Review: Hotel F6 is one of Helsinki’s most charming boutiques for a short stay

Tremendously attractive and tasteful, Hotel F6 is a boutique in Helsinki well worth paying attention to. The popular hotel opened around two years ago and has since been one of the most booked properties in the area, not just for the refined, youthful spirit but also it’s remarkable location: tucked away quietly in the middle of Fabianinkatu but just a short stroll from the famous Market Square, passing plenty of design shops and top-choice restaurants on the way. And it’s not just the breezy South Harbour walk that’s easily accessible form here, but also a central tram stop, both the landmark Lutherean and highly attractive Uspenski cathedrals, and Allas Sea Pool.

In addition to it being a short walk from just about everything a visitor would want to see, including easy access to water transport (which means Helsinki’s many islands, the UNESCO heritage listed Suomenlinna, and nearby Tallinn), the hotel is a stunning reflection of the many positive stereotypes surrounding Finnish culture. Progressive design, hipster-minded lifestyle, and fresh produce is all a given here, as is superior comfort with enormous suites that pull on a bit of high-end luxury and bring it back down to a more grounded level.

The family-owned hotel has a certain charm about it that takes as soon you walk off the street towards the open-air hexagonal courtyard (make sure you look up for but one of many sure-fire Instagrammable moments). To the left is the ornate lobby and, if you’re lucky, a greeting from Runar the hotel dog; to the right is the Runar Bar, a highly sociable area by night and the scene of a clean traditionally Finnish breakfast in the morning. Breakfast is remarkable here: fresh fish and cold cuts; numerous types of fresh bread, including the full-flavoured Finnish rye; salads and herbs picked straight from an on-site greenhouse; eggs made-to-order; juices; and coffee. It’s the kind of breakfast buffet you’d go through multiple times in one sitting, and is an ideal way to kick start a day exploring everything Helsinki has to offer. By night, the bar focuses on cocktails, organic wines and craft beers only so if you want lunch or dinner use the hotel’s “Walt” delivery service in lieu of more traditional room service; multiple partner restaurants nearby are but a few buttons away.

A basement gym makes up the lacking amenities of the hotel, but that’s of little concern when you’re so close to everything you’d need in Helsinki. If you’re looking for a dip, wake up early, grab a bike-for-loan and head straight to the aforementioned Allas Sea Pool to soak in the harbour with the locals, or head along to one of many public pools dotted around the city; just make sure you’re following up with a visit to one of Helsinki’s many saunas, like the superbly designed Löyly (which is also a restaurant and bar), or the community-run 24/7 wood-burning Sompasauna. If you’ll walk away from Helsinki with anything, it’ll be a newfound appreciation of Finnish sauna culture.

66 rooms with a total of three different types exist throughout Hotel F6. Those who really want to sink into Nordic-inspired luxury should go to for a Deluxe, bringing the value with approximately 42 square metres of space, every inch mirroring progressive design with darker, warmer hues than Scandinavian designer hotels usually employ, conveying a mature character that twirls through large, plush bedding, elegant wooden floors and premium furniture. The adjoining lounge room is large and sociable, and the working desk is quiet and bathed in sunlight during the day. An en-suite bathroom is contrasted against the moodier bedroom with a bright, spotless look featuring white tiling and a large wall-to-wall shower. You may not have a French balcony like with some of the other rooms (value is implied regardless of room type), but there’s hardly anything more you could ask for as far as a warm, welcoming home-away-from-home goes.

Make sure you’re timing your visit for Flow Festival in August. You’ll get to enjoy Helsinki with some fine weather, while ducking in and out of one of Europe’s most acclaimed music and cultural events, with this year’s line-up headed by Kendrick Lamar and Arctic Monkeys mixed with a whole heap of local and international acts curated along one of the widest ranges of genres and style you’ll find at any music festival in the world, aimed to please both the music nerd and the casual fan. That one is held on over at the disused Suvilahti Power Plant, a sprawling industrial precinct transformed with art, music and food/drink from some of the best restaurants and cafes in and around Finland.

Rates at Hotel F6 start from around $180 AUD per night.

Hotel F6

Address: Fabininkatu 6, 00130 Helsinki, Finland.
Contact: +358 9 68999 666
Website: hotelf6.fi

The writer stayed in Helsinki as a guest of Hotel F6 and Flow Festival. All images supplied and used with permission.