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“Great Location and Fun to Boot” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka

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Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Merikasarminkatu 1a, Helsinki 00160, Finland (Vironniemi)   |  
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Ranked #5 of 64 Hotels in Helsinki
Halifax, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Great Location and Fun to Boot”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

The hotel was converted from a former prison that closed in about 2002. The hotel is wonderfully modern and has some fun with its former use in terms of of its room, common area and dining area appointments. For example, they have kept an old cell and an isolation cell as they were. They make for great selfies to send home: "The hotel is very secure, no security concerns. But, the rooms are a bit spartan. :) " But seriously, the hotel is thoroughly modern and very comfortable. The location of the hotel is perfect. Easy walking distance to downtown, ferry terminals, major tourist sites, shopping, dining, the "Esp" and a main tram line stops in front of the hotel. The walls of the former prison make for the creation of a wonderful courtyard for outside dining and drinking. Plenty of grassed in area for relaxing after a long day. Wonderfully quiet and relaxing area. And, with the sun setting after 10 PM in the summer it's easy to enjoy the courtyard just to relax or have a late meal. The staff are friendly, professional and knowledgeable. We would definitely stay here again. PS: One very small thing. The rooms' walls are so thick (It is a former prison after all.) that internet connections in the rooms can be a bit weak. But, we could always connect in our room, as could our friends. If you have trouble, connect with the door open. Close the door and you will keep the connection. But staying in a former prison trumps this little quirk in terms of fun.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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

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674 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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)
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Maidstone, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
148 reviews 148 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

Saw this hotel on Trip Advisor, and it exceeded expectations. Tram no 4, stops right outside. The reception staff were lovely. I had to change our room booking to a disabled room, as I was on crutches, and I spoke to Rita on the phone and she remembered me when we checked in. We were given a larger room in the old admin block right next to reception, but within the same building. The "cell" rooms are smaller (we went with relatives, who had one of these rooms) and they were cosy, but we would ask for one of these next time. There is free WiFi, but as the prison walls are so thick, you might not get good reception! Rita was so helpful, she booked a restaurant for us, and marked on the map places to visit etc. The Terrace Bar is in the prison grounds, and in a sun trap. Although we didn't have dinner in the hotel, it is served, as is breakfast in the basement of the prison and you can visit the old isolation cell. The room is cleverly lit with candles, and breakfast is a feast. Self service, and lots of choices. You won't get a "full English", but the delights of meats, cheeses, baltic herring as well as meatballs, tiny sausages and delicious omelette as well as fruits, yoghurt, breads and some sweet treats, tea , coffee etc. We loved our stay in prison, and will go back. The staff are lovely and wear striped tee shirts with a prisoner no (the hotel phone no) on as prison 'uniform'. Laura checked us out and was very helpful too. It was a brilliant stay. Can't wait to go back. I missed out on some sights in Helsinki, as mobility was difficult, but will definitely book this hotel when mobile as it is a 10/10 for me.

Room Tip: We had a larger room on the same level as reception, level 2, relatives had a cell room on the 3rd f...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

I just loved this hotel; the preserved elements from its prison history were quite neat and interestingly, there were just no leftover "bad vibes" at all in here. In fact, the layout of the next Helsinki hotel where I stayed felt much more like a prison than this did. The service was fantastic and the food in their restaurant was actually quite good, albeit a bit pricey.

The WiFi doesn't work so well in the rooms, presumably because of the super-thick prison walls, but it was working in the common areas. If you were really desperate, you could stand in the doorway of your room with your face pressed into a corner and then you could get a signal int he room, but why not just walk into the hallway at that point?

I can;t say enough good things about how much fun it was to be in this hotel and what a good vibe it had. So strange that a former prison has one of the nicest energies of many planes I've been... but somehow, the place just feels good. Go here. Love it.

Room Tip: The top floor has more interesting window layouts in the rooms.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Portadown, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

Taxi driver from the airport warned us of the ghosts in this place as it is a former prison. It certainly retains all the look of a prison but we cannot claim any ghostly experiences. The layout and open areas are all prison like but light and open. The rooms are small as they are doubled up cells. Have been organised very well for a relatively small space, the shower and toilet are very generous. Very solid doors and walls so absolutely soundproof. Not much of a view as windows are high so lack of space is not an issue as you probably will not sit in room. Restaurant (only took breakfast) is in basement and is windowless but atmospheric. Overall a great hotel, good breakfast, nice outside terrace in courtyard catches midsummer evening sun. Right by the tram line so easy to get into the city. Uspenski Cathedral is a short walk away. Limited wifi in rooms due to thick walls, but there are plenty of seats in corridors and this is explained by the receptionist when the checkin.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Milan, Italy
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

A very pleasant experience. Good level quality hotel in a curious contest Well equipped room, rich and tasty breakfast, nice staff, very good location in a quiet but central area of the city. Just one remark: part of the bathroom wall was made of glass causing a little lack of privacy while having the shower. Apart from this,everything was perfect and I really enjoyed my stay!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Albany, New York
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

I had a great stay at the Hotel Katajonakka. The staff was the highlight, they (esp. Rita) were helpful and full of great suggestions for ways to spend the day in Helsinki. The hotel was well located, with a quick (~10 min) walk to the city center, or alternatively the tram stopped right outside the hotel. It was an interesting setting, and they've done a great job renovating, as I would have never known from the quality of the room, that this was a former prison. My room was on the second floor and I had easy access to very fast wi-fi. I highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Holsworthy, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014

Hotel Katanajokka in Helsinki was a delight! Rich in history (it's an old jailhouse) but bang up to date, from walking through the front door to checkout was a positive experience. The front-counter staff were charming and helpful (I have no Finnish, but their English is perfect); the room was immaculate and cosy (jail window high up, naturally); great shower, a widescreen TV, Gideon Bible, hairdryer, minibar, crisp white sheets and marshmallowy pillows. And as for the breakfast in the old jail cellar: sumptuous is the word. If only I'd been hungrier in this Helsinki heatwave! So much on offer, to suit everyone from the ravenous American visitors and their picky kids, to older guests...fresh fruit, cheeses, cold meats and Scandinavian fish, a variety of breads, eggs, tomatoes, yoghurts, different milks, juices, teas, coffees, etc etc. I had to check out at midday after a one-night stay, but the lovely girls at reception safeguarded my heavy luggage in a locker room as I wandered the city, until I left again for the airport at 7pm. The hotel is in a terrific location: the No4 and 4T trams stop right outside, while the exhilarating Helsinki harbour is just a five-minute stroll away via picturesque old wharf buildings. Just loved it all, and hope very much to stay at Hotel Katanajokka again.

Room Tip: Any room here is going to be convenient for the sights of wondrous Helsinki, especially if you fancy...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Helsinki
#5 Business Hotel in Helsinki
#5 Luxury Hotel in Helsinki
#5 Romantic Hotel in Helsinki
#6 Family Hotel in Helsinki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka 4*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Best Western Helsinki
Helsinki Best Western

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