This is a very small Best Western hotel – only 19 rooms – situated above a busy Robert’s Coffee shop and an Iguana Café. The check-in desk for the hotel is literally attached to the barista’s counter in the coffee shop. The hotel is located one block east of the main train station in the city centre of Helsinki – a perfect location if sightseeing is your main goal, or if you need to be near the transportation hub of Helsinki. You can easily walk from the train/bus station, or numerous trams stop on the street in front of the hotel, just a few steps from the front door. There is also a metro station just around the corner.
I had a double room with two twin beds that was generously sized. The beds, linens and pillows were very comfortable, and the bathroom had a nice shower with complimentary mini soap, shampoo and body gel. A hairdryer was also provided. The room had a large closet with a trouser press inside (although we couldn’t get it to heat up), and there was a very sparse mini bar and a hot pot to make coffee/tea. The room also had a flat screen TV and desk/chair for my laptop. There was complimentary wireless internet throughout the hotel and coffee shop/café downstairs, and the passcode was provided at check-in. I found the internet connection to be very fast and reliable. Our room had three very large windows that opened onto the busy street in front of the hotel, which was nice for a bit of a breeze and to view the bustling city activity. The windows were double paned (actually, they were two entirely separate sets of windows that closed one after the other – not sure how else to describe it), which did help cut some of the noise from the street – but unfortunately I still didn’t sleep well, as the traffic was quite loud during the morning hours. If traffic noise bothers you, you may want to ask for one of the rooms that do NOT face the street (there were only 2 or 3 rooms that faced the back) – or find alternate accommodations. I would’ve preferred if the room had a safe/lockbox, but it did not. I suppose I could’ve locked some things inside the mini-bar (there was some sort of a space inside the mini-bar, with a removable key), but that just seemed weird, so I didn’t do it.
The complimentary breakfast buffet was pretty minimal, and was served in the Iguana Café space (the Café apparently doesn’t open for business to the public until after mid-day). Note that it is a “continental” breakfast. The first morning we were there, there was only bread, cold cut meats, some cheese, plain yogurt, muesli and Rice Krispies, The orange juice was empty, and the milk was nearly empty. There was one pot of brewed coffee. On the second day we were there, in addition to the items mentioned above, the juice and milk were full, and there were also some hard boiled eggs, some croissants, and some fruit flavored yogurt containers. Overall, it was sufficient, but nothing glamorous. Also, it seemed that there was nobody there to re-fill the food items or to clean up after the guests, as there were used dishes sitting around on the tables.
In general, the hotel staff members were friendly and helpful. However, I got the idea that the hotel is not the primary focus of the business, as the staff members were usually busy with the coffee shop and café patrons, and would only come to the small hotel “desk” when a hotel guest approached. Overall, I thought that the hotel was a comfortable 3-star hotel in a great central location, but like all hotels in Helsinki, it was overpriced. I would never pay that much for a mid-range hotel here in the U.S.
My biggest complaint about this hotel was the poor communication in making and re-confirming my reservation. I feel it’s important to be able to contact a hotel via email and receive a prompt and accurate response. This hotel didn’t do a good job on that account. When I tried to make the reservation originally, their computer system was down for almost a week. Due to this outage, my reservation couldn’t be made through the BestWestern.com website, nor through their central reservations center – so I had to contact the hotel directly via email to make the reservation. It took nearly 5 days to make the reservation, which I felt was unacceptable (and they got the rate wrong during the email exchange, so it took even longer to get it corrected). I’m not sure if it was because the hotel staff are busy with the coffee shop and café and don’t check their hotel email frequently, or if there was some other problem, but it was frustrating. Then when I emailed the hotel to re-confirm my reservation prior to arrival, and to ask for directions, they quoted me an incorrect rate AGAIN, and when I tried to get a response from them regarding a correct rate, they never replied. After 3 days of not receiving any response from them, I finally had to call them (international long distance!) just to confirm that they had my reservation – and they yet AGAIN quoted me the incorrect rate, which I finally got corrected over the phone. Needless to say, when I arrived at the hotel, I had to ensure that they had the correct rate (they did – finally!).
So, although the accommodations and location of this hotel were both satisfactory, I’d warn travelers to beware that the communication via email may not be as timely as desired.
Rooms facing the back have less traffic noise
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.