Review: Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa
A fter taking the train from the airport and transferring to a bus — which was actually quite easy for me — I walked a few meters in the cold weather along Ramsaynranta. To my right was Gert Skytten puisto — puisto is park in Finnish — and to my left across the boulevard was an inlet of the Gulf of Finland.
I then turned right on Kärkitie and heading up a long block or so to Kalastajatorpantie; and before turning right again…
…a welcome sign for the Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa greeted me — and no, I still have no idea of the proper way to pronounce the name of this hotel property. You get worthless bonus points if you know how to pronounce Kalastajatorppa.
I went up Kalastajatorpantie — okay, you can get your mind out of the gutter — towards the hotel property.
The walk probably consumed seven minutes of my time at the most — not including taking photographs with my camera.
I liked how the hotel property was situated on a foundation of solid rock.
This view is looking down the slight incline of the hill of Kalastajatorpantie upon which I just had walked.
This is the entrance to the main building.
The lobby was clean and spacious — and warm…
…and it included this fireplace.
After I checked in at the front desk, I was assigned to a room in the Seaside Wing, which is located across the traffic circle in the middle of Kalastajatorpantie.
I do not recall ever having to walk across a street to get to another part of a hotel property; but I then walked through the doors of the quiet lobby of this building; and once inside, to my left at the rear of this lobby were the elevators.
I went to the fourth floor and was required to use my plastic key card to unlock the door to the Huoneet Rooms before finally relaxing after a long journey from the United States.
The room was clean and comfortable; but it was nothing extraordinary in and of itself — which was just fine with me.
This is the view of the room just after walking through the entrance…
…which is shown in the above photograph. There is a place to store luggage. The bathroom is on the left; while two hooks for coats are mounted on the wall on the right.
Once I took a hot shower, I slept well in this bed.
The entrance to the room is on the right. In addition to closet space near the entrance adjacent to the toilet, the main closet space is located near the bed; and on the left is what is known as a bright light therapy station, which will be described in more detail later in this article.
On the left is the closet space behind two mirrored doors near the entrance of the room; while on the left is the space in the main closet, which includes hangers, two robes, two pairs of slippers wrapped in cellophane, an ironing board, an iron, a clothes press, and a safe.
There was a desk with a telephone, lamp and other items. The flat-screen television rested on a cabinet which contained a minibar and drinking glasses.
Some of the amenities offered in the room include the aforementioned slippers, a shoehorn, an emery board, a cloth to shine shoes, and a mending kit.
Awaiting me on a small table near the window were two bottles of spring water, a small bottle of wine, and a bag of chocolate eggs in commemoration of Easter.
This room was well equipped with electrical outlets.
There was a small alcove of sorts which contained a mirror, a desk and a large white panel with two electrical outlets. Above this area was an electric coffee pot with two mugs and everything needed to have a hot cup of coffee or tea, which included sugar and sweeteners as well as creamer…
…and a closer look at this station revealed that this area is used for bright light therapy. These are the exact instructions posted on the placard adjacent to the bright light therapy station — including errors to which I chalk up to the use of the English language by the Finnish person who wrote it, whose English is substantially better than my command of Finnish:
- Bright light therapy is used for treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD) caused by dark winter seasons or to recover from jet lag. Bright light therapy increases your vitality and improves the rhythms of sleep and wakefulness.
- Take a bright light therapy session in the morning for 0,5–2 hours. Longer session does not improve the therapeutic effect. A session later in the evening may disturb your sleep.
- Recommended distance between your face and the surface of the lamp is about 60 cm.
- There is no need to look straight into the lamp but you should keep it within your visual field during the whole session. You can even read or do paper work while enjoying bright light therapy.
- Bright light therapy is safe. However, avoid bright light therapy if you have an eye illness or if you use psychotropic drugs or drugs, that make your sensitive to sunlight.
For further information, please contact the reception.
Bathroom and Toilet
The bathroom was not very large; but there was sufficient enough space for me.
This bathroom was equipped with both a bathtub and a shower — as well as a sink, several towels, tissues and some of the other usual items you would find in a typical hotel bathroom.
On the right is the toilet; but once again, I encountered the typical European shower design of a partial partition, to which I wonder why they are designed that way…
…but because there was an enclosed shower separate from the bathtub, I fortunately did not have to deal with being concerned about causing a widespread wet and watery mess — but the small gap underneath the shower door did allow water to flow through; so there was still a puddle on the floor in the immediate vicinity of the shower area…
…and next to the toilet is a shower of sorts — supposedly to function similarly to a bidet?
