Punkaharju area is one of Finland’s most visited destinations due to its scenic lakeside landscape and close proximity to the city of Savonlinna, which is renowned for its majestic medieval castle. Hotel Punkaharju is located in one of Punkaharju’s famous ridges that wind from one islet to another. The ridges are typically lined by tall pine trees with trunks that tend to glow red and orange in the summer evening’s sun that never sets.
The history of the hotel goes back to the 1840s when a forester’s house opened its rooms to travellers. After extensions, the Russian Tsar Alexander II granted the hotel the status of a ‘State Hotel’. As of 2016, Hotel Punkaharju has been luring Finnish and foreign travellers with its charming elegance, Scandinavian decor, and local cuisine.
Saimi Hoyer, who co-owns the hotel with Thomas Hoyer, is a renowned international Finnish supermodel who left the busy city life behind and moved into her childhood’s paradise, Punkaharju, to re-open the historic State Hotel. Since its opening, Hotel Punkaharju has been welcomed with open arms by Finnish and foreign travellers alike and has also hosted important state heads such as Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The hotel has 11 rooms, each with unique interior designs. The classic furniture with knitted bed covers create a charmingly Finnish feel, allowing guests to enjoy their stay. There is also a sleek lounge for drinks as well as a variety of news publications that can be read on the terrace while gazing over the glorious sunsets of Punkaharju. Wherever you look, you will find 20th-century Finnish design classics from sofas and tables to vases and glass work.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining room dominated by wooden chandeliers, designed by Petri Salmela. The seasonal menu gets its inspiration – and raw materials – from the surrounding landscape. In fact, nature is a central theme in the hotel’s ethos of a sustainable lifestyle, which manifests itself in foraging expeditions and soothing yoga classes by the lake.
There is also a little boutique shop that sells local produce from food to design. But perhaps the most memorable feature is the lakeside sauna where you have a view of the quiet lake. Or maybe it is simply the unique feel of the whole space where history meets modern times in effortless yet luxurious comfort. Whatever your preference may be, a stay in Hotel Punkaharju can be described in one word: fabulous.