Staying in prison was never a dream of mine until I discovered Hotel Katajanokka in Helsinki. This quiet boutique hotel is a comfortable piece of history.
The room I stayed in would have been the laundry room. It’s a spacious suite with tall ceilings, a large bed, pull-out sofa, desk and private sauna. Thick walls ensure a quiet night’s rest and the private sauna provides the ultimate relaxation and warmth from a cold day wandering the city.
The prison cantina in the basement serves three meals a day for your dining pleasure. Don’t be fooled by the utensils, the food is unlike prison food you’ve seen in the movies. Its nordic cuisine is local, organic and delicious. The butter for the bread may have been the best butter I have ever tasted. It was pure magic with every bite and as a rule I avoid it in my everyday life. If the butter was that amazing, just imagine the rest of the meal.
The bars on the windows won’t keep you inside but with all the modern amenities and comfort you might not want to leave. The hotel has been recently remodeled with a modern vibe but don’t worry, there are still a couple original cells that you can tour. There’s a larger sauna for all guests open on the weekends and a 24-hour gym if you prefer to exercise indoors instead of outside in the crisp air.
Early release is not something you’ll hope for at Hotel Katajanokka, think twice before you only book one night. They say “escape the ordinary” and that’s something you’ll experience at this unique hotel.