Hotel review: Glo Hotel Kluuvi, Helsinki, Finland
The entrance to this eight-storey building is on Glogatan, a nicely pedestrianised street in the city centre, but is somewhat hidden between the two outdoor terraces to its restaurant, Globe. Once inside, the ground-floor reception is small, busy and low-key.
The hotel is situated right in the centre of town, in the middle of Helsinki’s smart shopping district. Most of the world’s top brands and hundreds of Finnish ones are represented here, and if you’re into shopping, this is the place to stay (each room has a detailed shopping guide called Helsinki in Style). The waterfront, train station and elegant Esplanade are less than five minutes’ walk away.
My room (one of 184) is on the fourth floor and faces a courtyard. There’s no view to speak of, but at least it’s quiet. I’m in the “Medium” category, which as the name suggests is not the lowest nor the highest category of room on offer. It’s a good size, the bed is very comfortable, there is a good desk area and, unlike some hotels in the city, the bathroom has a bath as well as a shower. The TV is easy to operate and of a high standard. My only real complaint is that in this category, you don’t get amenities such as face cloths, cotton wool and body lotion. There was, however, a body scrub.
Even though I’m here on a Friday night, there seems to be a fairly even split of business and leisure guests. The atmosphere is quite lively but fairly anonymous with a mix of singles, businesspeople, couples with small children and retired holidaymakers. The hotel is part of the same group as the next-door Kämp Hotel, which is more expensive and glamorous and, when I arrived, the atmosphere was expectant as the hotel was surrounded by hordes of people waiting to greet the arrival of FC Barcelona. The terrace was busy in summer, as was the adjacent street and its restaurants, but there would likely be a totally different vibe in winter.
Attentive and straightforward at reception, slightly hit-and-miss in the restaurant, where some staff seemed a bit slow. Luckily I bagged the attention of the most on-the-ball waiter, who took the time to explain each dish despite the restaurant seeming slightly understaffed.
Many UAE visitors to Helsinki will find the menus in all hotels rather limited. The menu in Globe, the hotel’s only restaurant, contains a handful of options for starters and mains, and a choice of two salads. I try the pumpkin soup (€13; Dh58), which despite being quite creamy tastes of fresh pumpkin and is garnished with a plump scallop and cress. The entrecôte de Paris steak (€31; Dh139) is delicious, both chargrilled and juicy. The breakfast buffet was not standout but had good orange juice, porridge, bread, fruit and a nice selection of teas, and was included in the room rate.
The location and quiet room.
Being well-used, parts of the hotel, including the corridors and wooden surfaces in the bedroom, had a slightly worn look. The outdoor terrace, especially the floor, looked like it needed a good clean.
Good value for money if you book ahead.
The bottom line
Double rooms at the Glo Hotel Kluuvi Helsinki (www.glohotels.fi/en/hotels/glo-hotel-kluuvi; 358 9 5840 9445) cost from €111 (Dh500) per night, including taxes, Wi-Fi and breakfast.
Published: December 25, 2014 04:00 AM