Hotel Review: Hilton Helsinki Strand
Even when you are booking luxury properties only, not every stay is a luxurious experience. Sometimes renovations are deeply needed. For example at the Hilton Helsinki Strand, where we stayed in January whenthe first renovation works began. Due to that, the pool and the gym were closed. Sadly, neither the room nor the breakfast were appealing, too.
When we booked the Hilton Helsinki Strand, we were aware of the fact that the hotel was pretty old.
- Classification: Five Star
- Room Category: Executive Room
- Month of Stay: January
However, we also found some positive aspects: A pool, a large gym, an Executive Lounge and a very good location with nice views.
Sadly, we were not informed about renovation works when booking. Only later, when I was checking the reservation once again, the hotel did mention the refurbishment in the upper floors that would also affect the pool and gym area which both were closed during our stay.
Not the best start, but at least the staff was very friendly when we arrived from the Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa where we spent the night before.
Old, small and shabby rooms
Staff can be utterly friendly, but that won’t make you forget about the rooms at the Hilton Helsinki Strand.
When we entered ours, a standard room on a higher floor due to the closure of the Executive Floor, we were shocked. The room was small and very old. The interior must have been older than we and it was also pretty shabby.
The linen had tears, the mattress was worn out. The only positive thing was the very nice view of the city and the river. However, the bathroom was another shock moment as it was everything but five star standard.
A luxury hotel like the Hilton Helsinki Strand should offer more than a bathtub with a shabby shower curtain, a toilet and one sink. Everywhere the signs of the times were present. Not the best start.
Solid Executive Lounge at the Hilton Helsinki
As we were not able to access the pool or the gym due to the renovations, we decided to have a look at the Executive Lounge next. This one is located on the ground floor and is a little dark. However, we liked the atmosphere.
The lounge is way more modern than the rooms and offers nice little treats like a gaming console for kids and flat screen televisions. On daytime, some snacks and fruits are available.
In the evening, the Executive Lounge at the Hilton Helsinki Strand offers a little three-course dinner without any choice, but with a decent taste. Soft drinks and coffee are available throughout the day, while alcohol is only accessible in the evening hours.
All in all, the Executive Lounge of the Hilton Helsinki Strand was by far the best feature of the hotel.
Disappointing breakfast at the Hilton Helsinki Strand
After the good experience in the lounge, we were already looking forward to breakfast at the Hilton Helsinki Strand. After sleeping badly due to the worn out mattress, we expected breakfast to be comparable to what was offered at the other Hilton hotel in town.
Sadly, we were disappointed once again. The service was slow and sleepy, the choice at the buffet was nothing but basic. The taste of most items was okay, but nothing to write home about.
At the same time, we were sad about the fact that a luxury hotel in Helsinki doesn’t offer a nice choice of fish for breakfast. Also, there were only few different fruits available. Much to improve in that regard.
Not recommendable before the renovation is finished
So would we come back to the Hilton Helsinki Strand? At the moment, definitely not. The rooms are not even close to five star standard, the breakfast is similarly disappointing.
The staff does a very good job and the Executive Lounge is pretty nice, but that’s everything positive to say about the Hilton Helsinki Strand. Currently, guests are offered free access to the gym and the pool of a Scandic Hotel being located more than a kilometer away from the hotel. However, the Hilton Helsinki Strand doesn’t offer a shuttle service.
We may stay at the Hilton Helsinki Strand again after the renovation works are finished, but at the moment, this property does neither deserve five stars nor the word “luxury”. If you want to stay at a Hilton hotel in Helsinki nevertheless, we’d recommend the Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa that is a way better choice in our opinion!
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