REVIEW – Hilton Helsinki Airport (Executive Room)
November 20, 2016
24 hours in Helsinki (November 2015)
November 22, 2016

REVIEW – Hotel Indigo Helsinki

Indigo

  • Location: Helsinki
  • Chain: IHG
  • Loyalty Program: IHG Rewards Club
  • Status During Stay: Platinum
  • Room Type: Standard King
  • Date: November 2015




Helsinki is a bit of a weird city for hotels, with a lot of the major chains either not represented or not having much in the way of a luxury offering.

I debated for a while when picking a place to stay but figured that none of the top end hotels seemed like they were 2 to 3 times as good as the Indigo. For a one night stay I figured it was worth trying out the IHG equivalent to an Andaz or W, especially since my experiences of IHG thus far had been limited to top end Intercontinentals and two nights at the Crowne Plaza in Kyoto.

The reason I haven’t stayed more frequently at IHG hotels is twofold:

  1. Their treatment of elites sucks: no free breakfast, no guaranteed upgrades, no guaranteed late checkout, no guaranteed lounge access
  2. Their best rate guarantee is terrible: you will often find cheaper rates on competing websites but the BRG team will always find a loophole to avoid paying out a free night

Still, at £80 per night for a cool looking four star hotel, in a central location, the price was right and breakfast…well I wasn’t exactly starving after two weeks of all out eating and drinking in Bali, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Plus I figured it would be nice to head out for breakfast in a new city. Getting it thrown in for free at most hotels means that I seldom take the opportunity to explore local breakfast options.

The Indigo is located in an area with quite a few restaurants and coffee shops nearby, in the design district, around ten minutes walk from the train station.

A drizzly day in the design district

A drizzly day in the design district

Hotel Indigo Helsinki

Hotel Indigo Helsinki

The interiror design is very cool , with a retro Scandinavian feel. It really reminds me of Fuglen coffee shop in Tokyo (which I imagine is very similar to the Fuglen in Oslo)

The interior design is very cool , with a retro Scandinavian feel. It really reminds me of Fuglen coffee shop in Tokyo (which I imagine is very similar to the main Fuglen store in Oslo)

There are numerous different sitting areas and in a way the overall layout reminded me of hopping around all the various area of the VS clubhouse in LHR

There are numerous different sitting areas and in a way the overall layout reminded me of hopping around all the various area of the VS clubhouse in LHR

Check-in was very quick and super friendly. The staff were quick to tell me that I should come back to the bar for my free drink, as a platinum member, after getting settled into my room.

I was also asked if I needed a late checkout and told that 2pm would be fine.

Finally I was asked if I needed any recommendations or reservations for dinner and was also given a map of the surrounding area. I gave the name of a few restaurants in order of preference and had a reservation confirmed to me as soon as I passed by the desk again, half an hour later.

The hallways have a futuristic industrial chic feel

The hallways have a futuristic, industrial chic feel

The entrance and wardrobe area of the room were not particularly attractive

The entrance and wardrobe area of the room were not particularly attractive

The bedroom itself was very cool though

The bedroom itself was very cool though

I really liked the cosy red chair and the tripod lamp. Less of a fan of the two singles pushed together to make a 'king bed' though

I really liked the cosy red chair and the tripod lamp. Less of a fan of the two singles pushed together to make a ‘king bed’ though

A perfectly positioned smart TV with no weird hotel overrides on the HDMI. I was able to set up my Mac underneath and extend my desktop onto the TV above Perfect for editing photos and trip reports, just like at home!

A perfectly positioned smart TV with no weird hotel overrides on the HDMI. I was able to set up my Mac underneath and extend my desktop onto the TV above: perfect for editing photos and trip reports, just like at home!

