Helsinki's Hotel Indigo Is All About Local

Located in the Design District of Helsinki, newly opened Hotel Indigo offers clean, Scandinavian charm in the heart of Helsinki. Part of InterContinental Hotels Group, Indigo was the first boutique hotel chain in the world, with over 60 locations spread across North America and Europe. Its Helsinki location is the first to open within the Nordic countries.

The boutique hotel, which has just 120 rooms and eight floors, focuses on showcasing Finnish design and architecture in a fun, non-sterile way. Maybe most notable are the thematically color-coordinated floors, each of which has its own theme, including a blue shipyard motif and a pink design theme.

The rooms follow each floor's design, incorporating full-wall murals and clever details such as displays of Finnish design objects. Shoe designer Minna Parikka's high-heeled shoes are framed on the pink-themed floor, while the blue-themed rooms have blueprint-style wall murals of ships inspired by the nearby Hietalahti shipyard.

Unlike most Helsinki hotels, Indigo offers a free alcohol-free mini-bar. Even better, it is restocked daily with an assortment of snacks and drinks, such as famous Finnish Fazer chocolate, salty liquorice, and beverages. Incorporating even more Finnish design, the room's floral coffee mugs are by the renowned design company Arabia.[pullquote:left]

The focus on local and sleek design is also reflected in the downstairs restaurant, Bröd (meaning bread in Swedish). The open and clean dining room overlooks a big outdoor patio with more seating for sunny summer days. As the name reveals, Bröd has its own bread bakery in nearby neighborhood Punavuori, and focuses on serving modern Nordic dishes with clean, seasonal ingredients. Daily-changing lunch options are available during the day, and a full-on dinner service later. Diners can choose between a set six- to eight-course tasting menu, the three-course Bröd tasting menu, or the à la carte menu. 

In the morning, the dining room transforms into an impressive brunch buffet spread, which also — as with most hotels in Finland — is included for visitors. You'll find everything from an assortment of Bröd's freshly baked breads and pastries, homemade pâté, and local seafood to a large selection of nuts and toppings for yogurt or quark. The hot-food selection also includes American-style classics such as bacon, sausage, and scrambled eggs, plus grilled vegetables and, of course, the Finnish breakfast classic: oatmeal.

Hotel Indigo's push to offer local and healthier food options can also be seen in the small restaurant Soup & Juice, located just next door to the main entrance. This takeaway-style place serves fresh juices, soups, and salads as a more laid-back, grab-and-go dining option.

Filling a gap of Hotels in the Bulevardi area of Helsinki, Indigo is a great addition to the selection of hotels in the city. And it won't be alone for long. According to Elisabeth Heinrichs of Visit Helsinki, more than five hotels are slated to open in central Helsinki within the next few years. For now, Indigo is an excellent start.