I’m sat in a chair that looks comfier than it is, my back to a thin wall, and I can hear the muffled voices of smartly-dressed businesspeople having a meeting. Like all the colours in the room, my chair is deep and calls back to older times of Russian Tsars and unfiltered opulence.
The room is bright despite the dark colours. Huge windows fill the walls and a chandelier tumbles from the ceiling, glass beads dripping from candle-shaped bulbs.
My pewter teapot is heavy and the handle is warm as I pour my tea. The table filled up quickly when a bartender brought over complimentary tea and canapes, which she adorably called “salties,” because three are savoury and one is a white chocolate and raspberry bite.
This is the Upper Lounge, an area reserved for people in the executive rooms, and is open during the day, with complimentary snacks and beverages from 3.30pm until 6pm. Champagne corks occasionally pop as most people choose to drink sparkling wine.
Hotel Kamp is in the centre of Helsinki. The original building is 130 years old and though much of the building was destroyed in various wars, the inside has kept that late 19th century luxurious feel common across much of Europe.
Fixtures, fittings and connectivity
The word that keeps coming back to me about Hotel Kamp is opulence – the bathroom is marble, the toilet is separated from the sink, shower and bath by a frosted glass door. The dark green of Kamp’s signature rubber duck pops with colour compared to the crisp white towels.
The time taken on details makes me feel like an honoured guest. The bed is turned down every night, with excess cushions and blankets folded neatly and put away, and slippers laid out by the bed on their own little mats. A bottle of water and a glass is left on each side of the bed along with a chocolate each.
When the towels in the bathroom are folded on the side of the bath, they’re put together to form the hotel’s logo.
The only concern I had with the room was that there weren’t plugs on both sides of the bed.
Shop windows by the hotel display Prada, Longchamp, and other excessively expensive brands. The hotel is in the centre of a shopping district so if this is your thing, then you’re in the right place.
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Helsinki's Oodi library is a marvel of modern architecture. It's shaped like a boat and even inside you can move through the hull, up to the bow and view the city's orchestra house and museums through sea-speckled glass. . The real marvel, though, is that Finland wants to support small businesses. So you can go and use their design PCs, 3D printers, workshops, sewing machines or recording studios completely free of charge! . There's space to work and play and I've never seen such a well-used space. Gone are dusty books, instead are useful volumes delivered by robots(!) and sports equipment to rent. . This staircase is imprinted with descriptors of who the library is for: Finns, the young, the old, alcoholics… this is a space for everybody, and a symbol of what I found Finland to be: welcoming, prosperous, generous, optimistic
It’s also only a short walk from the ferry terminal to the Soumenlinna islands and it’s a 10 minute walk to the train station in the opposite direction. There’s also plenty of tram stops around to help get around the city.
We booked with Amex Fine Stays, so we were given a complimentary 3 course meal in the Brasserie.
It was as good as you’d expect, and not too artsy and decorative. The focus was on French-style food, served well in healthy portions. I had steak for my main, followed by petit fours for dessert. I asked the waiter to choose them for me to make it a surprise which flavours I received.
I saw petit fours in several places in the city; although to me it had always meant small cakes, here it can mean chocolates, too.
Normally the reserve of rooftop bars and Insta-views, at Hotel Kamp the top floor is home to its spa and sauna so there’s soft piano music playing in place of upbeat cocktail-bar tracks.
There are 6 mosaic loungers, with two spas behind them and big leafy plants adding life. A couple of people relaxed and read on these, but mobile phones are banned.
The windows are frosted and it makes the room feel inward-looking. It’s a space for introspection and reflection. Our guide around the city had told us that saunas were sacred spaces for Finns, and perhaps this introspection in spaces where everyone is equal has created their equitable society. Has it given them their famed reserved personalities?
If you’re looking for somewhere different for your city break, check out my 4 Alternative City Breaks post.
“Happy International Women’s Day,” I was told whilst being given a rose by a waitress after breakfast. It was also how I was welcomed into the bar in the evening.
I was made to feel special and an individual throughout my stay at Hotel Kamp, and I think that’s what I’ll take away from my whole stay.
Overall, what it’s like to stay at Finland’s most luxurious hotel is that feeling of being special. Lots of hotels invest in beautiful rooms and hire an expensive Head Chef, but the culture of a hotel comes through in how you’re treated in everyday moments. At Hotel Kamp, every member of the team was cheerful and welcoming without being overbearing or judgemental. They were helpful, kind and treated me as an individual, not just another guest.
If you enjoyed this review, find out whether you think you’d enjoy Hilton Curio’s Hart Shoreditch.