What: A hotel with a story—nay, a legend—behind it, combining the mists of ancient Finland with the most up-to-date contemporary styling.
Where: A stone’s throw from the best shopping in the city, the Klaus K is set in a national Romantic-era building at the top of Helsinki's Esplanadi in the heart of the city center.
Why: Named for an ancient Finnish legend, the hotel’s design is a modern play on light and darkness. It is the Finnish character that shines through—“this need for melancholy, slow drama, nature and drunkenness under the midnight sun.” But there is of course a little wink of humor in all the drama. Guest rooms are classified under the mythical, emotional categories of Passion, Mystical, Desire and Envy, each with a quote from The Kalevala legend describing that mood. But even though the hotel’s upscale restaurant Ilmatar is named after the goddess of air, another fine eatery on site is the Toscanini, just to show that, while distantly linked to Finland through an important community of artistic exiles in the 1890s, there is always a good excuse for some classic Tuscan food and wine, while pondering the role of the seven eggs laid by a mythical bird before the world began…