Christian Stan, at 7 May. 18, in News

The heart of Helsinki sets the stage for the capital’s newest landmark–Hotel St. George. Set in an historic building just across from the Old Church Park, and rooted in a thriving neighborhood, the 153-room hotel, which opened May 2nd, is a re-imagination of the ‘grand hotel’ in the most contemporary sense.

With a concept and script that combines various elements and touchpoints—from alchemy and science, to culture and enlightenment—Hotel St. George presents a new vision of luxury, crafted almost entirely by Finnish creatives, and framed by an unprecedented dedication to art.

With the concept of transformation being a key component in Hotel St. George’s story, it’s perhaps fitting that the hotel is carved from a former newspaper printing house that was designed by Onni Tarjanne and completed in 1840. Now, the seven-story building—also once home to the Finnish Literature Society—has been sympathetically reinvented and connected to an adjacent five-story structure, which together encompass three contemporary food and drink outlets, a modern spa, a series of individually decorated rooms and suites, and several remarkable public spaces, all without losing sight of the building’s heritage.

The 148 guestrooms and five suites span six categories and are bathed in natural light and alternating hues of soft mint green, pearl grey, and delicate browns—an invaluable asset in a city often cloaked in darkness and for guests travelling between time zones. These elegant palettes provide a fitting frame for furniture design classics from Vitra, Classicon, &tradition and Sibast; artwork by Finnish pioneers of abstract modern art; Poulsen lighting fixtures; and herringbone parquet flooring. The resulting mood is sophisticated and conducive to a harmonious experience.

The ground floor and basement level present a series of spaces for guests and locals alike. Restaurant Andrea, the brainchild of Mehmet Gürs, is a contemporary destination restaurant that explores the connection between Nordic and Mediterranean flavors in an atmospheric space lined with wall-mounted sofas and wooden chairs. George Bakery, meanwhile, is a small subterranean grocery store and deli that offers high-quality fresh bread and coffee to support breakfast and lunch menus, and also includes the first ever Monocle Shop in the Nordic countries. The pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the Wintergarden, an expansive space linking the hotel’s two wings under a glass-roofed inner courtyard that harks back to the great 18th-century interior gardens.

Capitalizing on Finland’s reputation for wellbeing, the St. George Care spa brings together fitness, massages, and treatments in a way that pays homage to the country’s philosophies and resources. Finland’s drinking water, for example, is deemed the cleanest in the world and as such takes prominence in many of the treatments offered, while the Hintsa Performance concept, a holistic program focused on building a more balanced lifestyle, can be tailored to guests. Two saunas—one traditional and one steam room—nod to the country’s deep-rooted sauna culture, while a swimming pool, a cold plunge pool surrounded by oscillating mosaic tiles, and an all-white relaxation area complete the hotel’s definition of new luxury, where a successful combination of creativity, privacy, well-being, and serenity are a tangible reality.

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