By now, I'm sure you know this is a converted prison and as such a very unique place to stay. I have bumped up my rating by one for that reason. Other reasons for a rating of 4 include:
* Room configuration: The size of the windows in most of the rooms is extremely small (not as shown in most of the pictures) and even at that, most of the windows start at 6-7' above the floor. As such, you do not get a lot of light in these rooms and they do feel quite claustrophobic, particularly if you're used to having a room with some sort of view (however minimal) or you're staying for more than one or two nights. I reduced my rating by one for that reason.
* Location: Although the number 4 Tram stops right in front of the hotel, this hotel is not by any means in the centre of the action in Helsinki. You're in the middle of a residential area about a 15-20 minute walk to most restaurants that are open late and this is something you should definitely consider if you like eating late because the 18 Euro late night burger option at the hotel may not be too appetizing for too many people. Other than that, your dining options in the area are pretty much limited to a Toastie at Poseidon (local bar) after 10 or 11 p.m. Bellevue (Russian) and Everest (Nepalese) are really the only other two dining choices on the island earlier in the day or evening. Having said that, if you're getting a transport pass for the duration of your stay or don't mind paying Helsinki's high taxi fares, this may not be an issue. For that reason, I reduced the rating by half.
* Services: We arrived at the hotel relatively late on the first night, around 10:00 p.m. There was no shampoo / body wash in the room, which occasionally happens, but to our surprise there was nothing available at the front desk either! Apparently the cleaning at the hotel is subcontracted out and the night staff does not have access to toiletries! They asked me to use hand soap instead and there was nothing open in the general vicinity. In all fairness, they did offer to compensate us the next morning (I was a little shocked and did not ask for anything) and there was already a note on the account to shower us - pardon the pun - with toiletries and they did. But that type of mishap should not happen at a 4* hotel and for that reason and I reduced my rating by another half.
Overall, it's not a bad place to stay if you don't mind the location, or the size of the windows, but just be on the safe side, make sure you bring your own soap to drop! ;)
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- Also Known As:
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- Helsinki Best Western