Original Sokos Hotel Koljonvirta's history goes back to 1955, when the hotel opened its doors in the new Osuuskauppa Original Sokos Hotel Koljonvirta's history goes back to 1955, when the hotel opened its doors in the new Iisalmen Osuuskauppa commercial building on Savonkatu. Before opening, a competition was organised for the name of the hotel. From the received suggestions, the building committee chose "Hotel Koljonvirta" as the first option, and the cooperative later confirmed it as the name for the hotel. Other awarded suggestions were "Hotel Iisalmi" and "Hotel Salmensuu".
The originally 14-room hotel has been extended several times over the decades as part of renovations. The past is still reflected in how the staff speak. For example, the reception staff still refer to the Martina wing, meaning the section of the building to which our hotel was extended in the early 1990s, after Hotel Martina next to us closed.
Many people still remember the 250-seat traditional dance venue on the second floor. This stylish venue and its bar were very popular. The biggest changes occurred in 1980, when the restaurant facilities moved to the street level. Three different establishments were built then: the Suvanto restaurant, the Pyörre dance club and the Kuohu pub in the basement. Starting from this time, Kuohu operated in the same premises and carried the same traditional name until 2019, when the pub was closed.
The restaurant was renewed in 1982, when the fifth restaurant in the Rosso chain, and the first one in Iisalmi, was opened there. At the same time, the dance club changed its name to Villikissa ("wildcat") and soon became famous throughout Upper Savo. The "diamond dances" on Tuesday nights were particularly memorable – each night, a lucky customer won a diamond ring! Over the years, Villikissa changed its name, being called the Bepop night club during its final years, until on 31 December 2016, the music in these premises stopped for the last time, and the club was closed.
In 1998, an Irish bar was opened at the hotel, today known as O'Nelly's Irish Bar. The bar's individual service, central location and wide selection of drinks have made it a popular meeting place for both locals and guests from further away. In 2012, our hotel's restaurant services were supplemented with a Hesburger.
Today, Original Sokos Hotel Koljonvirta is a pleasant hotel and restaurant business with a great staff. At the end of 2022, extensive renovations started at the hotel, Rosso and Hesburger. The work was completed in July of 2023, when we got to open yet another chapter in the history of Koljonvirta!
Welcome to the cosy Koljonvirta!