New York, NY, October 2006 — A flurry of openings, renovations and commendations mark the hotel scene in Finland. From upscale properties in Helsinki to airport, business, budget hotels and tourism complexes, new offerings are in the works throughout the country.

Coming Soon – Opening in spring 2007, the Hotel GLO, part of the the Palace Kämp Hotel Group is a lifestyle hotel located next to the Kämp Galleria in the heart of Helsinki, offering European style, 144 spacious rooms, and two restaurants. For business travelers, the Primehotels Oy will provide premium services and features in the former Katajanokka Prison. The 106-room hotel, is surrounded by a park, was used as a prison through the end of the 20th century.

In the budget group, Omena Hotels will open two hotels, one in the Kamppi district of Helsinki, and one in the city center. The chain’s concept is based on a high level of technology-based automation which allows for affordable rates at just 55 euros per night. Omena hotels do not have reception areas or reception desks and there are no check-in or check-out procedures; www.omena.com. A new airport hotel will be Hilton’s third hotel in Helsinki, located next to the International terminal of the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. The hotel features 244 rooms, restaurant space for 700, a ballroom, and ten flexible meeting rooms; www.hilton.com.

S-Group’s Sokos Hotels will increase their presence throughout the country with the new 95-room Sokos Hotel Albert in Helsinki in 2007; and in 2008 the 309-room Sokos Hotel Jumbo Park in Vantaa; and the 172-room Sokos Hotel in Levi (Lapland), part of the forward-thinking “Levi Market Place,” a joint venture which includes new restaurants, parking places, apartments and shops. The hotel will feature 76 rooms with sauna, conference rooms, saunas, and a ski maintenance room. S-Group is the largest provider of hotel and restaurant services in Finland with three hotel groups, Sokos Hotels, Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Club spa hotels; www.sokoshotels.com.

New and Notable — the upscale Hotel Klaus K, part of Design Hotel Group, has been an instant success since its opening in November with 136 rooms, three restaurants and the Helsinki Day Spa. On Bulevardi near Helsinki’s prestigious Esplanade Park, Finland’s first design/lifestyle hotel showcases the cuisine of Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Manhattan’s Aquavit restaurant and Finland’s irascible “green prominent” Chef Markus Maulavirta. Inspired by Finland’s national epic, the hotel’s distinctive rooms offer superior design and high tech features. The Klaus K was included in the Conde Nast Traveler Magazine Hot List in May 2006; www.klauskhotel.com, www.dayspa.fi.

Renovations — Seven Sokos hotels will be undergoing makeovers: Sokos Hotel Torni in an Art Deco style known as Suprematism, in vogue at the hotel’s opening in 1931 (the hotel will also add the Escape Day Spa); Sokos Hotel Ilves; Sokos Hotel Helsinki; Sokos Hotel Presidentti, Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Helsinki, Sokos Hotel Pasila; and the Sokos Hotel Lahden Seurahuone; www.sokoshotels.com.

Awards — The acclaimed Hotel Kämp, located on Helsinki’s beautiful Esplanade, has been ranked among the world’s Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Top 100 Hotels” in 2006. The luxury hotel features the elegant Kämp Café; the exclusive Kämp Club; and Yume, a Japanese restaurant under the auspices of Executive Chef Hirakzu Kamijukkoko; www.luxurycollection.com/kamp.

Intercontinental Hotels has recognized three Finnish hotels as being among the best of its brands in Europe, the Middle East and Africa: Holiday Inn Helsinki City Centre, recipient of the “Quality Excellence Award;” Holiday Inn Helsinki City West, winner of the “Newcomer Award;” and Crowne Plaza Helsinki which won the “Newcomer Award” and the “Torchbearer Award” for rating in the top three percent of its brand, based on consumer feedback.

The 118-room Hotel Seurahuone, the oldest in Finland, has reopened after extensive renovations. Its unique Art Nouveau style and 170-year-old traditions combine with all the amenities of a modern first-class hotel. The Holiday Day Inn Hotels, Seurahuone and Crowne Plaza in Finland belong to the Restel Hotel Group, one of the largest hotel groups in Finland; www.restel.fi
For more information contact the Finnish Tourist Board, www.visitfinland.com/na

For more on Finland at ITKT