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A Look Inside Helsinki's Hip Hangout, the Klaus K Hotel

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  Site Where: Bulevardi 2-4, Helsinki, Finland, 00120
October 3, 2013 at 1:22 PM | by | ()

This summer we nipped into Helsinki’s Klaus K hotel, part of Design Hotels, for a look at this delightfully well-designed hotel.

To best describe the hotel, we’ll start with the ethereal premise on which the hotel’s design is based. Do your best to try to stay with us.

Klaus K is inspired by Finland’s national epic, the Kalevala--a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology. Each of the 139 guestrooms represents a theme from the myth’s primary emotional elements: namely desire, passion, mysticism and envy. The room categories are broken down by these themes, so when you book a room, you book a Desire room, a Passion room and so on and so on. You can also book specialty rooms including the Passion for Mini room, art rooms and the Urban Nature rooms, all designed in collaboration with creative-type partners.

While you’re digesting that, here are some of the hotel’s other deets. It opened in 2004 in a late-19th-century building, and is the only Design Hotel in Helsinki. Located in the city’s hip Design District, it’s close to the Design Museum and plenty of great shops and cafes. Next door to the hotel (which you can enter directly from Klaus K) is the city’s first urban day spa, with various beautifying treatments, a gym and a sauna.

Don't miss the pics below!

The hotel has a great Italian restaurant, Toscanini, where we grabbed a yummy lunch of Buffalo mozzarella, caramelized tomato, roasted aubergine and barrel-aged balsamico for 13 EUR ($18); Risotto Primavera and Taleggio cheese for 17 EUR ($23); and a lush dessert of Passion fruit and white chocolate mousse with fresh berries and Muscovado sugar for 10 EUR ($14). There are also two set menus for 49 EUR ($67) each, which we find to be quite reasonable compared to other nice European restaurants.

Also to be found at Klaus K is the LIVINGROOM (yes it’s all capped), which opened this February. The LIVINGROOM consists of three floors of lobby/lounge space with individual nooks that beckon you to just stay put and hang out. The free WiFi is also a plus. And one of the nifty things about the LIVINGROOM is how it was designed. The US-born GM and owner, Marc (along with his Finnish wife, Mia) called for design entries via an open Facebook invitation to transform the original lobby and bar into an informal hangout space. The couple received entries ranging from sketches on a cocktail napkin to fully rendered 3D CAD designs. It’s all so “Power to the People,” isn’t it? Breakfast, local delicacies such as elk, crab or salmon sliders, and the hotel’s house wine label are all to be had here.

In the rooms, you’ll find custom-made beds by Finnish company Unikulma; toiletries by NYC-based Malin+Goetz (the hotel also uses a combination of Malin+Goetz fragrances to scent the lobby which, when we were there, was Mojito and Cannabis); and pristine clean white bathrooms with cedar ceilings that make you think you’re in a Finnish sauna. Rooms range in size from the 15 m2 (161 sq ft) Passion for Mini room (pics in the attached photo gallery) to the 55 m2 (592 sq ft) Envy Suite. In the works are 30 additional skyloft rooms expected to be completed in May of 2014.

Rates in November range from 137 EUR ($186) for the Passion for Mini room to 199 EUR ($270) for the Envy Plus room (call the hotel for rates for the Envy Suite) when you book the Early Bird Promotion which includes breakfast.

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