Hotel Haven (SLH), Helsinki Review

Old Jun 16, 2019, 8:30 am
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Hotel Haven (SLH), Helsinki Review

I just checked out of a 9 night stay here, booked through Hyatt.

I booked a Grand Deluxe room. No upgrade. It was expensive (~400 / night average) but that's about right for a deluxe room in downtown Helsinki in summer. The price was the same as booking directly with the hotel, with the caveat that the hotel had a cheaper non-refundable rate, which is not offered through Hyatt.

The room was nice, though oddly laid out. The room is about 400 sq ft, which is decent by Helsinki standards. Unfortunately they tried to pretend it was two rooms. There was the king bed making up the "bedroom", with the couch maybe 4 inches in front of it, creating a "living room" area (you can kind of see this in the picture of the room on the website)

You could not really squeeze in between that gap -- the only way to get to the other side of the bed was to climb over the bed. So, as soon as I got into the room I rearranged the furniture. I pushed the coffee table closer to the tv, moved the couch to the side wall (by the window) and moved the chair that used to be by the window to the other side of the room, by the desk. That opened the room up and created some actual usable space, rather than having this useless little enclosed area that you have to squeeze by furniture to get into.

Once I did that, the room was usable and I was happy with it for my 9 night stay.

Breakfast was awful. There was a buffet, and a menu to order off of, but the stuff on the menu was not included in the room rate. The exception was fried eggs -- if you didn't want the sad watery scrambled eggs from the buffet they would fry you some eggs. Those were quite good. The food at the buffet, was, unfortunately, terrible. I ended up skipping it for the last 7 of my 9 nights. This is really unfortunate because other hotels in the area are not as nice but have far superior breakfast (this is the first time I've ever had a bad breakfast at a Helsinki hotel). I think that they are focusing on the food you can order and putting no effort into the buffet stuff -- maybe trying to drum up a bit more revenue by intentionally offering stuff that no one wants to eat so they they will order off the menu instead?

The hotel has a great bar and courtyard. The bar has the best collection of whiskeys I've seen in Finland (it's not really a whiskey drinking culture for the most part). They had some stuff that I had actually never seen before, which I did not expect. They also have a beer that a local microbrewery makes for the hotel. It's called Sloe Haven. 8 in the in-room mini bar, 9 at the bar (both prices are for a 300mL can). This is actually reasonable (not hotel) price -- 9 or more for a beer is not unusual downtown. On the can they say it's a Sloe Berry & Sea Salt "Contemporary Gose". If you like gose (sour) beers, definitely try it -- it's excellent. I drank several while smoking cigars in the courtyard.

I did not eat at any of the hotel restaurants (other than the breakfast) so I can't comment on those.
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