breaking news

Stalked for 31 years, ex-ballerina pins hopes on West Palm jury

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

Earth Day 2018: Ways to celebrate, honor the earth in Palm Beach County
Earth Day 2018: Ways to celebrate, honor the earth in Palm Beach County

Earth Day is every year on April 22. The intention is to raise awareness about the planet we live in and to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Want to participate? Here’s a list of Earth Day activities around Palm Beach County.  The Palm Beach Zoo’s party will be filled with educational, engaging and fun activities for...
Disney: Pandora Utility Suit coming to Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is introducing a 10-foot-tall way to get into the details of its World of Avatar. The Pandora Utility Suit, a mechanical apparatus guided by a human pilot, will debut at the theme park on April 22.  The new brand of street entertainment will inform guests about Pandora’s flora — bioluminescent and otherwise...
Retiring travel editor names his top 10 trips
Retiring travel editor names his top 10 trips

Over my 20-year career writing travel stories for The Seattle Times, a question I’ve fielded (happily, I should say) when meeting someone for the first time was almost as predictable as the number of pretzels I got flying Coach: What’s been my favorite trip? I usually fudged. Prettiest place? Nicest people? Most fun? Educational? How does...
In Beijing encounters, a wayward soul stumbles toward self-discovery
In Beijing encounters, a wayward soul stumbles toward self-discovery

I like to watch the beautiful women of Beijing spit on the street. My journey to get to the capital of China was arduous. I got an hour of sleep on the plane. My first 24 hours here came without closing my eyes. That first evening, a friend insisted on giving me a long walking tour of the city. Over the next few days, I visited the Forbidden City and...
In Bangkok, an intimate hotel with an inky past

1 Lan Luang Road; bpresidence.com   Double rooms from 4,800 baht (about $154).  Stop the presses. The fading glories of books and printing receive a retro-chic resurrection at Bangkok Publishing Residence, an intimate eight-room hotel that opened last year in the former offices of Bangkok Weekly magazine. The atriumlike four-story structure...
More Stories