Helsinki Finland Sheraton Hotel
As Lake Street burned last Friday, its shops gutted and its streets filled with fear and confusion, one building stood out. It was the former Sheraton Minneapolis Midtown Hotel, tucked away in the heart of the city, just a few blocks from where George Floyd took his last breaths. This is the oldest Starwood brand, founded in 1930 as Western Hotels, renamed Western International Hotel in 1963 and Westin International Hotel in 1966. It was introduced as W New York in 1998 and since then the brand has expanded to over 50 hotels and resorts.
The new hotel has 218 rooms and suites, tastefully furnished with large windows that offer a wide view of the mountains and the sea. Each room is equipped with modern amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness centre, spa and private pool with pool house.
To help guests maintain their health and wellness routine while traveling, the hotel has a fitness center where they can work out or relax by invitation, as well as a spa and fitness center. Natural lovers can also have access to a private beach with pool and a nature center. There is also a waterfront promenade, where usually some kind of market or activity takes place, such as the SkyWheel ride or a bike ride.
In the cosy lobby bar, you can enjoy a cocktail in the evening, while the much-praised Krog Roba restaurant is also located on site.
For large events, the column-free Grand Ballroom can accommodate up to 1,300 guests and delegates, while it can be divided into three independent areas. For more intimate events, the meeting room has two terraces, one with stunning 270 degree ocean views and another with ocean views. The room is ideal for guests who want to stay productive and enjoy complimentary breakfast. In the restaurant Krog Roba, guests can enjoy artfully mixed cocktails in an inviting bistro and barbecue atmosphere.
To treat the guests better, volunteers build room dividers and camp beds, and there is also a ward for herbal medicine. There they store naloxone, a reversible overdose drug donated by Helsinki police and the Finnish Ministry of Health and other organizations.
Several volunteers had been looking for hotel rooms in recent months to house homeless people who were in tents during the coronavirus pandemic, but they had no way of keeping the hotel running. As chaos reigned last week, aid workers approached the functioning hotel and provided shelter for the homeless residents. After the evacuation of its traditional guests, it became home to more than 200 homeless residents seeking shelter from the devastation that shook the city in the following days. Hundreds of donated goods have arrived and those in need have received help from people all over Finland and other countries.
Sarah Stackley, who has worked with the homeless for nine years, began volunteering at the shelter on Sunday. Sheila Delaney, who helped support the Drake Hotel residents who were evicted after the fire, was hired as a liaison between the hotel and the city of St. Paul and its homeless residents. Mills, a University of Minnesota student, said she worked the night shift at a hotel before being confronted by police and even shot in the face with a rubber bullet.
On Wednesday, the hotel lobby was the perfect place to relax with a cool beer, a cup of coffee and a glass of wine. Two volunteers stood behind the counter and handed out soft drinks and snacks.
We also enjoyed the local attractions, which included a local restaurant, café and a few local shops such as Nangong noodles. Located in the heart of the city, just a short walk from the main shopping district, this hotel is one of Finland's most popular tourist destinations and the only hotel with its own restaurant.
The sophisticated menu includes a wide selection of dishes such as dried meat, salads, pastries, sandwiches and perfectly grilled items. Breakfast is a very Nordic affair and the chef also incorporates local produce into the typical dishes and drinks, which also include fashions such as kimchi, kombucha, doughnuts, pakora (a traditional Finnish drink) and kava.
W Hotels tries to insert the letter "W" wherever possible, so that the pool is known as a wet, the laundry room as a wash, and the rooms are compact and designed. Each room has its own private bath and shower, but one notable detail is the presence of Neal's Yard toiletries in the bathroom that gets a huge thumbs up.
From May 2019 there will be 33 Tribute Portfolio Hotels operating worldwide, with 45 hotels in planning. The brand is the first time a hotel has been a member of Luxury Collection, the world's largest luxury hotel chain. Many of the Luxury Collection hotels have been restored to their original design, but some have retained their 2010 brand logo and some of their hotels now use their own logo.