The history of Original Sokos Hotel Kuusamo
The completion of Hotel Kuusamo, developed by Kuusamo Consumer Cooperative (currently Koillismaa Consumer Cooperative) on the shore of Lake Torankijärvi in 1973 was a subject of great amazement and admiration at the time in northeastern Finland - and perhaps in Northern Finland as a whole. This kind of hotel, with its restaurant and conference services, had never existed in this region before. Residents in the area came from far and wide to marvel at this large hotel. Hotel Kuusamo was the 48th service outlet for the SOK hotel chain, and its official opening was celebrated with pomp and circumstance on 20 November 1973.
A total of 42 rooms of a high standard for the time were completed, boasting central radio as well as an electronic board that not only included an alarm clock but also reported messages received at the reception. Moreover, every room was en suite, having its own bath and washroom facilities. The sauna department featured Kuusamo's first swimming pool, which was used by hotel guests and municipal inhabitants alike. The Ruska restaurant and its cabinet rooms Liippa, Poro and Muikku, alongside the Kaamos bar and Kiekerä night club, offered first-class premises for dining and entertainment services offered to conference clients, holidaymakers and local residents. Seating at Hotel Kuusamo's restaurant was available for up to 500 people, and occasionally the queues to the renowned Ladies' Choice dancing occasions extended all the way from the front courtyard to the parking lot. Hotel Kuusamo's restaurant etiquette required fine evening dress attire of customers. As customary at the time, a butler received each customer and the restaurant hall was typically busy with the hustle of waiters looking after customers. The À la Carte menu boasted local produce - for instance, fish, game, mushrooms and berries, the village being used to barter economy. Today, fried vendace and sautéed reindeer are still amongst the most popular dishes on the hotel's Kuusamo À la Carte menu.
Ten years flew by from the opening ceremonies of Hotel Kuusamo before it was noted that interest in accommodation and conferences had grown in the area to the extent that the hotel's capacity no longer met the demand. For this reason, an extended section was completed behind the main building in 1983. A total of 52 new, well-appointed hotel rooms on two floors were built there, including one suite, as well as modern meeting facilities in the basement of the building.
In 1993, despite the recession, Hotel Kuusamo continued to expand with a separate building wing comprising three floors. This came to 93 rooms in total, boasting eight mini suites each equipped with its own sauna bath and balcony, in addition to an impressive Victoria suite furnished with gold-coloured bathroom taps as well as a mini kitchen. Two saunas on special order were constructed in the basement of the building, together with conference premises and a festive Kuusamo Room for the organisation of larger occasions. The locals immediately adopted the Kuusamo Room as a venue for family parties. The space conveniently converts from a festive venue into a congress facility accommodating the needs of companies and associations. With the extended section at Hotel Kuusamo, what later became Sokos Hotel Kuusamo already had 187 rooms and 12 meeting rooms.
40 years old Sokos Hotel Kuusamo (now Original Sokos Hotel Kuusamo) enjoys a history in Kuusamo that is both rich with special events and colourful. Many fascinating and entertaining stories and incidents that have occurred over the years fuel the reminiscences of the staff as well as clients. Today, after many stages and even some hardships, the hotel still offers first-class service whilst honouring local tradition for the region's inhabitants as well as for a continuously increasing stream of tourists. Though modernly equipped, the hotel buildings represent the architecture and interior decorating trends of three decades. The total of 149 rooms have been renovated and will undergo future updates when needed - as will other hotel facilities. The swimming pool was relinquished in the autumn of 2009 and replaced with the versatile Hotku Dojo gym.
The largest renovation was implemented in 2006, when the restaurant and kitchen premises were modernised to comply with contemporary standards. In this connection, the Spanish-style Torero restaurant was opened in the hotel, with a menu of tasty tapas and steak dishes. As aforementioned, the hotel restaurant has its Kuusamo À la Carte menu, featuring the northern cultural cuisine and reflecting the history of the building. In June 2013 Torero restaurant was changed to Restaurant Hotku. Several local enterprises operate within the hotel premises, adding to the range of services offered.
We welcome our guests to sincere and traditional "Hotku" in Kuusamo, both today and in the future!