We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Bring your own soap to drop!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka

Save Saved
You added Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 10 more sites!
Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Merikasarminkatu 1a, Helsinki 00160, Finland (Vironniemi)   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
Hotel deals
  |  
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Lowest Rates Guaranteed
Ranked #5 of 64 Hotels in Helsinki
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Bring your own soap to drop!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

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! ;)

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pipsa K, Director of Sales at Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka, responded to this review, October 7, 2013
Hello Beh007,
sorry for the late answer. We usually have soap at the reception but for some reason not this time. We apologize and promise to keep eye on it in the future. Thank you for your feedback!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

671 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    339
    283
    37
    7
    5
See reviews for
77
326
62
96
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (61)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

This hotel was remodeled from a former prison site, I can honestly say it is the first time I’ve ever spent the night in a prison and I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. The rooms are comfortable and very well equipped, the staff is very friendly, helpful and we enjoyed breakfast at the restaurant downstairs. There is a very nice courtyard, perfect for enjoying the weather and a cocktail. The tram has a stop just steps away from the hotel and is convenient for seeing the sights anywhere in the city, the waterfront is only a short walk away. I highly recommend this hotel for anyone spending time in Helsinki.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

The hotel is unique being modified from an old prison. The rooms are spacious. The staff friendly. The hotel has free WiFi but you cannot access it in the rooms (probably a result of the old prison walls). You can go outside the room and access it OK in the hall but there are no seats or tables - you have to make do sitting on the floor which is not easy for we in our 70s. You can access it at the Terrace Bar but, at least while we were there, they played constant loud noise (my wife described it as music befitting the drug culture). I asked the barkeep to turn it down but he said he had no control. The patrons were like us, either trying to carry on a conversation with their tablemates or using the internet. It was nigh on impossible to concentrate with the noise/"music." If they must play music, turn it down and make it soothing not annoying.
We had lunch in the restaurant. The food was very good and the prices reasonable. We were taking the Viking Line Ferry to Tallinn and the landing was only a few blocks away. Walking into the main part of town took a good 20 or so minutes but there are streetcars that will take you there. Buy the Helsinki Card if you've never been there. You can take a free tour of the city by sightseeing bus and use the local transportation system gratis. This includes he ferry to the old fortress island of Suomenlinna.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Turku, Finland
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

We stayed here for one night and found ourselves thinking about the jail guests in past years. Today the visitor will find excellently renovated building, really nice work done to keep the jail look but adding all the needed services and amenities for paying visitors. Here you really can think about the jail time, looking at the gates, cell placement, thinking about guards walking around. That sure is something extra you cannot find from any regular hotel! As the hotel has placed chairs and sofas to the hallways, a guest can stop and sit down to really enjoy the building - and we found that many of these chairs were booked most of the time.

Entering the room we noticed good quality of renovation and the room was in excellent condition - almost. Three things took out the final star from our rating: first, sizeable dust ball under the desk, second: broken ceiling light, third: too short blackout curtains. The first two should have been noticed by housekeeping in my opinion, and fixed straight away to justify premium status of the hotel. The third one with curtains was especially problematic in our room, as we were located in a room facing the hotel entry which was brightly lit all night long. Because the window is located high in the wall (prison style), it means the light is just behind it and when you lie down to the bed, the light shines directly to your eyes. In a five star property this kind of hiccup would not be there. Oh, now than I think of this, perhaps one extra thing to mention: in bathroom the soap and the holder did not work together. The holder was designed for some other shape of soap bottle which made this mismatching combination difficult or impossible to use. However, this could be fixed by removing the bottle and using it separately. Otherwise the bathroom was in perfect condition and furnished with high quality equipment.

As others have mentioned, the staff is using jail-style striped clothes and everyone we met, provided great and very friendly service. Wireless network we heard may be a challenge to get in each room due to thick stone walls, but the reception offered network cables for guests to borrow. Network was reliable and worked fine in our room, both wireless to mobile and wired to laptop. And yes, the room was very quiet due to these walls! The breakfast was excellent, so many options that there really was nothing missing. Everything was tasty, clean and nicely presented.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

I stayed here for 4 nights as a solo traveller to a conference at the University. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful. The food was excellent and I had a bit of a surprise on my first night to be served dinner by a prison guard who very reliably advised on menu choices.
Bike hire is only 10 euros for the day so if you wish to explore tkae advantage of this but remember that the braking is by back pedalling. If not sure about something just ask - the staf will be only too ready to advise. The hotel has a tram stop right outside so easy to get to centre and tram 4 allso goes to some of the sights so no need to change e.g. for rock church.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

What a brilliant hotel. Our room was very spacious and the bathroom had been done to a very high standard. The staff were very friendly and helpful and spoke excellent english. Unfortunately breakfast wasn't very good and we had one evening meal there which was not too good either. However the atmosphere in the restaurant, which used to be solitary confinement, was brilliant. There are also some cells that you can check out too. The outside bar and entertainment was also very good. The city centre was within walking distance. as were many tourist attractions. We went on the Red Hop On Hop Off bus tour, and also the #7 tram which goes all around the city. Both were excellent. There are also several boat tour operators to choose from to take you around the bay and islands. The local daily market was also excellent for both food and souveniers. We would definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Finland
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

We had a wonderful weekend in Helsinki in the middle of March. For a change we reserved a hotel that was a bit different than usual. It was an old jail house renovated to a hotel few years ago. During the selection process all the good reviews here washed away the doubt of long walking distance from the city centre.

The service was polite and helpfull as we were able to leave our car to the hotels premises and also checking in already before noon.

During the first moments I was very impressed of the hotels atmosphere. The corridors were nicely renovated by respecting the old mood. The hotel room itself didn't remind at all of the building's old purpoces. That was a small disappointment.

We took a tram just outside the main entrance to the city centre. It was a very easy way to get in the middle of all the action. The distances are not so long and as we headed back we walked all the way from Erottaja back to the hotel.

In the middle of the night we both heard some loud banging outside our room. What really surprised us was it seamed to come from behind the wall were was nothing else than air outside. Maybe it was some old residents ghost?

The breakfast was good and there was plenty of it. The mugs and cups reminded of the old days. Next to the dining hall there was some old cells to check out. Well I hope that nobody needs to be living in such conditions...

After the breakfast we tried to visit the jailhouses old chappel but the key card we got from the reception did not work. Well at least there is something to check out next time when staying over.

I can really recommend the hotel for a visitor who likes to have something special and not just fancy room.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka

Address: Merikasarminkatu 1a, Helsinki 00160, Finland
Phone Number:
Location: Finland > Southern Finland > Helsinki > Vironniemi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Helsinki
#5 Luxury Hotel in Helsinki
#5 Business Hotel in Helsinki
#5 Romantic Hotel in Helsinki
#8 Family Hotel in Helsinki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka 4*
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, Odigeo, Expedia, Travelocity, Tingo, Priceline, HotelTravel.com, Hotel.de, TripOnline SA, Otel and Venere so you can book your Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Best Western Helsinki
Helsinki Best Western

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.