Find pure escapism and embrace the healing power of water in some of the Finnish capital’s most glamorous relaxation hotspots
Helsinki may be more under-the-radar than Reykjavik, but it is fast becoming one of the coolest Nordic cities – both temperature-wise and for its first-class wellness options. Given that you can easily explore the city on foot, it makes sense to indulge the Finnish obsession with saunas by vigorously sweating out toxins and easing tired muscles at the end of the day. Nor does this have to be as rudimentary an experience as it sounds, as Helsinki is home to some seriously luxe hotel spas.
It’s no wonder Hotel Kämp is the grande dame of luxury hotels in Helsinki. At 133 years old, it has hosted visiting celebrities from the Rolling Stones to Bruce Springsteen in a plush setting that maintains its classical late-19th-century style but with all the 21st-century amenities. This is perhaps most evident in the spa, a tranquil gem in the hotel’s crown, where you’ll find no less than three types of sauna (steam, Turkish Hammam and Finnish), a gym with all the latest next-gen equipment and the type of full spa menu that leaves you spoilt for choice. In the hands of the experts, it’s possible to jump from a holistic tension-melting Hot Stone Massage to the high-tech Advanced Skin Radiance facial. Here a special SkinVision lamp analyses skin issues not visible to the naked eye so your therapist can target the treatment’s sequence of cleansing, exfoliating, masks and massage to your individual concerns.
Hotel Kämp, Kluuvikatu 4 B, 8th floor, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
Hotel St George Helsinki
Set within a 19th century newspaper building, the hotel has been sensitively transformed to be sunlit, grand and packed with modern art. The rooms are all blonde wood and natural light and this bright, clean aesthetic is mirrored in the spa. Opt for a gentle swim in the pool or a treatment powered by two indulgent brands: Omorovicza, which is inspired by the heal-ing effects of hot springs and mineral-rich waters, and Niki Newd, which deploys 100 per cent fresh, natural ingredients from Finland. The standout for us was The Niki Newd x St George Facial treatment. In just 75 minutes it promises to reset your skin and senses with a peel made from locally produced Finnish forest honey and a Spruce Sprout mask, which is removed using milk from freshly harvested young coconuts no less. Perfect after a day island hopping and experiencing all that nature has to offer on Helsinki’s doorstep.
Hotel St George, Yrjönkatu 13 C, 00120 Helsinki, Finland
Valo Hotel Helsinki
Imagine a ski chalet but in a distinctly urban setting and you’ll have hit upon Valo Hotel’s unique vibe. Everything about this hotel screams cosy – from the bistro with its hearty, down-to-earth Nordic flavours to the rooftop wellness area. Alongside the panoramic views, you can work your way through a selection of authentic log saunas, relaxation pools, a steam room and, not for the faint-hearted, a dip in the ice pool to get your heart rate up.
Valo Hotel, Mannerheimintie 109, 00280 Helsinki, Finland
Valo Hotel Helsinki.
Lapland Hotels Bulevardi
For a taste of Lapland in the heart of Helsinki look no further than the stylish minimalist interiors at the Lapland Hotels Bulevardi where functional simplicity reigns supreme. Many of the rooms have their own saunas, where you’ll be met by soft puffs of steam to help you truly unwind. In this intimate space, you can enjoy the option of two specially tailored in-room spa packages featuring ingredients from the North: the Arctic Beauty package with an emphasis on purifying and moisturising products, or the Magical Night to improve the quality of your sleep during your stay.
Lapland Hotels Bulevardi, Bulevardi 28, 00120 Helsinki, Finland