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Reviewed 21 January 2011

Had a five night stay in Katajanokka recently. Novelty of staying in a prison wears out quickly and after a while you start to feel that you are staying in a dungeon.

I had a premier room, which are roomier than the standard rooms, so I believe. However, spaciousness comes with extra roomy bathroom, where don't really spend that much time. Room's windows are at ceiling corner and don't provide much daylight (not that there was much daylight during the winter days anyway). However it manages to increase the jetlag (which I suffered the whole stay) and laying wide awake in early morning hours, you start noticing things. Like how unconfortable your pillow is, how the previous customers must have restless sleep as well and the cotton inside the pillows has turned into balls. Quiet as it is (no disturbing noises from neighbours) you wonder what the inmates thought about hearing the outside world in their cells, as in quietness of the night the trams and snow clearing on early hours was obvious (at least in my room).

Cleaning could have been better, as I noticed on the first day, in one of the ceiling corners there was big dustball hanging from spiderweb, which did not disappear during my stay. In bathroom the wall istalled hairdryer and the lightfixture were covered with dust. But toiletteries were plentifull and refilled daily, had a relaxing bath (didn't help to sleep) daily and bath was cleaned daily. However, obviously the paint, around the great rainshower, was obviously not water resistant as it was pealing...

Breakfast was plentiful but tired loooking, some of the vegetables looked days old, cheese rubbery and salami sweating. Orange juice (and assuming other juices too as they came from the same machine) was powder blended into water (how I know this, well, one morning all juice dispensers were giving only water, I waited for 15 minutes and then informed the staff member, who the came and pulled out a draw whith machinery, gave "couple of kicks" and after testing twice managed to get the orange juice out).

Note to the management: when you are doing renovations in the premises, please note that some customers are on holiday and would like to have peaceful morning. Instead on weekdays the jackhammering started at 8am (I know that working day starts in Finland at 8am, but you own a hotel and could delay the works like at least to 9-10am) and with my luck the dumpskip was outside my window.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank HolidayHot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Prisonhotel, Director of Sales at Hotel Katajanokka, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for choosing to stay with us during your stay in Helsinki and many thanks for the feedback. I am truly sorry for all the inconveniences caused.

We are indeed in the process of renovating one of the wings but have agreed to start the daily work only after 9.00 in the morning. I am glad you told us about the early working hours, we will need to address this issue with the team again. Please accept my apologies for waking you up so early.
We are also in the process of renewing pillows and duvets in all rooms.

Sorry about the unwanted company in your room as well, this inmate has since been released and will no longer be building his web around here. I am grateful that you let us know about the breakfast so we can improve it. Our breakfast standard is very high and for sure should not look tired. And you are right, kickboxing is absolutely out of the question no matter how uncooperative the juice machine gets.

On behalf of the staff here at Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka I thank you once again for the feedback and wish that if you are ever back in Helsinki again, we would get a chance to serve you better. In case you are planning to return please contact me directly at taru.ojaharju-latief@bwkatajanokka.fi so I can personally make sure your stay is a pleasant one.

With Best regards,

Taru Ojaharju-Latief
Director of Sales and Marketing
Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2011

Overall I think that this hotel was great! It had a special atmosphere with the prison environment.

The rooms were nice and quite big. We had two rooms, so I got to see 2 different rooms. They were both basically the same, located in the (probably?) non prison cell area of the hotel. Comfortable large beds. Wifi worked really good, we got the password by calling the reception.

Room cleanliness was a little disappointment, the "feedback" questionnaire hadn't been exchanged (maybe they do not care about feedback?) So we could not fill in our opinion. We also found an old make up brush behind the trashcan in the toilet. So the floor in the toilet had most likely not been properly cleaned. Otherwise the room was (or seemed) clean!

Breakfast was good. Not the best I have ever had but very eatable. Very nice that the prison theme was to be seen the in the restaurant as well.

The restaurant was very good, very tasty food! Although the service was a little bit slow. I would eat there again!

The location is very central, you can walk to the city center in just 10-15 minutes. But you can also take a tram that stops right outside the hotel.

I would definitively stay at this hotel again! It was very nice and very cosy.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Saralene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2011

For me - the best hotel in Helsinki (tried about 15 hotels). The old city jail converted into a hotel with preservation of architecture and style. Excellent facilities (but can not say that rooms are very large), great comfortable beds, a restaurant with a wonderful breakfast and the opportunity to have perfect lunch or dinner. The lobby lounge with large plasma TV, was able to watch Russian football. There are vending mashines on the floors.
A tram stop is 150 meters away, about 5-7 minutes to the center of Helsinki.
Parking available for 16 euro per day.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank Simpson1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2011

Whenever I think about coming to Helsinki I always come to this hotel

Never a single hint on disappointment

Located in a quiet yard far from large traffic if you can find such in Helsinki

You can see that you are in prison but you ll never feel it

Strongly recommend

  • Stayed: February 2010
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1  Thank PromoEffect
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2011

Incredible boutique hotel located steps to the ferries, churches and downtown Helsinki. A former prison transformed into an ultra comfortable hotel, one can only imagine what's happened within the walls! The rooms have it all, thick stone walls make the rooms very quiet, heated floors in the bathroom, flat screen TV... The breakfast buffet is second to none and the breakfast staff, especially Khovis, are terrific! Made to order omlettes, bacon, ham, eggs any way you like, salmon, herring, fruits, espresso.... Stay at this hotel, you will love it!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank southamptonbythesea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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