An authentic hotel that greatly differs from big hotel chains – Hotel Helka
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
An energetic atmosphere filled with laughter and loud speaking – this is what you come across right after entering Hotel Helka’s refurbished building from the early 1900s. The lobby is cozy and designed with great taste, combining modern art with design classics.
When looking around and talking to Hotel Manager Thomas Högdahl, I quickly notice that Hotel Helka is a forward-looking hotel that isn’t afraid of reforming. For example check-in is quick and convenient with machines - this is a feature business travelers must value!
“We do everything we can to make ours guests’ stay as pleasant as possible. It’s especially important for us that everyone feels welcome. Our hotel is discrimination-free zone and accepts everyone regardless of their gender, age, ethnic background, religion, opinion, state of health, disability or sexual orientation”, says Högdahl.
We head to the restaurant on the 1st floor where the Scandinavian breakfast is just being served. While we greatly enjoy the organic and local products, Thomas eagerly begins to explain Helka’s long and exciting history.
This year marks Helka’s 50th anniversary, which naturally means a big celebration. A lot has changed since the hotel first opened its doors in 1969: Helsinki has grown from a backwater city to a trendy Nordic capital that attracts millions of tourists every year.
Hotel Helka has many loyal guests who have kept coming back to the hotel for decades. “We have many regular customers who always return to Helka. The perfect location right in the centre of Helsinki and great atmosphere probably make them want to visit us year after another”, comments Högdahl.
The hotel has developed a lot but the main values continue to thrive strong: responsibility and caring define the operations of Hotel Helka. Hotel Helka is owned by the YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association) and even today all the profits of the hotel go to charity and are directed to YWCA’s work for girls and women. YWCA’s goal is to empower girls and women and promote gender equality, so that human rights, welfare, safety, freedom, justice and peace could be guaranteed to all.
When it comes to interior design, domesticity is very important for Hotel Helka. It can be seen throughout the hotel: Finnish design classics like Alvar Aalto’s chair 66 and Harri Koskinen’s Block light are small details giving a unique touch to the hotel interiors.
Hotel Helka has now joined Valpas Hotels for two reasons. First of all, Valpas protects the hotel and its guests from bed bugs. Keeping the hotel safe of those gnarly vermins that might tag along from anywhere creates additional value for guest experience and implies that the hotel takes guest comfort seriously. Secondly, making it easy for travelers to find hotels that are safe advances better travel. Not to forget that the solution is stylish as well: “Valpas bed legs fit perfectly to our interior and we’re very happy it’s a Finnish invention!”, comments Högdahl.
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