The view from the window was of a characteristically quiet, colourful and clean square. I imagine it is a little louder in the summer, when the sun is shining and the tables and chairs are all in use

The view from the window was of a characteristically quiet, colourful and clean square. I imagine it is a little louder in the summer, when the sun is shining and the tables and chairs are all in use

Lots of table space and a couple of charging ports by the bed. I'm often bewildered by the fact that hotel designers seem to think that neither of these are necessary considerations. I also like the fact that there are no closed drawers as it massively reduces the chances of me leaving something behind (although this falls more into the realms of personal mania)

Lots of table space and a couple of charging ports by the bed. I’m often bewildered by the fact that hotel designers seem to think that neither of these are necessary considerations. I also liked the fact that there were no closed drawers, as it massively reduced the chances of me leaving something behind (although this falls more into the realms of personal mania than clever design, per se)

Given that the Intercontinental in HK doesn't have Nespresso machines in its regular rooms, I was very happy to see one here. The design is also quite thoughtful, with the use of trays to break up the space and prevent clutter and contain spillage

Given that the Intercontinental in HK doesn’t have Nespresso machines in its regular rooms, I was very happy to see one here. The design is also quite thoughtful, with trays used to break up the space, preventing clutter and potentially containing spillage (I get shaky when I need my coffee 🙂 )

Creamer in liquid form and Stevia? Another way in which the Indigo outshines its peers on the luxury end of the hotel spectrum

Creamer in liquid form and Stevia? Another way in which the Indigo outshines its peers on the luxury end of the hotel spectrum

Not the most generous complimentary minibar but free is free ;)

Not the most generous complimentary minibar but hey, free is free 😉

Once again, very cool design. I also loved how warm it was in here. Nothing worse than stepping out of a hot shower into the freezing cold. I think the floor may have even been heated but that could have just been the jet lag amending my perception of reality

Once again, very cool design. I also loved how warm it was in here. Nothing worse than stepping out of a hot shower into the freezing cold. I think the floor may have even been heated but that could have just been the jet lag amending my perception of reality

Aveda toiletries and a supply of fresh face towels

Aveda toiletries and a supply of fresh face towels

Massive rainfall shower head and a handheld shower which could blast the paint off your car or turn your body inside out, if you're not careful

Massive rainfall shower head and a handheld shower which could blast the paint off your car or turn your body inside out, if you’re not careful

The large communal table at the Hotel Indigo Helsinki's bar

The large communal table at the Hotel Indigo Helsinki’s bar

The bar and the main dining room

The bar and the main dining room

IHG Platinum welcome drink and snacks

IHG Platinum welcome drink and snacks

After a busy afternoon spent exploring Helsinki, I headed back to the hotel bar for my IHG Platinum welcome drink. As you can see from the photos above, the restaurant was very popular, with all the tables taken by what appeared to be locals. Thankfully there was space at the large communal table, in the middle of the bar. The perfect spot for some people watching and a quick catch up on my emails.

I must admit, I was a little apprehensive handing over my voucher, given that the bar wasn’t exactly lacking in ‘proper’ customers. The quality of the offering can also vary massively from one property to another with IHG, so I was prepared to be appeased with some horrific swill. Thankfully I was greeted as if I was royalty:

“Oh you are one of our Platinum guests. Please, what would you like to drink?”

“I’d love a glass of white wine”

“Which variety would you like? We have Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc…”

“A glass of the Sauvignon Blanc would be great”

“Would you like a small or a large glass?”

😀 “It’s Saturday night, I’ll take a large”

The wine was very drinkable and came with some delicious pistachios. I was also offered refills of both.

 

Conclusion

My stay at the Hotel Indigo Helsinki exceeded my expectations. The hotel felt very new and cool, without having the weird try hard feel of some Ws, I also love how small and cosy it felt. Truly a boutique feel, rather than the bland enormity of a regular chain stay. The staff were friendly, proactive and very helpful indeed.

The location is about ten minutes from the centre but there was plenty to do and see in the immediate area, so location is really not an issue.

Overall, I would absolutely recommend a stay here to anybody heading to Helsinki.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Selja says:

    As someone who spent a lot of time and effort opening the hotel, picking out and training the staff, so happy to hear you genuinely enjoyed your stay! 😉 Highly value your opinion and happy to notice this post from Insta.
    Welcome back! 🙂

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