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“Noisy rooms, bad coffee,nice staff”

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Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Ranked #21 of 65 Hotels in Helsinki
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Helsinki, Finland
Level 6 Contributor
156 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Noisy rooms, bad coffee,nice staff”
Reviewed 17 November 2013

I spend 2-3 nights per year in SOKOS hotels in Finland, the only truly nice one I´ve met is in Saint Petersburg. This time I had to take a room in Vaakuna for the first time. Friendly young staff at the reception and direct access from there to the department store.
The main reason I try to avoid this hotel chain is the coffee at breakfast. It truly is horrible: light roast, obviously the cheapest beans and watered down. Not that the rest of the breakfast would cheer up anybody who´s seen it unchanged for at least some 15 years.
I got a superior room which I have only one complain about, for the reasonable 106€/night it was even a small bargain with well stocked minibar, iron + board, big windows and good lights in the room, good lights something rather rare actually, the complain: street noise. I could not use ear plugs (which were NOT provided) for various reasons and the noise started at 7 Saturday morning.
If you get it cheap and can use ear plugs, and understand zip about good coffee, why not stay at the hearth of the city?

Room Tip: All rooms have street view and street noise too. Mannerheimintie-street the noisiest side.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Foodiac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vaakuna, Manager at Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, responded to this review, 19 November 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for your review! I’m very happy to hear you enjoyed our service, the easy way to do shopping right inside the hotel building and our location right in the city centre.

However, I am sorry to hear that you didn't like the coffee we serve. Beside the normal coffee we also serve for example cappuchino ja espresso. At the reception we have small items such as hair comb, tooth brush and tooth paste and also air plugs to be given complimentary for our guests. There are also rooms available in the inner court, which are ideal for really light sleepers.

I warmly welcome you back to our hotel so we can improve your opinion of us! Wishing you a nice week and once again, thank you for your review!


Best regards,
Hilkka Järvelä
Hotel manager
Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, Helsinki
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
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Hannover, Germany
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

The Sokos Hotel is very centrally located, opposite the central railway station and a the bus departure. All main attractions of Helsinki are within walking distance, to reach the harbour you need 15 minutes. In the bottom of the building is a supermarket and a shopping centre, so everything you need is nearby.

The welcome was friendly, even though they had my room not ready at 2pm, but ok, they guaranteed 3pm. It is only hard to imagine such a big hotel having no room ready.

But: Parking is expensive (32 EUR per day), the rooms are 80years-style furnished, and there is such a mess of people enjoying the 10th-floor restaurant for ordinary breakfast that you cannot find a free chair/table. And there is a mess of people waiting in front of the elevators after breakfast going down to their rooms, as you are not allowed to use staircases. And there is a mess of people waiting in front of the elevators on the floors below with their luggage to go down to the lobby for checkout, but the elevators are already full.

Downstairs at the lobby, the checkout was done within seconds. When I mentioned the queues waiting upstairs in front of the elevators, the receptionists only murmered something about peak times and so on. But simply opening the stairs between the breakfast and the room floors would have relaxed the situation immensely.

It looks like the hotel is primarily booked by tourists (or groups), so this is probably the reason why they don't care about individuals. There is no, and absolutely no, personal treatment. For this more than 100 EUR for a single room is too much.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Volker_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vaakuna, Front Office Manager at Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, responded to this review, 28 October 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your review. I am so sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your hole stay.

Our hotel was built for the Olympic games in 1952 and some parts of the building are protected by the National Board of Antiquities. Due to these kind of renovation restrictions there sometimes can be a queu to the three lifts in the lobby. At these times we also let guests to use the staff lifts and the stairs are also available to be used. Thanks to your feedback, we try to mark the stairs better.
I warmly welcome you back to our hotel so we can improve your opinion of us!
Harri Sinisalo
Service mgr.
Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, Helsinki
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Kuopio, Finland
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2013

Stayed overnight while in business trip to Helsinki. Picked Sokos Hotel Vaakuna since it was close to railway station and I was travelling with train.

I read somewhewre that there are some rooms available with a balcony and kiddingly asked for a single room with a balcony from a very friendly and helpful receptionist. To my surprise it was arranged right away!

Room was small and there was indeed a balcony with chairs and table. Too bad the weather was dreadful all the time so I couldn't really enjoy that.

Breakfast in the tenth floor restaurant is decent but thre restaurant itself is very nice. The view over the city centre is really worth seeing!

Room Tip: Ask a room with a balcony!
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Tiltman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vaakuna, Front Office Manager at Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, responded to this review, 17 October 2013
A warm thank you for your review. In future, if you travel back to Helsinki, you are of course warmly welcome to visit us again, and remember to ask the balcony room again.

Best regards,

Harri Sinisalo
Service Manager
Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Helsinki
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Dublin
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2013

I stayed in this hotel on business for two nights in September 2013.
It is in a very central location; close to the main shopping area and the train station. The staff on reception were very friendly and the breakfast in the morning was of a good standard.

