I was only here for a very short time, though can't fault any of the facilities, room design, stunning decor, or the free breakfast that the Clarion Hotel Aviapolis provides
For someone like me, airport hotel stays can be quite fun, as typically I’m in the midst of reviewing two (or more) great airline products, and/or need to be at the airport early to catch and review a flight. That’s sometimes not the case if you’re between two longhaul economy flights, and an airport hotel can just be a much needed soft surface, a coffee in the morning, and a nice shower to restore a low level of sanity.
Well, if that’s you and you happen to be in Helsinki, I’d wholeheartedly recommend the Clarion Hotel Aviapolis, assuming your connection isn’t too short. Do note that this hotel isn’t directly connected to the terminal, though.
I had the privilege of staying at this hotel earlier this month. My flight from Rome was scheduled to land at Helsinki Airport at 12:05 AM, and my flight to London departed at 8 AM, just under eight hours later. I also wanted to check out the Finnair Lounge at Helsinki Airport shortly after it opened at 6 AM, so in reality I rocked up to the hotel at 12:45 AM and checked out at 5:45 AM. This post won’t be a comprehensive review of the hotel’s facilities for that reason, though I wanted to dedicate a post to my hotel stay, since I really enjoyed it.
By way of comparison, I’ve never been to Finland before, but Jason’s reviewed the Hilton Helsinki Airport.
Booking the Clarion Hotel Aviapolis
The Clarion Hotel Aviapolis participates in the Asia Miles Holidays programme, and I booked a Standard Room at this hotel for 16,950 Asia Miles (which I wouldn’t otherwise have done, though these were expiring pre-2020 Asia Miles). Rates at this hotel typically range from €110-€140 for an entry-level room.
I considered booking a sleeping pod at Helsinki Airport. Now looking at the prices, I’m glad I didn’t – I know they used to charge around €20 for an overnight stay, though upon research it seems like they were asking for more like €72.
Walking Up to the Clarion Hotel Aviapolis
The Clarion Hotel Aviapolis is located in Aviapolis (as per its namesake), a short distance away from Helsinki Airport. Specifically, it’s a two-minute train ride from the airport, or a short bus ride. I couldn’t figure out how to pay for the bus, but you can get train tickets at the station.
Unfortunately the train wasn’t running past 12 AM and I couldn’t figure out how to pay for the bus, and I also wanted to get to the hotel with a sense of urgency, since I knew I wasn’t getting much sleep. So I legged it. Well, not quite. I sensibly walked down to Aviapolis, which took about 25 minutes. Given how quickly I managed to get out of Helsinki Airport, I got to the hotel by about 12:45 AM, less than an hour after stepping off my flight.
Once I found myself in Aviapolis, I quickly managed to find the hotel’s swanky driveway.
Clarion Hotel Aviapolis Exterior
The hotel’s lobby was quite classy, and it had a “large hotel” feel. The hotel has 258 rooms, and the lobby is sized appropriately for that.
Clarion Hotel Aviapolis Lobby
To my left I spotted the lobby lounge, though it wasn’t open at this time of evening.
Clarion Hotel Aviapolis Lobby Lounge
I was checked in by a friendly associate, who took my debit card details and asked me to fill out a form. He also very helpfully answered how I could most easily get back to the airport – by letting me know that the train took 2 minutes, and that the first one of the morning left Aviapolis station for the airport at 5:49 AM. He then said “see you in the morning”.
It was off to room 633, the room I’d been assigned. Room 633 was located quite aways from the lift lobby, and heading there including having to open a door to access a longer corridor, of which my room was about midway.
Clarion Hotel Aviapolis Hallways
Clarion Hotel Aviapolis Helsinki
Check-in: Sunday, April 9, 2023
Room Type: Standard Room
Room Number: 633
Stay duration: 1 night
Check-out: Monday, April 10, 2023
My Gorgeous Standard Room At The Clarion Hotel Aviapolis
After a long day, I was so pleasantly surprised to see a very well-appointed and decorated room, featuring a king-sized bed, a lounger, a desk and chair, and a flatscreen TV. I really loved the design of the room, and thought it was of a good size as well (especially given that the rates they charge really aren’t that bad). It’s worth noting that the king-sized bed was actually two twin beds pushed together, though that didn’t bother me.
Clarion Hotel Aviapolis Standard Room
While obviously for such a short stay I had no need for the desk and chair, I appreciated that there was a user-friendly work setup.
