I stayed one night in Helka Hotel in Jan 2013. Here is my feedback (all positive)
Location - (1) If you are arriving into Helsinki airport, take the FinnAir City bus, it will drop you within 3-4 minutes of the hotel. (2) If you are taking a train, the main train station is also 3-4 minute walk, right next to the bus station. (3) If you are arriving at the port, like I did on a ferry from Tallinn, there is a direct streetcar (I think No. 9), which drops you within 4-5 blocks. There are lot of street-car routes within a 3-block radius. So location-wise, it can't get any better. There are quite a few restaurants (albeit fast food) within a block, but you can of course walk toward the bus/train station, where the options are lot more.
Hotel & rooms - Great value for money. As some other reviews have mentioned, the decor in the room is funky, and everything works. The night I was there, it was 27 degrees Celsius BELOW zero outside, but the heater kept the room comfortable. Breakfast spread is very good. What amazed me was the size of the "singe" bed room. On the same trip I had stayed in some really tiny "single" rooms, but this one was nice and big. There is a bar/cafe downstairs near the reception, but it's open only some hours of the morning and then in the evening. I did not use the restaurant.
Staff - *Extremely* friendly. When I reached there, I realized that the website through which I booked (Gala Hotels) had goofed up, and the hotel never got my confirmation. However, the lady at the reception was very friendly and warned me that this had happened before with this agency. She assured me I would get a room that night, got me a cup of coffee and also talked with the folks at Gala Hotels. Eventually it got figured out.
so, overall great place to stay if you want to use the public transport, and if you want to attend trade shows or something (like I did in Pasila).
A couple of general comments:
- Be careful while booking through Gala Hotels - they have a UK number, but they are based in Turkey, and it is difficult to get a hold of them, especially when you run into problems. And if you call their customer service, all they tell you is "we are sorry, but please have patience, we will get back to you" - Imagine someone telling you this when it is 27 degrees below zero outside, and you have come to a hotel to find out that there is no reservation
- When traveling on a commuter train in Helsinki, you can have to buy a ticket before you board the train, and most of the automatic ticket machines didn't seem to take cash. they accept only the cards with chips. You can buy ticket on the train, but only on certain compartments - so just be careful.
Hope this helps.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Casual Elegance inspired by Finnish Design and Nature! Only 250 meters from Kamppi Metro Station, privately owned Hotel Helka offers 150 functional rooms, fine dining and a cozy street bar. All the rooms have design furniture and a strong sense of Finnish nature. All of the rooms have air-cooling system, minibars and flat-screen TVs. Breakfast buffet, use of Sauna and WiFi connection are complimentary for all guests. Hotel Helka is housed in a refurbished 1920s building. The bright rooms feature decor by Artek and other well-known Finnish design brands and designers. Guests can enjoy drinks and snacks in Helka’s trendy Lobby Bar. Helka’s central location provides easy access to shopping, dining and culture. Helsinki Central Station is 10 minute walk away. Welcome to the Heart of Helsinki! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Helka Hotel Helsinki