Finland-based investment company Samla Capital is developing The Hotel Maria through the conversion of four historic buildings in the capital city.
The properties were constructed between 1885 and 1930, and originally designed by architect Evert E. Lagerspetz. The hotel as a whole covers a total area of 14,200 sq m and is scheduled to open in December 2023.
In addition to 117 rooms and suites, the resulting luxury hotel will boast two restaurants and two bars, a separate spa and wellness section, a gym, banquet facilities, outdoor areas with terraces, a chapel, and a shop.
The hotel’s interior design is planned to be elegant and lavish, with furniture, lighting, and design details from American luxury furniture specialist Restoration Hardware.
Samppa Lajunen, founder and portfolio manager of Samla Capital, said :”The Hotel Maria’s 40 suites will significantly increase the overall number of suites on offer in the centre of Helsinki. All 117 rooms are twice the average size of what we’re used to in Finland.
“We’ve really invested in the rooms’ spa experience by adding saunas, steam rooms, or bathtubs to their bathrooms. All the rooms are impressive and the sense of space is maximised by a ceiling height of up to four metres. And the old arched windows and spirit of the building’s history are something quite unique. This is something that new construction can never achieve.”
The hotel is intended to enable an urban resort experience. Lajunen analysed: “The Hotel Maria is a significant new arrival on the Finnish hotel scene, offering a new alternative and service experience for guests who appreciate Nordic hospitality and a refined luxury hotel experience.
“Other Nordic countries have hotels that offer international luxury, and that’s what we want to see in Helsinki, too. The desire to travel and gain experiences hasn’t disappeared, and luxury hotel room rates in the Nordic countries have hit new records. For those accustomed to luxury, The Hotel Maria will meet the international standards of excellence, while adding a touch of local individuality to the experience.”
Multi million project
The Samla Hotels fund (SC Hotels I Ky), managed by Samla Capital, will provide the investment required for the hotel. The investment budget is around €116 million.
€62 million of this is being provided via a loan from asset manager Cheyne Capital.
On the project’s financing, Lajunen commented: “Luxury tourism is a growing market and the demand for hotels that meet this need is also emerging across Finland. We are pleased to be partnering with Cheyne Capital, who understands the value of The Hotel Maria’s concept and the luxury hotel sector.”
While Daniel Schuldes and Michael Fournier of Cheyne Capital jointly stated: “As a firm, we continue to see attractive lending opportunities in the luxury hotel sector as consumers seek out enhanced lifestyle experiences.
“We’re therefore proud to support Samla Capital Oy with the financing of this prestigious project and look forward to the delivery of a world-class hotel in Finland.”
In terms of the site becoming a Preferred Hotels & Resorts member, Lajunen added: “The partnership with Preferred Hotels & Resorts will offer The Hotel Maria its high brand standards, international sales and distribution network, and global marketing and visibility, while still enabling us to operate as an independent hotel, managed entirely from Finland.
“We will be able to combine the best practices of international luxury with a unique, locally delivered customer experience.”
Elsewhere in Europe, Preferred Hotels & Resorts will also soon welcome sly Berlin in Germany under its auspices. The 150-key site will blend indoor and outdoor spaces with four buildings, including a 2,368 sq ft greenhouse, connected via open-air walkways and courtyard spaces. Other highlights include a large rooftop sauna with skyline views, a health club, and a restaurant featuring an open kitchen and grill.