotels in Helsinki can offer. So the idea is that I'll write something about all the hotels that I've been to in Helsinki and then in the end will hopefully be able to find my favourite! And you'll be able to find yours too of course, sorry for sounding that selfish first!
Oh and by the way, it does make a difference whether one travels for business or leisure. As I do both, I usually look at things from both aspects. I'll keep this short and succinct, but feel free to ask questions - I'm pretty sure I forgot something..!
To start the series (now that I mentioned that this will be a series I feel quite pressured to actually follow through and write about more than one hotel) I'll introduce one of my favourite hotels in Helsinki. Or favourite might be a wrong word, actually, I have a love and hate relationship with Klaus K.
I've stayed in Klaus K 3 or 4 times if I remember correctly. First time I had a really nice room, however, since then I have changed nothing in my booking but my rooms have been tiny. I must have gotten lucky the first time or my company decided to cut down on our hotel budget and started booking me budget rooms. Before I start babbling too much, let's just list the good and the bad of Mister K.
What I like about Klaus K:
+ Beautiful decor, design and style
+ The lobby bar and the whole lounge area that they call the Living Room
+ It isn't a chain hotel and it doesn't feel like one
+ Quality shampoo and conditioner provided (so many places forget the conditioner, they shouldn't!)
+ Good coffee at breakfast (for special ones like cappuccino you need to pay extra though, but I like black filter coffee, especially when it's good)
+ Bicycles and umbrellas provided for hotel guests if needed
+ You get Finnair points for each stay. This is great as I am a loyalty point junkie and happen to be a Finnair Plus member too.
+ Great location. Almost perfect actually. Easy access to different parts of Helsinki regardless of whether you are travelling on business or leisure.
What I don't like so much about Klaus K:
- The small rooms are tiny. Like claustrophobia tiny. And the double rooms are small too. If you book a room meant for two people the bed is still a small double.
- The bathrooms in the small rooms are inconvenient because the water will flow all over the place.
- When on a work trip, it is frustrating that there is no iron in the room but you need to ask it from the reception. But I guess this is related to the small size of the basic rooms.
- The wardrobe has never enough hangers for me. I'm not good when it comes to travelling light.
- The breakfast is a bit odd. I guess it tries to be fancy, but the choice of salty stuff like meat cuts and things you'd put on your bread are too non-ordinary. And there are no Karelian pies! A Finnish hotel should always have them rice pies! The sweet stuff and the yogurts are good though. But they don't explain the allergens very well. You'd have to ask the staff and the staff wouldn't know either and they'd have to ask the kitchen.
- The Internet connection is a bit slow. Good thing is that it's included in the room price though. And it's definitely not the worst Internet when compared to other hotels in Helsinki.
This is my happy face in the Klaus K Livingroom area playing pool. The staff where really nice and brought us some snacks as well. As I already mentioned earlier, this are is definitely the biggest plus of Klaus K.
This photo is stolen from the company's website, as my photos from the rooms didn't turn out too well... But the room in this photo looks actually just like one of the rooms I stayed in once. Not one of the smallest ones but would be a bit tight for two people I'd say.
And the above is from the tiny room. There was literally no space whatsoever around the bed. Yet it is very nicely decorated and has a good TV and a big mirror. I guess if you're in Helsinki only for one night and want to save a bit money yet still stay in a nice hotel, this room type would be something to go for.
This is the bathroom of the tiny room. Super inconvenient to be honest. At least it's still somewhat stylish. And for their defence, the bathrooms in the slightly bigger rooms are super nice.
This photo taken from the hotel's website too ^^ On the same street right next to the hotel there are two of my favourite Helsinki restaurants too, Gaijin and Boulevard Social. That is maybe part of the reason I like the location of this hotel so much.
All in all, I really like the athmosphere in Klaus K, but would rather stay there on a holiday than a business trip. And would recommend to spend a bit extra to get one of those bigger rooms...!
Oh, and one thing that I should definitely include in my reviews is the gym, but unfortunately I am a bit lazy on my short trips to Helsinki and so far I've never used a hotel gym. I know I should but... Well, maybe next time! I'll make sure I'll add my reviews on those if I ever get my lazy ass to the gyms of the hotels I stay in.
Anyone else stayed in Klaus K, what did you think?
Those who understand Finnish, check out a review of this same hotel by a Finnish travel blogger: Pako Arjesta, it was extremely detailed and slightly different than mine so could be an interesting read if looking for information on Klaus K!