Some of the points that let it down:-

The room was very small. The bed was no bigger than sleeping on a sofa. The bathroom was also tiny and there was nothing extra in the way of toiletries.
The restaurant attached ot the hotel was very basic.

Overall the hotel is in a good location but in my opinion is expensive for what it is, I would rate it as a 3 star rather than a 4 star.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DuffManDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vaakuna, Front Office Manager at Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, responded to this review, 1 October 2013
Dear guest,

thank you and my appreciations for your review.

I am so sorry to hear, that your were not satisfied with the size of your room and your bed.
Unfortunately our single rooms are built smaller and the space is very limited.

I warmly welcome you back to our hotel so we can take better care of you and show you, that
we also have nicer bigger rooms.

I wish you a nice week and, again, thank your for your feedback.

Best regards,

Nicolai Muhsal
Service Manager
Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Helsinki
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2013

The hotel was built for the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and the foyer, restaurant and many of the fittings are very faithful to the original design as they have to be due to the heritage overlay. If comfort is more important than the design - then you may want to take some photos in the foyer and the 10th floor restaurant and stay somewhere else. Unfortunately some of the rooms are ageing. Lots of wood panelling, we had a queen bed that had seen better days. The location is brilliant - directly opposite the train station.

Room Tip: We've stayed twice, the rooms overlooking the train station are much quieter, and darker, than t...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank djrg123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vaakuna, Front Office Manager at Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, responded to this review, 1 October 2013
Dear guest,

thank you for your review. Sorry to hear that the room was not to your satisfaction.
Our hotel has actually acknowledged the aging of the rooms and we are waiting for green light
from the board for renovation.

Of course we would like to welcome you back to our hotel. Perhabs after the renovation, when our rooms are in better condition.

Best regards,

Nicolai Muhsal
Service Manager
Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Helsinki
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampere, Finland
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2013

Vaakuna is right in the centre of Helsinki, next to the railway and metro station. There's a department store on the lower floors and a grocery store in the basement of the same building.

Inside, the lobby and corridors still retain their 1950's style impressive interior. The rooms, however, felt a bit dated in a bad way. Our room on the 8th floor was smallish but clean and most importantly quiet all through the weekend. A safe would have been nice to have in the room. Wi-fi was fast and free to use.

The breakfast room was quite busy. Breakfast is included in the rate, the selection was ok, but not really anything special or specifically Finnish. On the negative side, there was no bacon available at all. The view from the top floor restaurant is nice though so it's worth to wait for one of the window tables to became available.

All in all, this hotel is good at the moment if you value the transport connections and you get a good discounted rate like we did, so we were quite happy with our stay as we knew what to expect.

For the full price, at the moment there are better options available elsewhere in the city. I understand a renovation is being planned so it might be wise to check again when it's completed.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tervol1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vaakuna, Manager at Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, responded to this review, 16 August 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for your review!

Our hotel was built for 1952 Olympic games and yes, room renovations are always done at certain time range. The breakfast is served on the 10th floor and the view over centre of Helsinki is certainly great in my opionion too. The selection at breakfast varies from time to time and bacon is also on the list of products. The location in the middle of the city centre is handy for our guests and the windows do keep the noice from the street away as you mentioned.

I am glad that you were happy with your stay with us and I hope to see you again when next visiting Helsinki!

Best regards,
Hilkka Järvelä
Hotel manager
Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, Helsinki
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Kuopio, Finland
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2013

The hotel is near Kamppi and railway station. I had a weekend stay, and there was a very noisy wedding party, which didn't allow me to sleep more than few hours. The hotel apologized and I got a refund from the room price. Room was clean and view from the 9th floor terrace excellent. Bed was a little uncomfortable. Breakfast was just great.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank osopequena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vaakuna, Manager at Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, responded to this review, 16 August 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for your review. I am glad you enjoyed your stay with us!

Welcome back when next visiting Helsinki!

Best regards,
Hilkka Järvelä
Hotel manager
Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, Helsinki
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna

Property: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna
Address: Asema-aukio 2, Helsinki 00100, Finland
Region: Finland > Uusimaa > Helsinki > Vironniemi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Helsinki
#10 Family Hotel in Helsinki
#14 Business Hotel in Helsinki
#19 Romantic Hotel in Helsinki
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna 3.5*
Number of rooms: 270
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The beautiful functionalist Sokos Hotel Vaakuna is located on the best spot in town, in the centre of everything, with all of central Helsinki within easy reach. The hotel comprises 270 rooms for non-smokers with sound-insulated windows and individual room cooling system. From the balconies of the rooms on floor 9, you see Helsinki in all its glory. The hotel also has 6 comfortable meeting rooms. The present ambiance of the hotel, completed in 1952, is a splendid show of Finnish design traditions. The hotel is protected by the National Board of Antiquities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sokos Hotel Helsinki

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