The most luxurious hotel in Finland. Since 1887.

Build in 1887 by Carl Wilhelm Kämp and his architect Theodor Hoijer 31 years before finish independence from Russia, the Hotel Kämp is a neoclassicistic architectural masterpiece on Helsinki's most splendid boulevard Pohjoisesplanadi. Host to people like Jean Sibelius and shadowy undergroupings in the past, it is now overlooking the Esplanade Park, it was reopened in the 1990's and now displays the most opulent fittings and interior design of all hotels in Helsinki. It features a beautiful sauna and steam bath area, a gorgeous bar, Helsinki's only 5 star restaurant and an excellent brasserie.

Before entering, the doorman will give you a respectful tap on his hat and entering the main entrance, you find yourself in a large, dark green reception area, where concierge, receptionists and bellboy are all busy to help you with your concerns. Bar, brasserie and ballrooms all branch off from this area: this is hotel has quite a compact footprint and does not require long walks to get from A to Z.

The best girlfriend ever and I stayed in one of the so-called DeLuxe rooms and were positively impressed: the room was immaculate, the bathroom the largest I've ever seen in a hotel (Large Shower and a bathtub big enough for two). The room had the size of a tennisfield and showed no signs of previous usage (as you can see so often in shabbily maintained chains in the UK), but felt utterly pristine. The bed was the size of a small london flat, and the extras were plentyful.

Housekeeping was extremely discreet but very efficient with some nice touches that showed somebody was quite proud of their standards of work.

The bar was well stocked with single malts, but I am not able to comment on the cocktail skills of the bar staff, as I normally just have my malt and drink it. The only complaint I had was that the place reeked of cigarsmoke, but as the bar was renowned for its good stock of stogeys, it was hard to complain about. We found a nice smokefree corner anyway.

The staff was at all times friendly and helpful and never showed the slightest whiff of arrogance, something that unfortunately is quite a common sight in 5 star hotels (especially with clients like me, who refuse to dress remotely five star).

Downsides? Well, there's no pool, the minibar and bar prices are horrendous, and the price for the hotel itself is quite outrageous as well, but then, Helsinki seems to be the most expensive capital in Europe when it comes to bars and restaurants, so in the end I was not surprised by the bill.

On the other hand, you might just enhance that weekend with your loved one in Europe's coldest capital, as you will need a bit of warmth and comfort after walking around town at -10 degree celsius.

Hotel Kämp, Pohjoisesplanadi 29, 00100 Helsinki, Finland

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