It’s time to write a new chapter in the history of Helsinki hotels. Hotel St. George challenges the world of hospitality, from customs to attitudes. Its concept even challenges the idea of luxury. Hotel St. George wants to offer its guests more, from moments of total wellbeing to unique, individual choices.
Just over one year ago, Kämp Collection Hotels unveiled its tenth hotel venture. Following a meticulous restoration, Hotel St. George will open its doors at the end of September in Yrjönkatu 13, right across the beautiful Old Church Park in the heart of Helsinki.
Housed in a magnificent historic building, the hotel’s 10 000 square metres on 7 floors are home to 148 rooms and five suites. Each suite has its own unique connection to history, whether that of Finland, Helsinki, or the building. The stunning St. George Suite, with a private balcony on the main façade, has been named in honour of the hotel. The tower and dome of the Cupola Suite on the sixth floor count among the building’s signature features. The 100 Ans Suite (100 Years Suite) is dedicated to Finland’s centennial celebration in 2017. The Poetry Suite and the Church Park Suite are linked to the city’s cultural history.
Hotel St. George Care is a pure Nordic spa concept with a pool, sauna and a relaxation space with treatment rooms. The hotel’s restaurants, Salt and St. George Bakery & Bar will become social hubs for locals and hotel guests. The culinary concept of Hotel St. George is in creative process and will be shared along with the wellbeing programme of Hotel St. George Care in the beginning of May.
The crown jewel of the hotel will be the Winter garden built in to the courtyard, sheltered by a glass roof. The Winter garden has drawn inspiration from the classical conservatories of 18th and 20th century nobility, known for their lush greenery and art collections.
While the oldest sections of Hotel St. George date back to the 1840s, the most iconic, designed by architect Onni Tarjanne, was completed in 1890. Tarjanne is best known for designing the Finnish National Theatre in 1902. Through the years, the building at Yrjönkatu 13 has hosted, for example, the Finnish Literature Society SKS, the printing house for the first Finnish newspaper Suometar and The Helsinki Finnish Club. Stories from its past have played a crucial role in the interior design of the hotel. Once the hotel is completed, they will also serve as inspiration for events.
Hotel St. George’s international marketing will be launched with a bold move in line with the concept: a curated art collection. A work of art by the internationally renowned modern artist Ai Weiwei will adorn the gallery-esque lobby at the hotel’s main entrance. Standing face to face with the giant white dragon will be a magical moment for hotel guests.
Tianwu is a kite, a structure made by hand of bamboo and covered in white silk. This airy work of art is part of the Er Xi, Air de Jeux installation, which was showcased in Le Bon Marché department store in Paris in early 2016. Weiwei found inspiration for the installation in traditional Chinese Shan Hai Jing fairy tales, the first of which were written in the 4th century BC. These stories have been passed down generations for centuries. The mythological creatures displayed in Le Bon Marché resembled birds, fish and dragons. The Tianwu dragon travelled to Helsinki to an exhibition at a local gallery in spring 2016, and now its story continues into the future at Hotel St. George. Helsinki exhibited Ai Weiwei’s art in the year before, too, when the Helsinki Art Museum HAM was reopened to the public with a wide-ranging exhibition of the artist’s work in autumn 2015.
Sculptor Pekka Jylhä delivers another unique art experience at Hotel St. George when his six-metre brass bird finds a permanent nest under the glass roof of the Winter garden. The interplay between light and the bird’s sculptural form creates a striking spatial ambience. Pekka Jylhä’s sculpture was privately commissioned for the Winter garden of Hotel St. George.
The artistic experience continues in the hotel rooms, which owe their colour palette and ambience to some of Finland’s most renowned graphic artists. The visual worlds of Juhana Blomstedt, Lars-Gunnar Nordström and Ernst Mether-Borgström each tell their own stories to hotel guests.
The concept of Hotel St. George has attracted widespread international interest, which has already resulted in the membership of the exclusive Design Hotels portfolio. The Design Hotels selection comprises over 300 private hotels in more than 50 countries, with over 100 membership applications submitted each year. Design Hotels selects its new members with utmost care, only accepting around 10 per cent of the applications.
Hotel St. George has been selected by Design Hotels as key launches for 2017.
For further information:
Mirkku Kullberg, Creative Director
Liisa Kuvaja, Head of Communication
firstname.lastname@example.org • 040 722 5789
Material Bank: Hotel St. George material bank