High design in the design district


Check In

Hotel Lilla Roberts, Pieni Roobertinkatu 1-3; 358-9-689-9880; lillaroberts.com.  

Rates  

From 199 euros (about $210). 

Basics  

The Hotel Lilla Roberts, a stylish 130-room property, has brought new energy to a landmark building whose previous tenants include a power station and the Helsinki Police Department. Built in the early 20th century in classic Finnish Art Nouveau style, the building has been renovated by designer Jaakko Puro, who drew on influences spanning a century of Nordic design. Opened in August 2015, the hotel has a welcoming entrance with its distinctive Art Deco typeface. The lobby dazzles with its gleaming checkerboard floor and midcentury-style armchairs. And beside the reception desk stands a sculptural, look-at-me lamp — a giant black horse with a lampshade on its head — by the cutting-edge Swedish design firm Front. Inspiration for the hotel’s name came from the street address, which in Swedish (the other official language in Finland) is Lilla Robertsgatan.  

Location  

In the central Design District, the hotel is a 10-minute walk from the main train station. Several tram lines stop in the immediate vicinity, but most sights are within walking distance. 

The Room  

My fifth-floor “Comfort” room, the lowest of five room categories, lived up to its name with its plush furnishings. Large windows along one wall were dressed with gauzy black curtains and thick beige blackout drapes. Dark hardwood floors were covered with a soft sand-colored rug, and a large TV hung on one wall above a long, slim desk. The king-size bed — so high I had to literally hop into bed — was topped with fluffy duvets and a furry black throw. The bed was flanked by 

bedside tables, and above the headboard hung a pair of abstract art prints. There was also a brown leather bench at the foot of the bed and a cozy, tufted armchair clad in beige fabric with a traditional Finnish equestrian print.  

The Bathroom  

Luxuriously large, the bathroom had glossy white-tile walls and, on the floor, a geometric mosaic of small black-and-white hexagonal tiles. A spacious shower stall with regular and rainfall showerheads was separated by a glass partition. There were also two large mirrors framed in black tile, one above the toilet and another above the vanity where bath amenities were arrayed beside a fragrance diffuser. A top-of-the-line ghd hair dryer was also provided.  

Amenities  

There is a minibar in the room and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. In the basement, a bright, well-equipped gym with weights, kettlebells and multiple cardio machines is open 24 hours a day.  

Dining  

The kitchen is open all day at the hotel’s Nordic restaurant, Krog Roba, where the design — curvy pendant lamps, deep velour sofas, mosaic-tiled floors — has been considered as carefully as the menu. An abundant breakfast buffet (included in the rate) featured Finnish specialties such as juniper-smoked salmon, crusty rye sourdough and tangy yogurt with raspberry or gooseberry jam. The rest of the day, the restaurant serves pan-Nordic plates such as smoked whitefish smorrebrod and malt cake with cloudberries. Select menu items are available for room service all day, including breakfast (20 euro delivery fee). Creative cocktails are also served in the lobby bar, called Lilla E.  

The Bottom Line  

Exemplary Finnish hospitality at this stylish hotel translates into regional cuisine and glossy design, all overseen by a professional, on-the-ball staff.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

Taking laps of luxury at a Vail resort
Taking laps of luxury at a Vail resort

On a bright, Colorado bluebird day in January, I found myself slaloming through an evergreen forest at high speed on skis, madly chasing my husband, who was pushing his own gear to its limits. Every muscle in my body burned as we flew through Beaver Creek Resort's Royal Elk Glades, an expert-only zone that demands tight turns, the occasional jump off...
Japan's Byodoin temple all aglow
Japan's Byodoin temple all aglow

The Phoenix Hall of Byodoin temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Uji, Japan, glows at night during a trial illumination on Friday. The luminous hall, a national treasure, and colorful autumn leaves of Japanese maple trees are reflected on the surface of the water. Monsho Kamii, the temple's chief priest, said: "With the recent drop in temperatures...
Family travel: Planning for year ahead

It’s that time of year when we review recent adventures and plan for the year ahead. Here are five ideas to inspire your family’s travels:  1. Travel for adventure. Stoke your family’s passion for new experiences with Lindblad Expeditions and partner, National Geographic, through their recently launched Global Explorer&rsquo...
7 Cyber Monday travel deals
7 Cyber Monday travel deals

Cyber Monday, on Nov. 27 this year, isn’t just a day to score discounts on retail goods — in the world of travel, it means attractive deals on hotel stays, safaris, group tours and more.  But buy with caution, said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and the founder of Atmosphere Research Group. “Travel brands discount...
Holiday gift guide: Travel
Holiday gift guide: Travel

This year's gifts will help the travelers in your life stay charged, organized, caffeinated and sand-free - and document their every move, of course.  Aspinal of London: Multi Currency Wallet   The sleek wallet has four deep pouches - two per side - to separate cash and coins from different countries. You can match the colored zipper...
More Stories