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Bunny’s Review of Clarion Hotel Helsinki

Image of Bunny's room
Image of Clarion Helsinki

Bunny has made it her mission to visit all the nice hotels in Helsinki. When she briefly visited the Finnish capital in August, she was in the mood to save money. For some reason, hotel prices were almost double what they normally were for the time of her visit. Luckily, she found a good deal at Clarion Hotel Helsinki - a hotel she had not stayed at before.

Bunny had some previous experience from Clarion hotels in Norway, but she did not know what to expect from Clarion Helsinki.

First Impressions

Things did not get off to the best of starts: the Bunnies showed up with heavy suitcases to find no-one behind the check-in counter. After quite a wait, a check-in person emerged, only to first serve a guest that was in the queue behind Bunny, as “guests checking out had priority”. Hmph. Bunny was a bit taken aback. It is possible that her attitude also showed on her face.

Things started improving once Bunny was properly served at the counter. She even decided to splurge a bit and grabbed the offered upgrade (only 20 euros) to a higher room category. The upgrade gave her a gorgeous view, bathrobes and slippers which she thought would come in handy when visiting the rooftop pool and sauna later in the day.

Image of Clarion Helsinki
Image of Clarion lobby
Image of the harbour

Hotel Lobby

Bunny was quite pleased with the hotel lobby which was airy and spacious, with understated Scandinavian design. There were big windows to the sea and comfy sofas to lounge in. Bunny also noted two Apple computers and a printer for use by the guests. Extra points for that!

Clarion Helsinki has 16 floors and 425 rooms. Bunny usually doesn't like big hotels that have a corporate feeling, but she didn’t get that vibe at Clarion. It helps that the hotel is architecturally stunning, inside and out, particularly on a sunny day.

The building comprises two towers that are linked by a transparent glass footbridge. The elevators alone, which were fast and numerous, offer spectacular views.

Superior View Double Room

Bunny’s upgraded room was a superior view double room on the 11th floor facing the sea.

The room was quite small, but impeccably clean and fresh, with nice wooden floors. All rooms at Clarion Helsinki come either with light or dark interior. Bunny requested a light room at check-in and was duly granted one. She was pleased with her choice.

The small room packs in a lot of handy features, including a writing desk, a kettle with instant coffee and tea options, an iron and ironing board, a good-sized safe and a minibar which Bunny emptied and stocked with her own products instead.

The bathroom was stylish and had Rituals toiletries which Bunny just loves. Too bad that they were in environmentally-friendly refillable bottles instead of those small hotel-sized bottles that are easier to steal…

All in all, Bunny found the room quite well-designed and very quiet. She slept superbly and woke up to beautiful views of Helsinki basking in the morning light.

Image of Bunny's room
Image of shower
Image of Bunny in her room
Image of bathroom

Mr. Bunny, on the other hand, noted the big flatscreen TV and stated that Clarion Helsinki had the fastest Wi-Fi in any hotel ever, while furiously downloading illegal material from the Internet during their stay.

"Super fast internet!" 

Bunny logo

Rooftop Pool and Terrace

One of the biggest draws of Clarion Helsinki (to Bunny anyway) is the rooftop pool and terrace. The heated outdoor pool on the 16th floor, offering great views of Helsinki, is quite a rarity in town. Bunny visited on a warm sunny day and appreciated the spacious terrace with loungers, but couldn’t help wondering how it all works in Finland’s winter months …

The pool is, indeed, lovely, but quite small (it seems bigger in photos) so don’t plan on doing any laps. Instead, do note the glass bottom in the last two meters of the pool, with a direct view down to the street 16 floors below. Very cool, Bunny thinks.

Image of rooftop pool
Image of sauna

The rooftop area also has two saunas (separate for men and women), a relaxation area, a small yoga room and a sparkling water fountain that Bunny thought was a nice touch. All in all, it was a bit too busy for Bunny who is spoiled to the core after having enjoyed so many luxurious, empty spas on her exclusive travels.

