Sokos Hotels 50 years
Fifty-year-old Sokos Hotels to celebrate throughout the year
Finland's most trusted, responsible and respected hotel brand turns half a century in 2024. This long and successful journey has been made possible by our guests and staff.
In our anniversary year, we want to highlight our guests and staff who have made 50 years of operations possible. Throughout the year, the overarching theme will be all about our guests.
"There is no party without guests, and there would be no Sokos Hotels without its customers. We are here for our guests, and we do everything we can to make them happy,” Marketing Director Johanna Wilén from SOK Travel and Hospitality Industry, Chain Management, summarizes.
Happiness is contagious
Since 2018, the mission of Sokos Hotels has been to create happiness. This means that customers' wishes are not only fulfilled, but exceeded. Creating happiness has not only raised customer satisfaction to a top level, but also significantly increased job satisfaction.
The anniversary was launched at the travel fair in Helsinki in January. Numerous guests visited the Sokos Hotels stand to share stories from the chain's hotels over the years. Johanna was especially delighted by success stories from recent years. Below a few examples.
- A customer was celebrating a Harry Potter-themed 30th birthday party. A member of the staff found time to craft a Harry Potter mold and created the logo for the birthday cake with powdered sugar. The customer was truly impressed with the end result and proceeded to give our employee a hug, moved by the surprise.
- Another story about creating happiness also involves a birthday party, this time for a child. It had been agreed in advance that the child would receive a birthday gift and ice cream at breakfast, accompanied by a birthday tune sung by the kitchen staff. Elite league team Oulun Kärpät happened to be in the breakfast room, gave the birthday child a round of applause and signed a flipchart.
A respected Finnish hotel brand
The Sokos Hotels chain, founded in 1974, currently consists of 45 hotels in Finland and one in Estonia. The anniversary year will see one new hotel join the chain, as the unique and high-quality 164-room Solo Sokos Hotel Pier 4 opens on the shore of Katajanokka in Helsinki in the summer.
During the year, chain hotels to be updated are Original Sokos Hotel Tapiola Garden, Break Sokos Hotel Bomba, Break Sokos Hotel Tahko, Original Sokos Hotel Royal, Original Sokos Hotel Vantaa and Break Sokos Hotel Flamingo.
Highlights from the decades
- The Sokos Hotels chain was established in 1974. At this stage, the chain consisted of the oldest still operating hotels in Finland – Grand Hotel Tammer, Hotel Hamburger Börs, as well as hotels Helsinki, Torni and Vaakuna. The former Hotel Hesperia on Mannerheimintie (today Crowne Plaza), was the chain's flagship hotel.
- In the first joint Sokos Hotels brochure, hotels were simply presented with their contact information, number of rooms and rates, without any images.
- International standard Hotel Presidentti opens in Helsinki in 1980. The opening ceremony was attended by distinguished guests, such as then President Urho Kekkonen.
- Sokos Hotel Ilves in Tampere opens in 1986. The hotel gets its design from a matchbox. The hotel aims to be the best in Finland and a "striking sight".
- The number of business travelers collapses, and the industry is looking for new target groups and ways of marketing themselves: The chain starts cooperating with amusement parks, ski resorts and other experience companies.
- S Group's co-op members start receiving Bonus at Sokos Hotels in 1994.
- Sokos Hotels becomes an international chain by expanding to Russia and Estonia.
- Sokos Hotel Ilves is the first smoke-free hotel in Finland.
- Hotel concepts Solo, Break and Original are introduced in 2012.
- Finland's tallest hotel, Solo Sokos Hotel Torni Tampere, opens in 2014.
- Sokos Hotels divest its business in St. Petersburg in 2022.
- The first Heymo hotel Heymo 1 by Sokos Hotels opens in Espoo in 2022.