My wife and I had a quick two-night visit to Helsinki in mid-October, and found this hotel via a prepaid internet booking service. We arrived and departed via Silja Line ferry, which made the location of this hotel pretty convenient for us. It would be even more convenient for Viking Line travelers. The hotel is situated on the little island just east of main Helsinki (Katajanokka island, I think) and is both walking distance to downtown and very close to the number 4 tram. There is a small grocery store a couple of blocks away.
Other reviewers have noted the arrival process so I won't really go into much detail, except to note that we arrived at the hotel without any access codes because the e-mail with the codes had been sent after we departed for our trip. Getting into the hotel and leaving our luggage wasn't really much trouble, however; a maintenance worker let us into the "lobby" area and I was able to call the other hotel's receptionist on the phone we found by the key safes. It all worked out OK.
Our room was described as a two-person studio, and that's about right. There was a pretty large living/sleeping area with a kitchenette area, and a separate bathroom. Sort of shabby furniture and quite basic kitchen items, but they worked well enough for us. The bathroom was fine and was pretty clean. The room had high ceilings which made it feel spacious. We were in the "A" building. There was a sauna on the ground floor but we didn't use it during our stay.
The bed was the real problem with this room. It was a queen-sized platform holding a box spring-like thing and a 3cm mattress/pad on top of that. Unfortunately the construction of the platform and the box spring thing made the bed basically a big U -- we rolled into the middle of the bed and into each other. Very bad news for sleeping. We ended up moving around the furniture in the room (good thing it was a big room) and putting the pad on the floor, which made it sort of like camping but was still 100% better than the bed.
The building this hotel occupies is like an old apartment building, with a great big staircase, heavy doors, and high ceilings. It has great "bones" but feels shabby and in disrepair. If the Hellsten people would renovate this building and especially update the rooms, they could probably charge 25%-50% more per room and it would still be a very good deal. As it stands now, sorry to say, you're probably better off ponying up the extra cash and staying somewhere else.
There is a very good Nepalese restaurant -- called "Everest" if memory serves -- about a block northeast of this hotel. Definitely worth the walk to eat there. Very good food and friendly service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hellsten Helsinki Senate is located in Katajanokka, one of the most exclusive districts in the heart of Helsinki. It is a promontory surrounded by water, just a stone's throw from the city centre and its attractions. Katajanokka is separated from the mainland by a channel, but it is possible to reach the city area by four bridges. Katajanokka is also the place where ferries from Stockholm and Tallin dock. Helsinki-Vantaa airport is just a 30 minute drive away. All of the major amenities, including shops, cafes, restaurants and cinemas are within walking distance from Hellsten Senate. The hotel has 52 designed one and two bedroom apartments each with a kitchenette, telephone, satellite TV and free internet access. Some of the apartments have their own sauna. A common sauna can be used as well as common laundry facilities. This old renovated building from 1915 has self contained rooms and apartments ranging in sizes from 28 to 160 square meters penthouse suite. All apartments are equipped with kitchenettes for cooking your own food. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hellsten Helsinki Senate Hotel Helsinki
- Accome Senate Helsinki
- Accome Senate Hotel Helsinki