Klaus K, Helsinki, Finland ***

Q: What is it? A: A nice, friendly hotel that sometimes tries a little bit too hard while missing out on a few very basic matters. Like the fact that showers are meant to be used. Yes, with water.

Klaus K – with the façade in late romantic style

The former Klaus Kurki hotel, now revamped into the Klaus K is located in the Rake House, which was built 1882/1913 in that late romantic style that is so typical for Helsinki.

The lobby area at Klaus K. Smaller than you'd expect. But with more design-y items than you'd expect.

For such a small space the lobby area suffers a little bit from sensory overload. Not that it’s unattractive, but for sure Swedish design agency Stylt could have held themselves back a little.

The room: Standard size at Klaus K. The view: Outlets for the AC.

A standard room at the Klaus K. A pretty nice place to stay.

Designers probably overlooked the fact that showers are meant to be used. With water.

Visually, I won’t complain about the bathroom, but there was this rather unpractical, (and wet), solution for the shower…

Yes, it’s a design hotel. And it’s in Helsinki!
For the record, I should start out with saying that I love Finnish design. I worship guys like Aalto, Saarinen and Aarnio (in fact, most of the contemporary designs that my friends from other countries call ‘Swedish’ is actually of Danish or Finnish origin). With this being said, it is quite puzzling to find out that hotels with contemporary design are a rarity, (or at least a novelty), in the capital of Suomi.

137 relatively cozy rooms on Bulevardi 2.
In 1938 the very ordinary Klaus Kurki hotel opened on this address. In November 2005 the Klaus K welcomed its first guests. They entered a hotel with design tweaks and funky details everywhere. Swedish design agency Stylt Trampoli AB managed to squeeze in the sum of all contemporary hotels into the rather tiny lobby area, (just see the image above).
Thankfully, rooms are way more cozy. When I finally got used to the bed’s thick monkey skin headboard I started to feel more at home. The bathroom is pretty nice although with a not so practical solution for the shower – expect to brush your teeth standing in a pool of water. Note to self: Book early, as it seemed like this hotel get packed with guests pretty often. Additional note to self: Next time, book a room with a tub.

When too much sometimes is too much.
The audience at the nightclub is an odd mix of rather well fed bizniz people, too young women in too tight dresses, some kind of hiphop act, (obviously shooting a video on the dance floor) and a variety of hotel guests. It’s not at all an unpleasant place, but my impression is that you won’t know what to expect when entering the Ahjo Club – baari/lounge/club, ei mikään niistä ja kaikki samassa. They seem to still be figuring out what concept to adapt. A little too much of everything.
Breakfast at the Klaus K is a great one. You will not miss anything. But you’ll experience some kind of sensory overload when looking around you. Every single square inch is designed in on way or the other. It’s exhausting.

I wanted to give this hotel a fourth star…
The nicest thing about the Klaus K hotel is the staff. They are nice and friendly and they helped out with restaurant booking at the very last minute. The doorman at the Ahjo Club and the barmen seems like jolly fellows. Also it’s a nicely designed hotel, especially in the rooms, (but please, fix the sloping floor for the shower…). But a hotel must really pay some attention to the not so cool spaces. In the corridor, somewhere between the elevator and room 222, there had obviously been some kind of accident with sickness involved. The ‘stuff’ was gone, but… a hotel corridor can not smell like puke, (to my knowledge, there are some strong detergents that can fix that). It’s quite impossible to get rid of such a first impression. Sorry guys. It’s three stars, with the potential to soon adding the fourth.

Klaus K
Bulevardi 2,
00120 Helsinki

+358-20 770 4700

Click here to book the Klaus K hotel through TabletHotels.com!


  1. I haven’t stayed at Klaus K, but Glo is also a nice design hotel in Helsinki.

  2. Hi Maarit, thanks for the input!

    The Glo is now officially the next place on my list of places to stay in Helsinki.

    All the best,

    :: h ::


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