We just completed three stays at the Kamp, using it as a base for a trip to St. Petersburg and another to Tallinn. On all stays, we were not assigned a suite although I asked on the first stay (3 nights) and on the third stay (2 nights). On the first stay, the desk clerk checked with others in the back room and told me there were no suites available, but perhaps the next two nights there may be. On the third stay, I was told there were no suites available, but there may be a suite later. I declined waiting or changing rooms later in my stay. On the second stay (1 night), I was not offered a suite, nor did I inquire after being given an executive room. On two of the occasions, I had checked that I wanted to use some of my 10 free suite upgrades, but no one seemed to notice.
Overall, the hotel is well maintained and very clean, and the executive rooms are superb as well as large. All rooms were in the new part of the hotel, two over the current entrance (303 & 605), but we were disappointed with 303, as the air conditioning was poor on a unusually warm evening, so we chose to sleep with the windows open. Early in the AM, we were awaken by trucks unloading at the hotel entrance despite closing the window. The third room (also on the 6th floor but on the internal courtyard) was quiet. Breakfast was buffet, and I opted for it using my amenity, which at this hotel I could choose from the entire buffet.
We ate dinner on two different occasions at restaurant on the street level--on a couple of occasions it was the only restaurant that was opened as the upscale restaurant on the second floor was permanently closed last week, and the other restaurant (as well as almost all stores, restaurants, and even the trams) closed for the mid-summer holiday on the longest day and the following day of the year. On this occasion, only tourists were in Helsinki, as all locals (and I was told even the trams) went to the country side for vacation. We enjoyed our dinner at the hotel restaurant, as well as the reservations the hotel staff made at other fine restaurants in town. Of the dinners we had during the 17 days abroad, the best was at Chez Dominique, just two blocks from the Kamp, and considered as one of the top 100 restaurants in the world. If you choose to eat here, make sure you make reservations at least one week out.
We found that the hotel had some shortcomings, and I suspect that these were what RTDStarAlliance noted, but did not identify in his posts. The hotel lobby is lightly staffed, and on a number of occasions, there was no doorman available to call a cab for us. On two other occasions, the desk clerk helped the doorman by taking our luggage, calling a cab, and loading our luggage into a cab. Then of course, was the suite availability (on one of the nights, I suspected the hotel must have been less than half full), which we identified as difficult even for Platinums. Another issue was that the concierge/desk clerks did not alert us to the problems of touring the Arabia factory, even though we asked them on numerous occasions to schedule a tour for us on one of the 7 days, 6 nights we were at the hotel. Concierge services (dinner reservations) on a couple of occasions did not happen for us, despite our requests.
Overall this is a fine hotel, and as others have pointed out, is the best SPG property in the Nordic countries. It is a fine base for taking the fast train to St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg W, as well as Linda Lines hydrofoil to Tallinn, just 90 minutes away. The location is second to none.
Others have noted the tram system. One of the things on the Helsinki bucket list must be the Beer Tram--yes, a tram that serves beer and leaves from near the RR station on the hour in the afternoons and early evening on Wednesday to Friday. Anthony Bordain took this tram when he was filming sites in Helsinki, and it is a blast.
...Then of course, was the suite availability (on one of the nights, I suspected the hotel must have been less than half full), which we identified as difficult even for Platinums...
I had both Platinum SPG and FHR Platinum AMEX in my favor but I still had to insist to a degree I found distasteful to even get a junior suite upgrade. The desk agent even had the gall to tell me that a full standard suite was available when I arrived but that she was holding it to the end of the day to see if someone happened to turn up to rent it. If it remained empty at around 8pm, I could have it. I declined and have used other hotels in Helsinki ever since.
I normaly always choose the SPG Hotel when one is in town, but for Helsinki the Kamp is overpriced and not worth it. Take the Glo next door which gives you much better value for the money and shares the same fitness area anyway.
One advantage of the Finnair bus over the local bus (Route 615} is that you can use credit cards (you buy from the driver, who has a CC machone om the right side of his seating area}. Also, your larger luggage is handled for you.
Is there only one stop in town or is there a stop I should get off for the Kamp? Do they offer roundtrip discounts? How much cheaper is the local bus and time to/from the airport?