South-eastern part of Finland perhaps is the region with the highest number of lakes and breathtaking scenery. Moving on a “Green Gold Culture Road”, which is winding all along the lake Saimaa through small villages and their roads and is giving a possibility to see the beauty of nature, a driver is sure to desire to stop almost every 100 metres in order to take a deep breath of fresh air and enjoy the picturesque view of the largest lake in Finland. If you decide to continue your trip instead of staying at one of the shore cottages, you will sure get to one of the towns of South Savo region, mainly to Mikkeli. There are several options for accommodation in Mikkeli and one of them is a Finnish chain of Sokos Hotels – Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna. Let us take a closer look at this hotel.
Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Mikkeli has its advantageous location in the city centre of Mikkeli on Porrassalmenkatu 9. The main market square is near to it as well as the railway station, just 5 minutes to walk.
Coming to the town, the first thing to do was find a parking place. There is a small parking spot almost in front of the entrance where you can stop for 5-10 minutes in order to plan your further actions.
There are two underground parking zones within the hotel. To get in you need to press the button and choose your place. Then you can go upstairs to the first floor to the reception using an elevator. Parking costs 10 euros per 24 hours (as per 2014). You can also see bicycles for rent in the parking zone.
While booking the room, I was informed that there might be a bit noisy from the night club downstairs; however, there was no noise during my stay.
Check-in took me a couple of minutes only and there were no other guests near reception at that moment. I just had to fill out a registration form and after that I was given the key and told about the services at the hotel and reminded that parking is 24 hours once you parked the car and registered your licence plate in their system.
It is worth to mention that the official check-in time is 3 p.m.
The standard room was not big but very suitable in size. Beside a bed, there was a chair with a small table by the window and a big closet. Lack of a safe was disappointing because it is expected in a 4-star hotel. A kettle, cups/glasses, tea/coffee kit were not meant to be in the room of that category.
There is a free high-speed Wi-Fi Internet connection within the hotel.
There was a shower in the room and all the necessary amenities such as shower gel/shampoo and soap as well as a shower cap. Dental kit was provided upon request and cost 2 euros per each (as per 2014). Slippers and a bathrobe are included in the price of a Superior room and upper, though in a Standard room it can be provided for an extra fee.
The overall look of the hotel attracts customers by its red window shelters (awnings), which not only protect against the rain or sun, but also complement the hotel’s design. What comes to the interior of the building, it is more oriented on being functional rather than having unique design.
Food & Beverage
There are several (three) places where you can eat during the daytime and dance during the night. There is a BistroBar on the first floor where you can have something to drink as well as to have substantial food.
Passing through the bar, you get directly to the Fransmanni restaurant which has two zones. Breakfast, which is always included in the room rate, is served in this restaurant. Beside cold and hot dishes, typical buffet had traditional Finnish milk products, especially locally made ones.
Bar’n’Night Vaakuna is a night club with a bar. There are several zones in it and karaoke. Bar’n’Night Vaakuna is very famous in Mikkeli because it is often used as a stage for concerts.
You can also enjoy sauna or Jacuzzi at the hotel, but there is no gym. You can try different types of massage and wellness for an extra fee.
If you have not planned to spend a night at a traditional Finnish cottage (worth to be introduced separately), while you were thinking of your forthcoming trip, then accommodation at Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna is a good place to stay when you are in Mikkeli. Guests should not expect 5-star service; however all the necessary components are included in it. Also it is good to consider in advance which things you might need during your stay so that it may be more appropriate to book a room of a higher category, which is going to cost a bit more but include such amenities as slippers and a bathrobe (as they are provided in Standard room for an extra fee only).
It is also worth mentioning that the Sokos Hotels chain has recently had rebranding and is now focused on improving the concept of its services. Back in 2013 all Sokos hotels were divided into 3 categories: Original, Solo and Break (there is also a 4th category planned in the nearest future).
A small presentation of these three categories can be found in this video below.
Hotel Contact Information: Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna, Mikkeli website.
Hitlist, an app for finding cheap flights, expands its functionality and introduces a premium subscription. Users will get exclusive fares and custom travel tips.
The World Tourism Organization recently updated its visa openness rankings, confirming Qatar’s new visa facilitation improvements including allowing nationals of 88 countries to enter Qatar visa-free and free-of-charge. Qatar has become the most open country in the Middle East and the 8th most open in the world in terms of visa facilitation.
Kämp Collection Hotels published an announcement regarding the company’s acquisition by the Nordic Choice Hospitality Group with its headquarters in Norway.
Today’s hospitality is not only about a comfortable room, a stylish design or exquisite cuisine. Professionals of the hotel industry have long revealed a direct dependence of the company's success on the level of service provided. According to statistics, only 30% of complaints are related to the product while the remaining 70% comes from dissatisfaction with the service.