The Hotel Kamp, Helsinki -a hotel with 125 years of history
“This is one elegant European hotel for the discerning traveller, and if I ever visit Helsinki again, I will be checking right back in.”
The Hotel Kämp is understandably a member of The Leading Hotels of the World; situated right on the esplanade of Helsinki, the property has the best location in town and is a landmark of the city. Heads of state, dignitaries and celebrities have all slept in the Kämp’s bedrooms.
The Kämp is a people-watcher’s paradise, with plenty of outside café space on the pavement terrace and a bustling atmosphere. Michelle Chaplow and her team were commissioned to photograph the doorman and afternoon tea for an editorial in The Most Famous Hotels in The World.
The hotel experience
Saunas are an essential element of Finnish hotels, and the Kämp has three saunas in their spa respectively offering full-on steam, light steam with eucalyptus, or a Hammam. Warm stone reclining chairs are available for resting between saunas. These are tranquil spots in which to collect your thoughts – interrupted only by the yelps of the braver tourists taking on the real deal, full-on Finnish sauna with complementary ice cold shower!
The Parisian-style Brasserie Kämp is open round the clock. Its beautifully presented breakfast is a real highlight, with porridge served in heavy black pans with detachable wooden handles; smoked and poached fish; fruit; and home-made cakes and pastries – the options are endless, and everything is presented with impeccable service. From 2 pm-6 pm, the signature afternoon tea is served – you can enjoy salmon tartlets, finger sandwiches, mini quiches, macarons and many more of Kämp pastry chef Meike´s mouth-watering creations.
The Kämp embodies the very best of European elegance for the discerning traveller. Michelle loved her time at the hotel and commented “if I ever visit Helsinki again, I will be checking right back in.”
Hotel Kämp history
Andreas Augustin, founder of The Most Famous Hotels in the World, explains in his book about the hotel:
“The Kämp was instrumental as a meeting place for a group called Young Finns, a revolutionary circle that changed the social surface of the country. Here at Hotel Kämp conspiratorial meetings were held and many cornerstones of this young republic called Finland, founded in 1917, were laid.”
The five-star hotel was originally opened in 1887 by Carl Kämp, a well-known and respected restaurateur in Helsinki. Hotel Kämp is also famously known as the first hotel in Finland to have an elevator and electric lights, putting at the forefront of the adoption of modern technologies. From the genius composer Sibelius to the Spanish national football team, many famous guests have passed through the Kämp, including Madonna, Shakira, Whitney Houston, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Queen Noor of Jordan and Emperor Hirohito of Japan.
The chambermaid told Michelle that the hotel has a ghost, the co-founder Maria Kämp, who prowls the corridors at night, takes the lift at night and locks hotel doors from the inside. With its 130-year history, the establishment would not be complete without a spectral presence, and Michelle sincerely hoped that she wouldn’t meet her (fortunately, she didn’t!).