If you’re just tuning in now be sure to read how I ended up with this unique itinerary by checking out The Original Plan: The $77,000 Trip Heard Round the World, the subsequent Change Up: Riga, Latvia? and the Mongolia angle: IGLOO-GER: The Helsinki-Ulaanbaatar Trip Report.
Getting There: Take the bus to the city center and wander around till you find the main street or make it easy on yourself and take a taxi from the city center. The hotel is located at Pohjoisesplanadi, 29 right in the middle of the Esplanadi.
I’ve always wanted to go to Helsinki for reasons I cannot articulate. I believe a lot of it has to do with the name of the city which has a coolness factor all on its own. Following my rock-star flight on Finnair I was excited to check in to the Hotel Kämp, a legendary, iconic hotel that is known to all in Finland. Celebrities, dignitaries, and now TPOL are among its prior guests.
The rotunda lobby has an elegant feel reminding one of hotels from Hollywood movies. The bellman is courteous and the front-desk staff is proper. Given my platinum SPG status I was upgraded to The Ville Vallgren Suite and offered the option of complimentary breakfast or points. Usually I take the points because I’m rarely awake for breakfast but Helsinki is so expensive that I couldn’t pass up a free meal. Additionally, the reviews said the breakfast spread was not to be missed. They were right.
The elevator dinged and I was escorted to my room which had two entrances: one for the guest and one for the staff. Though I will be posting pictures, I’m hoping my words illustrate the grand and splendor of this one of a kind hotel.
After placing my bags in the spacious closet, the bellman proceeded to give me a tour of the room. There were large windows with a view overlooking the main street that had to be drawn tight in the summer to give the guest a chance to sleep. The bed was showered with soft pillows tempting me to succumb to the myth of jet-lag. To the right was an impressive bookshelf filled with fancy, rustic texts. Though it would’ve been peaceful to read one from the privacy of my own marble bathtub, alas I had to pass as the collection was in Finnish. Amusingly, the A/C was not working that well since it is barely in use throughout the year. The engineer promptly came to fix it.
The Hotel Kämp is part of SPG’s luxury collection and it is apparent to see why. Its name is known throughout Helsinki and for good reason.