Since acquiring Restel’s Finnish hotel portfolio in 2017, Scandic has operated the hotel under a lease agreement with Exilion and a franchise agreement with IHG Hotels & Resorts.
From 2025, the 174-room hotel will be operated under the Scandic brand. As part of the extension agreement, the landlord has undertaken to completely refurbish the hotel.
Renovation work is expected to begin in September 2024 and will include investments in the facade and interiors as well as sustainability-related upgrades to reduce energy consumption and operating costs and improve the guest experience.
The strategic location of the hotel in close proximity to other Scandic hotels is intended to help meet the leisure segment’s growing demand in Helsinki. During the renovation, shared spaces and restaurant areas will be adapted to optimise hotel operations which will lead to economies of scale.
The hotel rooms will be furnished according to ‘Room Collection’, Scandic’s own-design room concept. They will be designed with circularity in mind and many elements of the furnishings will be environmentally certified or made of recycled materials.
Laura Tarkka, head of Scandic Hotels in Finland, said: “By extending our agreement and rebranding Holiday Inn City Centre as a Scandic hotel, we will continue to optimise our hotel portfolio in major Finnish cities.
“Helsinki is an important market that attracts both domestic and international travellers. It’s fantastic to be able to further strengthen Scandic’s hotel offering in Helsinki.”
Ari Talja, CEO of Exilion, added: “I am extremely pleased that we are now renewing and upgrading our hotel offering in the heart of Helsinki together with Scandic. The hotel is perfectly situated for tourists who want to visit our capital.
“During the renovation, we will renew all surfaces and bathrooms and make important sustainability-related investments to achieve an even higher environmental rating for the property.”
The landlord plans to recertify the property according to LEED standard. The new hotel will also be recertified by the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, the official ecolabel of the Nordic countries.
Holiday Inn City Centre is already part of Scandic’s hotel portfolio, and Scandic currently operates 20 hotels with a total of 5,116 rooms in Helsinki. In the pipeline for the city are the 227-key Scandic Garden Helsinki and the 232-key Scandic Go Garden Helsinki, both due for delivery in 2028 as part of the Garden Helsinki entertainment complex.