Clarion Hotel Aviapolis Desk
Unfortunately the mini-bottle of wine on the table was worth €16.
Clarion Hotel Aviapolis Wine
The bathroom was similarly swanky, and featured a shower-tub combo (as well as the standard sink and toilet). I particularly appreciated the high-pressure rainforest shower.
Clarion Hotel Aviapolis Bathroom
Even the toiletries were from Rituals, which were really nice.
Clarion Hotel Aviapolis Rituals Toiletries
There wasn’t much of an airport view, though I did wake up to a gorgeous sunrise when I had to head back to the airport. Weather across my trip was beautiful no matter where I was, and Helsinki was no exception.
Clarion Hotel Aviapolis View
I did find my room to be a little bit on the warm side, even with the air conditioning on. However it wasn’t unbearably warm or stuffy, and presumably I didn’t have much time to tamper with the room’s temperature controls. WiFi during my stay was free and fast – it clocked at 38 Mbps down and 27.8 Mbps up (I’m seeing this reading in my Speedtest.net results history, though have no idea why I felt it necessary to take an internet speed test for a hotel I wasn’t planning on reviewing, when I was tired to the point of being delirious, and otherwise wanted to get to bed ASAP in order to get up four hours later).
Despite being tired, the stress of waking up late and missing me flight kept me tossing and turning for a bit, and I finally managed to sleep at around 1:45 AM. This was ahead of my 5:30 AM alarm, which I’d strategically set so I could change, catch the 5:49 AM train, and get myself a shower at the Finnair lounge.
Free Early Bird Breakfast At The Clarion Hotel Aviapolis
Sure enough, I woke up at 5:30 AM, stumbled out of bed, and got dressed. I headed down to check out, and the guy who checked me in took a while to appear (perhaps he was on night shift, or just works 24/7?).
Once I found him after a couple of minutes, the check-out process was swift. All hotel guests are given free breakfast at this hotel, which is a massive perk. Even though “standard” breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant is served from 6-10 AM, an “early bird” food spread is laid out in the lobby for those who need to catch early flights, which I appreciated so much. I wanted to head to the airport and was running for the 5:49 AM train, so only grabbed a coffee in a to-go cup on my way out.
Clarion Hotel Aviapolis Free Breakfast
Other Facilities at the Clarion Hotel Aviapolis
The Clarion Hotel Aviapolis also features a restaurant, bar, gym, and sauna, though obviously I didn’t get to visit any of these in depth during my stay.
This was such a nice hotel stay
While I was thinking about my short overnight in Helsinki a few days prior, I kind of lamented not getting a sleeping pod at Helsinki Airport. These are managed by Plaza Premium, and seem to cost €72 for a ten-hour stay, and you have to send an email in order to book an overnight slot (they used to cost way cheaper based on online sources). I figured if I’d done that instead, I probably would’ve gained an extra hour or so of sleep time, saving myself the need to rush to head landside. This was unsubstantiated worrying, since getting out of Helsinki Airport (especially with my carry-on on me) took less than five minutes.
Rates for this hotel run from €111, which I feel is a very reasonable premium over a sleep pod. On top of the room, you’re paying for free breakfast, and access to a gym and other hotel facilities. Assuming the metro is open, the commute to the airport is also less than ten minutes. That’s a win in my book if you don’t have an ultra-tight connection like I did.
I think in similar circumstances I probably would still book the pod next time, mainly because I can, and I’d want to review it. But that’s because I’m an airport nut and otherwise had access to food and a shower at the Finnair lounge. In almost all other circumstances I’d recommend shelling out the extra €40 for an ensuite room and breakfast.
Conclusion: The Clarion Hotel Aviapolis
This is such a nice hotel on all counts, and well worth the short journey from the airport, even at the late hour I arrived. The hotel has the disadvantage of not being connected to the terminal, though otherwise seems nicer than the Hilton Helsinki Airport, as well as being cheaper. While personally as a slightly insane travel blogger I’d seek out a sleeping pod to review it next time, I’d recommend staying at the Clarion Hotel instead on almost all counts if you have an overnight layover, given even the sleeping pods run for €72 for a 10-hour stay.
I’d return to this hotel in a heartbeat if laying over in Helsinki, and am now also intrigued by other hotels within the Nordic Choice Hotels hotel chain. It was a shame I could only spend a few hours here – it definitely could be my favourite airport hotel.
Read more from this trip:
What’s your favourite airport hotel stay?