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All reviews converted prison tram stop prison theme prison walls tin plates prison hotel unique hotel prison cell original features city centre number tram viking line ferry uspenski cathedral market square private sauna porridge comfortable rooms
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Reviewed 29 September 2011

Well I could say that my review is based on experience. I´we stayed in this hotel for at least 10 times this year and here is some of my thought´s about BW katajanokka.
First of all I enjoy good food so the breakfast is very important for me when I choose a hotel. Maybe thats why I keep coming back... breakfast is very nice. However last two times the eggs have been gross. Way too oily. But the buns are nice and crispy, good cheese and cold cuts, great coffee (espresso, cappucino, latte, americano) and I especially like fresh pineapple.
One tip. If you like a good cup of cappicino/latte with your breakfast, then pre heat your mug with tea water :)
Anyways the breakfast is good. Above average at least.

Rooms are clean and nicely decorated. Showers are my favorites. They all have one of those "rain shovers" which I would like have in my house too.
Rooms are quiet and temperature in room is stable despite the outer temperature. Thick walls are perhaps reason for this but it has the down side of lacking the wlan in most of the rooms. They offer you a cable connection for free, but I didn´t get mine working. After first time I got 3G card to my computer and that has been working nicely in every room.
But if you want to be picky the you find those little things like, pant press screwed to the wall but no electric plug you could put it in :) Maybe the idea is to loan a extension cord from the lobby...

One thing thats raises my eyebrows is that every time I´ve been in their guest I have been moving to lover floors. First two visits I was in top floor with nice rooms and last time I actually had to go stairs down to get to my room :) I Dont mind that much though, but in my opinion it should go vice versa...

Overall I really like the hotel and its restaurant. Especially I like the old guy who seems to work in the Jailbird restaurant every day.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled on business
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2  Thank Junior_Coconut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2011

Very clean and modern renovation of a prison. Good restaurant, Convenient location (15 min. walk to ferry, 15-20 min. walk to downtown and train station). Our only complaint was that the window didn't open, as the rooms had been cells. We could have borrowed a special key from the reception, and stood on a chair to try to pry open a window very high up, but being 65 I didn't want to do this. Luckily it was not hot.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank ronniesue45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2011

Stayed for four nights in this hotel in August-September 2011. I was curious to stay in a former jailhouse, and I was not disappointed by the experience! Particularly interesting was the breakfast area and the main wing of the hotel where the rooms are organized just as one would see in many movies: a large open area and four floors of rooms around it and metal staircases in the middle.

The rooms are cleanly furnished and comfortable, but do not expect any luxuries. As others have pointed out, the hotel is about a half hour walk away from downtown, which is a good bit in a place like Helsinki. But, you can take a streetcar to downtown for 2.5 euros right in front of the hotel.

The breakfast buffet had all the main things you'd need, but again not a gourmet breakfast.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled on business
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Thank Savvy_Traveler_Int
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2011

Finland isnt everyones first choice for a short break, but when we saw this hotel on the internet and read the reviews on Tripadvisor we just had to go, we've come back today (26th Sept 2011) after spending three nights there and we are thrilled to say that the hotel lives up to all its publicity and all the great reviews from all you lovely follks here on Tripadvisor.

CHECK-IN
The reception area is very modern, the staff are ultra efficient and their English is perfect. The check in procedure is very speedy and hassle free. The lay out of the building makes it very easy to negotiate, the corridors are very wide, bright and airy, and like the hotel throughout, are spottlessly clean.

OUR ROOM (No 424)
We had a double room on the fourth floor, it was modern, bright and again spotless. Everything we could want was provided and more. Particlarly usefull for some would be the fact that there is a wireless keyboard provided and the internet can be accessed via the large flat screen TV on the wall, for a small fee, so no need to lug your laptop on holdiay if you dont want to. The bed was large, ultra comfy, the bedside light had a really useful separate reading lamp attached, a nice touch we thought. The bathroom, again super-clean, super modern, the walk in shower has a large fixed head above and also a hand held attachment, body/hair wash provided. There is a large modern sink, a seperate shaving mirror, hairdryer etc. The room has plenty of wardrobe space with iron and ironing board supplied, also a free safe. There's also a nice big table area should you need workspace for a business trip. We really couldnt think of anything we needed that wasnt supplied. The thickness of the door and walls ensured peace and tranquility and an excellent nights sleep.

