Issue Issue 1 2010
The oldest hotel in Palace Kämp ’s portfolio, Hotel Kämp is located in central Helsinki and offers guests an unrivalled level of opulence and luxury
Part of the Starwood Hotels Luxury Collection, Finnish hotel brand, Palace Kämp was formed in November 1887, when restaurateur Carl Kämp set up his first hotel, offering a country on the threshold of independence a taste of great European cities, luxury and refinement, all combined with a level of service hard to imagine. The first of the hotels, the world-class Hotel Kämp, which is located in the heart of historic Helsinki, has become an integral part of Finnish history, blending eastern and western Europe with art, politics and business life to provide a superior level of luxury and service.
A sense of opulence exudes throughout the hotel, which is in keeping with its picturesque and historic setting in central Helsinki. Its carved wooden doors open on to the world outside and the heart of the lively capital city. Located only a short walk away from the harbour and designer shops, the hotel enjoys the benefits of an unbeatable location. As a superior example of genuine elegance amid neo-classical architecture, Hotel Kämp was named one of the Top 100 Hotels Worldwide by Travel + Leisure in 2006.
Hotel Kämp’s strong experience in event organisation means that it is a top choice for business clientele. Six unique meeting rooms, with discreet high-tech installations, create an experience that pays homage to the hotel’s history. Its most renowned room, the Mirror Room, has been fully restored to reflect its former splendour. Incorporating 179 luxurious guest rooms, which have, over the years, been host to royalty, presidents, famous artists, and businessmen, Hotel Kämp maintains its century-old philosophy of world-class luxury and service. Each room is a fine restoration of late 19th century character with luxurious marble bathrooms and comfortable extras, such as bathrobes and slippers.
Hotel Kämp offers an intriguing blend of genuine historic elegance with a modern edge. Located just across the Esplanade Park, in the middle of the finest shopping area in Helsinki, the hotel is close to the most important sights of the city. The Kämp Gallery shopping centre is situated right next to the hotel and Stockmann Department Store is just a few minutes walk away. Ateneum Art Museum and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art are both also less than one kilometre away. Within the hotel all the luxuries to meet the demands of today’s first class travellers are available. The readers of Condé Nast Traveller obviously agree because the hotel has been selected as one of Europe’s finest hotels by the magazine for several years running.
Dining at Hotel Kämp is an experience to be remembered, taking guests on a culinary journey around the world. Kämp Café Brasserie and Bar serves a wide range of European food brasserie style, while the Yume Restaurant offers diners a taste of Japan, serving up some of the freshest sushi and authentic Japanese flavours in Helsinki. The two restaurants and bar are very popular with hotel guests as well as locals who enjoy the quality on offer. This is maintained by the presence of a team of executive chefs who carefully decide on a menu that best suits the hotel. The hotel also employs a sommelier, who is on hand to make well-informed wine recommendations to diners. Finally the hotel has recently launched a nightclub. The Dorff Club is the newest and hottest club in Helsinki, offering live music and a relaxed atmosphere in an international and memorable setting. The club has live music every Thursday and Friday, and on Saturdays the club plays host to either top DJs or stylish live music.
Markku Wahlberg, managing director of the Palace Kämp chain, describes the wider chain and the recent history of the flagship hotel: “Altogether we have five hotels in around Helsinki – Hotel Kämp; Hotel Linna, which is a chateau in the middle of Helsinki; Hotel GLO, a modern and urban lifestyle hotel; Hotel Sello, an atmospheric luxury hotel located in the heart of Espoo, and finally a new hotel at Helsinki airport. Our brand has a long history in the hospitality industry and we believe that shows in the quality service we offer to guests. The main hotel in Helsinki underwent a huge renovation in the late 1990s, reopening in 1999. It’s a very old building and the most traditional hotel in the heart of the city, so it was greatly important that we renovated the building sensitively to maintain the style of the architecture inside and out.”
On 1st January 2010, Hotel Palace Airport opened for business at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. Offering quick and easy accommodation for holiday and business travellers, the hotel is the only hotel located in the airport building itself. This allows it to offer unbeatable convenience to airport passengers, eliminating the need for car or taxi services and airport commuting, meaning additional sleep time for weary guests. Markku explains that the company is about to carry out major renovation work at this hotel. “Work will begin soon, and will continue throughout the year,” he elaborates. “The renovation will be finished by the end of September and the hotel will be ready to reopen. We are very excited about this new addition to our hotel chain, as its location means it will be a very busy, bustling hotel.”
Finally Markku outlines the challenges of recent years and his plans for the future of this historic and luxurious hotel: “Last year was quite difficult due to the recession, and the first two months of this year were not very promising either. However we are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and business is picking up once more. We will continue working with our brands, which are all very successful. GLO has become the leading lifestyle hotel in Scandinavia, and rated as number 49 in the world by Trip Advisor, which is a great achievement. Across all our hotels in the capital, we have around 500 rooms, and we will see how business fares this year, particularly following the renovation of our airport hotel, before looking at further expansion.”