The saunas and pool are closed every day between 11am-5pm. Bunny wonders why. The facilities, albeit lovely, are quite small and the hotel has more than 400 rooms. Wouldn’t it make sense to keep the spa open all day long, possibly reducing the crowds at peak times? Bunny thinks she should maybe have a word with the hotel’s management about this…

Image of rooftop terrace
Image of Bunny on the terrace
Image of Clarion spa

The gym, also on the top floor, was a nice surprise. It’s a decent size and has modern machinery, both weightlifting and cardio equipment, with a great view. It seemed so inviting that Bunny almost tried it. However, drinks in the Sky Room beckoned instead…

Top Tip

The sauna and pool open at 7am. Go for a morning dip before breakfast to enjoy the spa in relative quiet. 

Sky Room Bar

Image of Sky Room entrance

The Sky Room, Clarion’s bar with magnificent views, is located on the top floor of the hotel. Bunny was very impressed with the stylish and expansive space, the comfy chairs and, of course, the views of sunny Helsinki.

In addition, the cocktail menu was great. Bunny’s drink of choice was an Olympic Stadium, a Margarita-type creation with a salt rim, while Mr. Bunny grabbed a draft beer, the cheapest drink on the menu (pure coincidence, no doubt).

The Bunnies also munched on some delicious olives and lingered on the rooftop as it was relatively uncrowded in the early evening. It might be a different story later in the evening though. Bunny was in bed by the time the real party people climbed out of their caves.

Image of Sky Room
Image of Bunny's drink

Kitchen & Table Restaurant

Clarion’s restaurant, Kitchen & Table is by Marcus Samuelsson, a world-renowned chef from Sweden. As a proper Finn, Bunny is naturally suspicious of anything and everything that comes from Sweden. So she didn’t try the restaurant.

She did quickly glance through the menu though, and noted that there were some vegetarian options on offer. So it cannot be all bad.

Breakfast

At breakfast, more than anywhere else, you notice the size of the hotel. It is very crowded.

Breakfast buffet is included in the room price and is actually quite good, but Bunny was a bit annoyed by the chaos reigning in the breakfast room. It is a big space and the breakfast spread is very extensive, with a number of options for all diets, but it is ruined by the people….

In addition, the famous Wi-Fi didn't work in the breakfast room, at least not in the corner that the Bunnies occupied. Big problem!

There is one saving grace though: if the weather is nice, you can enjoy your breakfast on the outdoor terrace. At least you’ll have more room to breathe and a nice view to boot.

Image of Clarion building
Image of breakfast plate

Location

Clarion Helsinki is located in the new Jätkäsaari urban investment district in the central West Harbour area. This means you are a short(ish) walk away from the city centre, about 15 minutes. In summer time, this is not a problem. Bunny is not quite sure how she would fancy the walk in the dead of winter though.

There are, naturally, a number of public transportation options available, as well as taxis just outside the hotel in case you are not the walking type. But it is good to keep in mind that Clarion Helsinki is not as central as some of the other Bunny’s recommended hotels in Helsinki.

That said, Clarion Helsinki is an excellent choice if you’re catching a ferry from the West Harbor area (Länsisatama). You can actually see the ferries from the hotel and it is a short walk to the terminals - unless you have really heavy luggage or the weather is horrible, in which case it is a very short taxi ride.

Otherwise, the harbour area outside Clarion Helsinki is pleasant for evening strolls by the sea. On the other side, some 300 metres from Clarion Helsinki, there is a local K-Market grocery shop. They have a good selection of groceries for decent prices. The Bunnies went there to stock up for yet another hotel room picnic during their stay at Clarion.

Image of sign at Sky Room

Bunny's Conclusions

Clarion Helsinki was a nice surprise for Bunny. She did not have high expectations but was pleasantly surprised by the architecture, the room quality, the views and the Sky Room. The spa was also lovely albeit a bit small and the breakfast was delicious, albeit crowded.

Hotel Lilla Roberts remains Bunny’s favorite hotel in Helsinki, but she would not hesitate to stay at Clarion again. Particularly if the price is right.

Image of Bunny paw prints

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  • Tom says:

    “Mr. Bunny ordered the cheapest drink on the menu-pure coincidence” NOT

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