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“Seriously, DO 'Go to Jail'...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Katajanokka

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Hotel Katajanokka
Ranked #6 of 64 Hotels in Helsinki
Certificate of Excellence
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
307 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Seriously, DO 'Go to Jail'...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 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
Helpful?
4 Thank Val9401
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (102)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
51 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 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
Helpful?
Thank toastytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portadown, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 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
Helpful?
Thank Brian N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
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
Helpful?
Thank Pally73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level Contributor
42 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 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
Helpful?
Thank ARAK77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holsworthy, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 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
Helpful?
Thank Catsdoormat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
96 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

We stayed in a standard room for 3 nights. The room was a reasonable size, although a little narrow as it needed to fit the former jail cell size with the bathroom on the side. The bathroom was smallish, with an excellent shower but was quite adequate. The reception staff were friendly and quite helpful. We had a meal in the restaurant with friends one evening and all had an excellent meal at around the average price in Helsinki. A good reasonable eating place is Vapiano [Mikonkatu 15] for pizza, salads and pasta. The major problem was the air-conditioning which was erratic and noisy. It noisily cut out about 1:30 am at night, then restarting later with a strong fan noise. The temperature room control had no effect nor was there any capacity to turn it off. Our room was too hot, but our friends room was too cold. There was a wide choice for a cold breakfast, but limited cereals and a limited hot breakfast choice.
The hotel was within easy walking distance from the tourist attractions and a #4 tram passed the hotel travelling to the Central station and beyond. A Day Pass transport ticket for 8 euro can be a good buy if you take the ferry to Suomenlinna Island [normally 5 euro return] and plan some tram or bus rides on your return to the mainland for some of the outlying tourist attractions.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Maurice C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Katajanokka

Property: Hotel Katajanokka
Address: Merikasarminkatu 1a, Helsinki 00160, Finland
Location: Finland > Uusimaa > Helsinki > Vironniemi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Best Value Hotel in Helsinki
#4 Romantic Hotel in Helsinki
#5 Business Hotel in Helsinki
#6 Luxury Hotel in Helsinki
#8 Family Hotel in Helsinki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Katajanokka 4*
Number of rooms: 106
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Best Western Helsinki
Helsinki Best Western

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