In the heart of Helsinki, a new chapter in luxury Nordic hospitality has been written with the arrival of . Proudly joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts‘ prestigious Legend Collection, this urban sanctuary seamlessly melds contemporary elegance with the echoes of its storied past in the city’s historic Kruununhaka district. Founded by former three-time Olympic gold medalist and renowned real estate Samppa Lajunen, the 117-room hotel, includes 38 lavish suites, two restaurants, a grand ballroom, a serene chapel, a state-of-the-art spa, and a destination boutique showcasing jewelry of Faberge and esteemed Finnish designers.
“The Hotel Maria’s commitment to being the premier hotel experience in the Nordics and Helsinki’s first true five-star destination reflects the evolution of luxury in the Nordics”, said The Hotel Maria Founder Samppa Lajunen, a former three-time Olympic gold medalist and renowned real estate developer. “Our journey parallels that of our namesake, Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna, a renowned and beloved royal figure who sought peace of mind in Finland during challenging times and served as a great unifier beyond borders. We aspire to provide the same tranquility and sanctuary to all who grace our doors, offering our guests a taste of the pure and natural beauty of Finland, leaving them renewed and inspired”.
Classic Finnish Charm Meets Spacious Luxury
In a country consistently celebrated as the world’s happiest, The Hotel Maria is one of the most anticipated launches in Finland and invites guests to immerse themselves in the captivating essence of the region via bespoke experiences and wellness. The Hotel Maria serves as an ideal starting point to discover the best of the Nordics or as a home base to explore the cultural and natural wonders of Finland’s capital city.
The Hotel Maria is a collection of four architecturally and historically prominent buildings dating back to 1885, protected by The Finnish Heritage Agency. The design concept gracefully balances stately, historic architecture with refined modern furnishings, elevating the definition of modern luxury in Helsinki. With interiors by Head Designer Jana Sasko and Puroplan, one of Finland’s leading interior design firms, The Hotel Maria strikingly blends Finnish culture with American style and extra spacious standards. Many of the site’s original features are celebrated throughout the design, with traditional ornate wall and ceiling details dressed in fresh shades of white and neutral, creating a cohesive and timeless backdrop for the overall aesthetic. Into this crisp envelope, the design layers an array of supple textures, accented with natural woods and hand-forged metals, all crowned with an eclectic, extensive collection of contemporary lighting.
Helsinki’s Ultimate Setting for Elevated Stays
The Hotel Maria offers a variety of accommodation options, including more suites than any other hotel in Helsinki and guest rooms that provide double the space of typical Finnish hotels, with an average size exceeding 460 square feet. Room features include large “American-style” beds, state-of-the-art technology, and spacious spa-like marble bathrooms, most with extra-large soaking tubs, electric fireplaces bath televisions, and 19 suites are equipped with their own private traditional Finnish saunas or steam rooms as well.
Guests can choose from three categories of thoughtfully designed guest rooms and a wide selection of suites, including tranquil Spa Suites (19 total), some of which span two floors and feature saunas or steam rooms. A collection of 14 signature suites provides the ultimate indulgent retreat. The Maria Signature Suite boasts a chic and inviting living area ideal for entertaining, while the The Penthouse Suite wows with floor-to-ceiling windows, a premium kitchen and dining table ideal for in-suite private dining or a private chef experience. Undoubtedly the pinnacle of luxury and arguably the best suite in Finland, The Maria Imperial Suite 160 square metres (1,722 square-feet) provides a first-class experience with a private butler, two in-suite soaking tubs, a steam room, library, two living areas, and a grand dining room with seating for up to 10, ideal for entertaining friends or hosting meetings.
The Maria Spa
The Hotel Maria is committed to holistic wellbeing, exemplified by the on-site spa, Maria Spa. It features a large coed Finnish sauna, a uniquely designed steam room, cold and warm water plunge pools, Jacuzzi, and a greenery-filled fully enclosed atrium sanctuary with Spa Bar. Indulgent signature skin and body treatments, such as the Luminizer Massage, Arctic Healing with Maria and Nordic Vitality Facial, take place in four treatment rooms with luxury products from the exclusive Biologique Recherche range. The Maria Spa is opening in December 2023 and the wellness options will expand further in June 2024 by the opening of The Wellness Club, which will offer a design forward fitness space with best-in-class equipment and unique training programs for guests and locals alike.
