We stay at Hotel Alba each time we are in Jyvaskyla -- which is about once a year, and we do so when we are visiting the university. The university is just across the lake. The hotel is on two, very long and straight floors, with about 38 rooms on each side of the corridor. Thus, you have a 50/50 chance of a lakeside view. Rooms on the other side look out onto university buildings. The building and the rooms have a functional, clean design. This makes it very interesting. On the other hand, if you are looking for a bit of luxury the rooms are quite basic. They do have a flat screen television on the wall and a small bar fridge but everything else is your very basic room. Your choice of room -- there are three choices as we see it -- will influence your experience. Choice 1 is a basic room on the Lakeside. This offsets anything else with a beautiful view. The bridge and the buildings across the lake are all white. Choice 2 is a basic room on the other side, overlooking university buildings. That likely just emphasizes the fact that you are just looking for somewhere to rest your head. Mostly basic. No offsetting factors. Choice 3 is lakeside rooms with a sauna. Now those rooms are the ones we stay in. They are quite a bit more than the basic room (I think we paid an extra 50 Euros one time). Now you can enjoy a sauna while looking out on the lake while drinking a cold beer from the fridge. This experience turns the visit from a basic place to stay to a great experience.
Beyond this there is a restaurant. Breakfast, which is included in the price of the various rooms. It is passable -- cold boiled eggs, porridge,small selection of cold cuts and cheeses. If you are used to Finnish hotel breakfasts then this does not hold up. All other hotels we have stayed at in Finland (several of them) was better. The dinners in the hotel were okay but limited. The house wine was a good price at 26 Euros -- and you good a fairly good Spanish wine. There were only three desserts in the menu on two different nights one of them was not available (even though we were in the restaurant around 6ish). The basic ice cream on offer was not great. Tasted like something cheap from a local supermarket. We found all the staff - from the front desk to the restaurant -- to be helpful and friendly.
The bottom line for us was the location could not be better IF you had business at the university (all other hotels are about a 10 minute cab journey away. But our rating of very good depends solely on our experience of the room with sauna.
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