To HEL and Back 39 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki
REVIEW – Hilton Helsinki Airport
November 20, 2016
To HEL and Back 101 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki
24 hours in Helsinki
November 22, 2016
To HEL and Back 39 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki
REVIEW – Hilton Helsinki Airport
November 20, 2016
To HEL and Back 101 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki
24 hours in Helsinki
November 22, 2016


  • Location: Helsinki
  • Loyalty Program: IHG Rewards Club
  • Status During Stay: Platinum
  • Room Type: King Leisure Room
  • Cost: €83 per night


Helsinki is a bit of a weird city for hotels, with a lot of the major chains either not represented or not having much in the way of a luxury offering.

I debated for a while when picking a place to stay but figured that none of the top end hotels seemed like they were 2 to 3 times as good as the Indigo. For a one night stay, I figured it was worth trying out the IHG equivalent to an Andaz or W, especially since my experiences of IHG thus far had been limited to top end Intercontinentals and two nights at the Crowne Plaza in Kyoto.

The reason I haven’t stayed more frequently at IHG hotels is twofold:

  1. Their treatment of elites sucks: no free breakfast, no guaranteed upgrades, no guaranteed late checkout, no guaranteed lounge access.
  2. Their best rate guarantee is terrible: you will often find cheaper rates on competing websites but the BRG team will always find a loophole to avoid paying out a free night.

Still, at £80 per night for a cool looking four star hotel, in a central location, the price was right and breakfast…well, I wasn’t exactly starving after two weeks of all out eating and drinking in Bali, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Plus I figured it would be nice to head out for breakfast in a new city. Getting it thrown in for free at most hotels means that I seldom take the opportunity to explore local breakfast options.

The Indigo is located in an area with quite a few restaurants and coffee shops nearby, in the design district, around ten minutes walk from the train station.

To HEL and Back 60 2 1024x576 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

A drizzly day in the design district.

To HEL and Back 61 1024x576 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

Hotel Indigo Helsinki.

To HEL and Back 62 1024x589 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

The interior design is very cool, with a retro Scandinavian feel. It really reminds me of Fuglen coffee shop in Tokyo (which I imagine is very similar to the main Fuglen store in Oslo).

To HEL and Back 63 1024x597 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

There are numerous different sitting areas and in a way, the overall layout reminded me of hopping around all the various area of the VS clubhouse in LHR.

Check-in was very quick and super friendly. The staff were quick to tell me that I should come back to the bar for my free drink, as a platinum member, after getting settled into my room.

I was also asked if I needed a late checkout and told that 2pm would be fine.

Finally I was asked if I needed any recommendations or reservations for dinner and was also given a map of the surrounding area. I gave the name of a few restaurants in order of preference and had a reservation confirmed to me as soon as I passed by the desk again, half an hour later.

To HEL and Back 65 1024x576 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

The hallways have a futuristic, industrial chic feel.

King Leisure Room

To HEL and Back 66 576x1024 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

The entrance and wardrobe area of the room were not particularly attractive.

To HEL and Back 67 576x1024 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

The bedroom itself was very cool though.

To HEL and Back 68 1024x576 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

I really liked the cosy red chair and the tripod lamp. Less of a fan of the two singles pushed together to make a ‘king bed’ though

To HEL and Back 69 1024x576 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

A perfectly positioned smart TV with no weird hotel overrides on the HDMI. I was able to set up my Mac underneath and extend my desktop onto the TV above: perfect for editing photos and trip reports, just like at home!

To HEL and Back 71 576x1024 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

The view from the window was of a characteristically quiet, colourful and clean square. I imagine it is a little louder in the summer, when the sun is shining and the tables and chairs are all in use

To HEL and Back 70 576x1024 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

Lots of table space and a couple of charging ports by the bed. I’m often bewildered by the fact that hotel designers seem to think that neither of these are necessary considerations. I also liked the fact that there were no closed drawers, as it massively reduced the chances of me leaving something behind (although this falls more into the realms of personal mania than clever design, per se)

To HEL and Back 73 1024x696 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

Given that the Intercontinental in HK doesn’t have Nespresso machines in its regular rooms, I was very happy to see one here. The design is also quite thoughtful, with trays used to break up the space, preventing clutter and potentially containing spillage (I get shaky when I need my coffee 🙂 )

To HEL and Back 74 523x1024 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

Creamer in liquid form and Stevia? Another way in which the Indigo outshines its peers on the luxury end of the hotel spectrum

To HEL and Back 72 1024x576 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

Not the most generous complimentary minibar but hey, free is free!

To HEL and Back 75 1024x576 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

Once again, very cool design. I also loved how warm it was in here. Nothing worse than stepping out of a hot shower into the freezing cold. I think the floor may have even been heated but that could have just been the jet lag amending my perception of reality

To HEL and Back 77 1024x576 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

Aveda toiletries and a supply of fresh face towels

To HEL and Back 76 576x1024 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

Massive rainfall shower head and a handheld shower which could blast the paint off your car or turn your body inside out, if you’re not careful.

Bar & Dining

To HEL and Back 64 1024x576 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

The large communal table at the Hotel Indigo Helsinki’s bar.

To HEL and Back 78 1024x576 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

The bar and the main dining room.

To HEL and Back 79 1024x576 - REVIEW - Hotel Indigo Helsinki

IHG Platinum welcome drink and snacks.

After a busy afternoon spent exploring Helsinki, I headed back to the hotel bar for my IHG Platinum welcome drink. As you can see from the photos above, the restaurant was very popular, with all the tables taken by what appeared to be locals. Thankfully there was space at the large communal table, in the middle of the bar. The perfect spot for some people watching and a quick catch up on my emails.

I must admit, I was a little apprehensive handing over my voucher, given that the bar wasn’t exactly lacking in ‘proper’ customers. The quality of the offering can also vary massively from one property to another with IHG, so I was prepared to be appeased with some horrific swill. Thankfully I was greeted as if I was royalty:

“Oh you are one of our Platinum guests. Please, what would you like to drink?”

“I’d love a glass of white wine.”

“Which variety would you like? We have Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc…”

“A glass of the Sauvignon Blanc would be great.”

“Would you like a small or a large glass?”

😀 “It’s Saturday night, I’ll take a large.”

The wine was very drinkable and came with some delicious pistachios. I was also offered refills of both.



My stay at the Hotel Indigo Helsinki exceeded my expectations. The hotel felt very new and cool, without having the weird try hard feel of some W properties, I also love how small and cosy it felt. Truly a boutique feel, rather than the bland enormity of a regular chain stay. The staff were friendly, proactive and very helpful indeed.

The location is about ten minutes from the centre but there was plenty to do and see in the immediate area, so location is really not an issue.

Overall, I would absolutely recommend a stay here to anybody heading to Helsinki.