Amenities in the bathroom included shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, body cleanser, shower cap and bar soap — although I do like the orange scent to the body cleanser.
The agent at the front desk in the lobby told me when I first checked in that I have been given a room with a view of the sea.
I arrived in the early evening — just in time to watch a sunset from the window near where my bottles of water were waiting.
The views from the room were not the greatest I have ever seen…
…but they sure were calming and relaxing. I looked out the window quite often.
As I first wrote in this short article, “it was not the best of sunsets; it was not the worst of sunsets — but after traveling in an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean and finally getting to check into my hotel room recently, seeing the view shown above of a sunset in Finland was the perfect way to relax and enjoy part of my first evening in that country not long before taking a hot shower and going to sleep in a comfortable bed for the night.”
In some ways, I felt like I was at a campground in a natural area rather than in the capital city of a country — thanks to the pine trees and the tranquil water of the inlet which leads out to the Gulf of Finland, which reminded me more of a lake.
Birch trees and a small structure — perhaps a shed — lent to the feel of being at a natural campground.
The water along the rocky coast reflected the hazy sunset.
No buds were on the birch trees in the middle of April, creating a wintry scene.
The buildings in the background were the only indication that I was in a city.
I caught the last gasp of the sun before it finally set for the evening.
I awoke the next morning to a view of water fowl…
…and falling snow.
The snow created a tranquil scene while I was walking on my way to the restaurant for breakfast.
This is a view of the main building of the hotel with a light blanket of snow.
This hotel property does not have an executive lounge; so I had breakfast in Restaurant Oceana in the main building across the street.
Many teenagers — I assume of the age where they attend high school — from countries all over Europe were in the restaurant, as they were on a bowling tournament: the 30th European Youth Championships at Tali Bowl, which occurred only three kilometers north of the hotel property.
“The Championships drew players from 28 member countries of the European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF) – Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, and the host country Finland.”
They were all very well behaved. I would have never known dozens of teenagers were staying at the hotel property had I not seen them in the restaurant at breakfast.
An extensive selection of cold cut meats, fish, salads, breads, fruit, yogurt, cheeses and other items were offered as a buffet at several stations.
There were also assorted hot items — such as eggs, potatoes and breakfast meats.
The blue tube in the foreground is Kalles Kaviar from Sweden, which is a caviar paste made from salted cod roe. I like caviar and other fish products.
The placard in the background had the title of Perfect Eggs — “cooked exactly at 64 degrees. Silky and velvet texture. It is not poached or soft boiled, it’s just Perfect!”
I tried one egg and did not like it. I like the yolk of the egg to be the texture of a potato — whether it is hard boiled or fried sunny side up — but then again, what do I know? I am not much of an egg eater anyway.
There were four types of herring offered near the salad area. Three of four of them looked like someone vomited in them; but being in Finland, I decided to try all of them.
I am glad I did. There was plain pickled herring in the bottom right; herring caviar in the upper right; herring in a strong tomato sauce in the bottom left; and herring in a strong mustard sauce in the upper left.
I enjoyed them all and could not get enough herring — especially when paired with dark rye bread. The mustard herring was my favorite. Finnish people know how to do herring. I could go for some right now.
There was a beverage bar where you can have water, assorted juices or smoothies…
…or you can choose to dispense your beverage of choice through this digital device. Simply press the beverage of choice on the illuminated panel. I tried the orange juice. It was not terrible; but it was rather watery.
An area dedicated to hot beverages — such as coffee or tea — was also available.
Real orange juice was served by the staff. The color was a dark orange. It was not great; but it was better than the orange juice from the computerized dispenser.
This hotel property is not centrally located in Helsinki; rather, it is located approximately six kilometers northwest of the city — but I was able to walk the entire distance with stops at sites of interest along the way on which I intend to report in future articles. As I mentioned earlier, public transportation — such as trams to the city center — is readily available; but other than arriving at the hotel, I personally did not need it.
I paid a total of 102.90 euros for one night at this hotel property, which I paid in advance during a sale. It offered the least expensive rate of all of the Hilton hotel properties in Helsinki on the day I arrived. The rate included breakfast; and it was worth every euro.
If you are not required to be near the center of the city, this hotel property is a good choice at which to stay — especially with its natural ambiance. Members of the staff were simultaneously friendly but left me alone when I did not need them.
I highly recommend staying here — especially if you are able to get a room with a view of the sea.
Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa
Helsinki, 00330, Finland
All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.