What are the best historic hotels in Helsinki?

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Violetta Teetor

In the quiet neighborhood of Munkkiniemi next to the sea, Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa Hotel has a history as far back as 1910 when it was a fisherman’s croft. It was the world-renowned architect Eliel Saarinen who envisioned the current grand building that proudly looks over the expanse of sea at its feet. All rooms have either a park or sea view and have seen the likes of the King and Queen of Sweden and President Kekkonen and his entourage. There’s an indoor pool and sauna for your pure relaxation and a private beach for those long, sunny afternoons. Just 15 minutes by tram from the city center, it’s easy to go shopping or out for dinner.

Located in the heart of the Design District of Helsinki, is the Solo Sokos Hotel Torni, one of the tallest buildings in the city. Designed by architects Jung & Jung in 1928, it has a checkered past with rumors of intrigue and espionage before and during the Second World War. Amid all the whispering going on there was one story that you really could believe and that was the fact that it was the culinary destination in town and the bedrooms have housed dignitaries such as the United States President Herbert Hoover, Swedish Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland and various colorful artistic characters from Finland. It is still the best place to have a cocktail while you take in the spectacular view over the rooftops.

Dating even further back is Hotel Seurahuone Helsinki, which was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel and opened its doors to distinguished guests in 1833. Its walls have their own stories to tell: when it became a hiding place for refugees and emigrants during the First World War; how they managed to stay in business during prohibition; and how it fell into the hands of the Hok Elanto chain due to raised rent levels in this prime spot right opposite the Central Railway Station. Today, it’s a high-quality, stylish hotel with chandeliers and chintz, just like it was in the olden days.

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