An open and vivid Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, right in the center of the city!
The corner of Erottaja and Bulevardi, also known as the Rake corner, consists of two buildings that were built in 1882 as a German girls’ school. The first restaurant in the building was opened in 1913 when Mrs Svea Tilgman open a high class restaurant called Gradin. After many changes of ownership and the Prohibition law the hotel and restaurant ended up as a part of the company Rake Oy. In 1938 the management of Rake Oy decided to name the hotel Klaus Kurki. In the 70’s the hotel was lead by a family but then for about 30 years it belonged to a hotel chain. In 2005 the hotel became again family owned when the first design hotel in Finland was opened under the name Klaus K.
Inspired by the Finnish national epic Kalevala, the interior themes of Klaus K describe strong emotions: mystique, passion, desire and envy. The Klaus K name refers to the proud land warlord who appears in the story called “The death of Elina” in Kalevala. In Kalevala, Klaus Kurki is misled by desire and passion and ends up taking his own life after hearing that he has by mistake killed his heart-throb Elina.
The Klaus K hotel has used the Kalevala story as a source of inspiration for its design. According to Kalevala the world was created through the seven eggs laid by a pre-genesis bird on the knee of Ilmatar. From these eggs the sun, mother earth, the stars above and seas were created. In Klaus K, these seven eggs are represented by the hotel reception, the Ahjo bar & club, restaurant Ilmatar, the hotel rooms and restaurant Toscanini.
Klaus K’s reception is round formed and above the reception you can find a lamp and piece of art in the form of a bird’s nest.
The Ahjo bar represents the borderline where light and darkness meets, visualizing the Kalevala’s ever-present struggle between good and evil. Ahjo also has a piece of art that has the form of an egg. The Ahjo bar & club’s name is inspired by the core of the fire where the money mill Sampo was forged.
Restaurant Ilmatar has got its name for the mother of mankind according to Kalevala. The giant pike which was caught by one of Kalevala’s heroes Väinämöinen is visible in the restaurant. According to Kalevala the instrument called Kantele, the first of its kind, was made from the jawbone of this pike. The harp like instrument has ever since been considered the national instrument of Finland.
In the hotel rooms of Klaus K, four room categories appear representing the themes of Kalevala; passion, mystical, desire and envy. The names represent different Finnish moods and emotions, and every room has a piece of art displaying a quote from Kalevala describing that certain mood.
Restaurant Toscanini’s connection to Kalevala might not be visible to the eye at first, but according to art experts the art which has been inspired by Kalevala has got many influences from Italy. In the 1890’s artists like Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Magnus Enckell and Hugo Simberg spent a lot of time in Florence and it’s said that the “Kullervon kirous” (Kullervo’s Curse) painting would not have looked the same without the use of the fresco technique the artist learned in Italy.
The Klaus K hotel is a lifelike epic that everybody can visit! Visitors and why not locals are welcome to get acquainted to Klaus K’s Kalevala world!
Regarding the upcoming design theme year, the hotel is offering an unique accommodation package called Original Helsinki Experience. The package is realized together with Design Hotels. Design Hotels represents and markets a curated selection of more than 200 independent hotels in over 40 countries across the globe.
As the name might tell you, the package is elusive since it offers a matchless way to get to know Helsinki. The package includes a two night stay in double occupancy at Klaus K. Besides this, hotel owner Marc Skvorc comes and meets the hotel package buyer at the airport and shows him/her his favorite sights in Helsinki. After arrival, the guest enjoys a relaxing spa treatment and a four course dinner at Toscanini restaurant at his/her leisure. If he/she is up for dancing, he/she can dance the night away at Ahjo Bar & Club.
The first morning starts with Klaus K’s Best of Finland breakfast. In the afternoon Skvorc and his wife Mia Cederberg-Skvorc will take the guest to a fashion photo shoot in the Design District. Dinner will be served at the home of the hotel owners! The night again will end at Ahjo Bar & Club with the hotel guest DJ’ing to make his/her own CD!
The second day the hotel guest can sleep in and enjoy Klaus K’s brunch. Again, the hotel owner himself will drop the guest off at the airport.
Is there a better way to familiarize oneself to the future design capital than with the assistance of the owners of Finland’s first design hotel?