Sitting by Kluuvinlahti bay
Would you believe if we told you that, in the 19th century, where you are now standing there was nothing but a muddy seabed? At that time, before development, the land beneath our feet was still covered by the murky waters of Kluuvinlahti bay. The bay was causing several problems for the expanding new capital of Finland and it was slowly being filled as construction works progressed. Horse carts of sand and other soils were poured in. Filling the bay was slow work, so the first streets in the area were built on narrow piers. According to urban legend, on the site of the current hotel, there stood a pier from where traffickers sold illegal alcohol to the public.
Finland's first grand hotel
Helsinki Hotel was opened in 1930 as part of a modern, palatial banking building. Built into an eight-storey building, the grand hotel, complete with showy entrance halls, dining rooms and lounges, was the first of its kind in Finland. While the country was struggling through economic depression and the Prohibition interfered with the restaurant business, Helsinki Hotel quickly found its loyal patrons among businessmen, artists and sports celebrities.The ballroom floor hosted a number of high-profile meetings and festive occasions. As you can see, we have since taken over the entire building.
Pauli Blomstedt's signature style
The Helsinki Hotel building was originally erected in the 1930s as a banking building for Helsingin Suomalainen Säästöpankki savings bank. The architectural competition for the contract was won by a young architect named Pauli Ernesti Blomstedt. A graduate of the Technological University of Finland, Blomstedt had previously worked for the firms of such noted architects as Armas Lindgren and Bertel Jung. A prime example of neoclassicism, the office building became one of Blomstedt's hallmark works. In addition to banking, the building also housed a hotel from the start, with Blomsted designing the entire interiors and furnishings. Pauli's Pizza and Grill pays tribute to our revered architect.