In addition to standard luxury hotel services such as valet parking and concierge assistance, The Hotel Maria offers private butler services, dog and babysitting, personal shoppers, and an Experience Manager dedicated to curating and delivering bespoke luxury adventures throughout Finland. As the first hotel in the Nordics to offer a Wellness Concierge, the property offers highly personalized programs, including tailored jet lag treatments and nutrition programs, a weekly Run Club, in-suite spa treatments, Spa Suites with private saunas or steam rooms and large soaking tubs, taking the mind-body experience to the next level.
A prime location allows for easy exploration of Helsinki’s landmark attractions, while exclusive partnerships with high-end hotels and resorts in Lapland and the Lake District offer once-in-a-lifetime stays with views of the magical Northern Lights and the stunning lake region, making Finland’s most treasured experiences within relatively easy reach.
Sophisticated Culinary Experiences
Leading the hotel’s food and beverage offerings is its signature restaurant, Lilja, helmed by Head Chef Ville Rainio. With extensive culinary experience from acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe, including the world-renowned Noma in Copenhagen, voted as the World’s Best Restaurant, Chef Ville takes diners on a gastronomic journey inspired by the traditions of French cuisine.
Lilja’s seasonal menu showcases the finest produce from Finland and regions nearby, featuring sumptuous signature dishes where seasons are the focal point for creativity. Lilja exclusively uses wild-caught fish and has its own buoy in Aland, where seaweed is cultivated and collected for the kitchen’s needs, among other 100% organic local producers, such as Rolling Cheese from Töölö, Helsinki Meijeri’s cheeses and yoghurt produced in Viikki, churned butter from Mouhujärvi, Finnish Dry Aged beef and exclusively sourced reindeer meat from the Poromoision reindeer farm in Sodankylä.
For more intimate dining, there is Lilja’s elegant private dining room, Valley, with seating for up to 12, or guests can enjoy the full Lilja menu in the comfort of their rooms.
Culinary delights also await at the brasserie style Garden Terrace, an inviting space adorned with lush greenery, hanging lanterns, and plush Chesterfield sofas, where guests can enjoy afternoon tea or savor dishes from an elevated all-day dining menu inspired by classic international and Nordic cuisine, while Bar Maria is a chic lounge inspired by the Arctic, specializing in Champagne (many by the glass) and caviar, providing a refined setting for extravagant afternoons with the enchanting backdrop of snow white chandeliers casting a soft glow over the grand piano. Every moment here is about celebrating life’s finest pleasures.
The hotel is dedicated to minimizing environmental impact and embracing social responsibility. It features energy-efficient lighting, cutting-edge indoor climate control, and renewable energy sources, creating an eco-conscious haven. Recycling programs and partnerships with local artisans contribute to a sustainable future. Transparent practices, continuous improvement, and guest engagement drive this exceptional sustainable journey at The Hotel Maria. Green Key Certification is expected in 2024.
The final stage of The Hotel Maria’s opening will take place in June 2024 with the completion of the Liisankatu 8A and Maneesikatu side buildings, doubling room availability. Liisankatu is home to the grand Maria Ballroom and the adjacent Lily room, an intimate dining and meeting space for four, while Maneesikatu will invigorate guests 24 hours a day with The Maria Wellness Club and Wellness Studio.
About Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Preferred Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest independent hotel brand, representing more than 650 distinctive hotels, resorts, residences, and unique hotel groups across 80 countries. Through its five global collections, Preferred Hotels & Resorts connects discerning travelers to the singular luxury hospitality experience that meets their life and style preferences for each occasion. Every property within the portfolio maintains the high-quality standards and unparalleled service levels required by the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Integrated Quality Assurance Program. The I PreferTM Hotel Rewards program, Preferred ResidencesSM, Preferred PrideSM, and Preferred GolfTM offer valuable benefits for travelers seeking a unique experience. For more information, visit PreferredHotels.com.
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Photos courtesy of Preferred Hotels & Resorts