BREAKFAST
The dining area is in keeping with the prison theme, we loved the metal cups and plates which were provided a breakfast. Extensive choice of meats, cheese, rolls, cereals toast etc, with a couple of hot options such as meat balls and sausages. Everything replenished constantly.
We didnt visit the restaurant in the evening, but we did have a look at the menu which was varied with something for everyone. The Jailbird bar was cozy and inviting and the staff friendly and efficient. The bar and restaurant prices were high compared to the UK, but thats Finland and the prices at this hotel were comparable compared to other establishments in the area. There is also a lovely out door terrace where drinks are served in the Summer.

LOCATION
The hotel is a bit off the beaten track in relation to the city centre, approx 15 minute walk to the middle of town where all the bars and restaurants are, this will also take you past the harbour area where you can get boats to the zoo, and dinner cruises around the archapelego. It will also take you past the daytime market where you will find many stalls selling arts, crafts and local fayre, we found the Reindeer Delight particlarly good, but dont tell the kids you've just eaten Rudolph!!!!! If the walk isnt for you, tram No 4 stops right outside the hotel and you can be in town in no time for 2.50 euros.

GETTING THERE FROM THE AIRPORT
In general hotels in Finland dont have their own shuttle services.
All the buses have stops in front of airport terminals 1 and 2. The journey to the city centre (19 km) takes about 30 - 40 min. You get off all the buses at the final stop which is the railway station in the centre of town. You get either the Finnair City bus for 6.20 euros or public bus no 615/620 which is a bit cheaper. When you get off the bus at the railway station look out for a big department store to the right which is called Stockmanns, the tramstop is called Ylioppilastalo, its on the street called Aleksanterinkatu. You take tram No 4 on the Stockmanns side of the road, it has the destination Katajanokka, on the front, dont take 4T as this will take you furher than you need to go. The tram will cost 2.50 euros each and you get off at the hotel stop which is Vyokatu, the stop names are displayed on the tram on an electronic screen, so you will know when the stop is coming up, when you see the red brick wall you'll know its time to get off the tram. If you need any more info, email the hotel and they'll send you any info you need.

PLACES TO GO NEARBY
We found a great little bar called Poseidon, it has a really cozy, pub-type atmosphere, you can get bar snacks here and an extensive array of beers and spirits, opening times are 1.30am Fri/Sat and 12.30am Sunday, we found this a great stop off point of an evening on the way back to the hotel, as we didnt fancy being in the middle of town too late. When you come out of the main door of the hotel, take the exit on the right hand side and follow the road with the yellow building on the corner, the road does a dog let in the middle but stick with it for about 5 mins and you'll find the Poseidon.

To sum up...this hotel richly deserves the quality award it has recently received from Trip Advisor, we have no negatives to report whatsoever. From the time we checked in to the time we checked out the service was excellent, so if you are looking for a different way to spend the weekend ......GO TO JAIL!!!!!!

Room Tip: The thickness of the walls and doors will assure a good nights sleep regardless of which room you are in.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank alwaysowen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2011

I stayed at the hotel for 4 days in March of this year- geeeze it was cold. As a solo traveller i found the staff most welcoming. After reading lots of reviews online i decided to stay at this hotel for a "unique" experience.

My modern room was on the ground floor, beds very comfortable and the bathroom nice and modern. The bath was amazingly deep, which i found so relaxing to relax and have some quiet time (i had just got off a 2.5 week whirlwind bus tour arond europe staying in mostly back packers hostels)

The building is lovely and full of character. I had the reindeer downstairs for dinner one night which was amazingly rich and full of flavour. I would most definately stay again. The public use computer in the lounge was a great bonus. The location was perfect, just around the corner from the VikingLine terminal and a tram stop right out the front gate.

Helsinki is such a charming place, and it was magnificant to see it in its winter glory.

I have worked in hotels for 5 years, and was very impressed. To sum it all up i'd say Unique, spotlessly clean, and professional to this establishment!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled solo
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Thank MetalQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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