Tag Archives: Tribute Portfolio Hotel by Marriott

Hotel Katajanokka, Helsinki – A Former Prison Now a Hotel

Photo by Richard Varr

I stayed four nights in one of Helsinki’s most unique hotels with an interesting history. That’s because the hotel was once a prison with guest rooms renovated from former prison cells, some with obvious lower doorways, and hallways and stairwells that were clearly constructed for a prison setting.

Photo by Richard Varr

Original jail cell inside the hotel. Photo by Richard Varr

Now a Tribute Portfolio Hotel by Marriott, it’s also a museum of sorts. On the bottom floor just down the hall from the hotel’s Linnankellari Restaurant, which serves Nordic dishes with a Finnish-Scandi accent, is an actual prison cell that was not refurbished. Upstairs is Helsinki’s second oldest chapel which is now a hotel function room. According to the hotel’s website, the oldest part of the building dates back to 1837, with the main building back to 1888. Closed in 2002, the former prison was reopened in 2007 as a hotel and was further refurbished in 2017.

Courtyard. Photo by Richard Varr

The hotel is surrounded by a high brick wall and the inner courtyard, where prisoners once enjoyed moments of sunshine, is now a delightful green space with the hotel’s outdoor café. As for location, the hotel is just a 10-minute walk from central Helsinki and the tram stops just outside the brick wall. I highly recommend considering it for your next Helsinki visit!

For more information: https://www.hotelkatajanokka.fi/en/