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Lifestyle, Travel

Humans of KOTI: Cristina

June 15, 2020

One of the benefits of staying at KOTI apartments is that you get personal, once a week cleaning service. I have always been a hands on kind and I can clean my own apartment just fine by myself but oh how big difference this weekly deep cleaning makes! I think that I can’t imagine living without it anymore. 😀

This is why I’d like you to meet Cristina, one of the KOTI apartments cleaning girls who does an amazing job at cleaning and is also a very sweet personality wise so I’m not even bothered if we’re at an apartment at the same time while she’s cleaning.

Cristina comes from Philipines and she’s been living in Helsinki for under a year. “My cousins have been living in Finland for long time so thanks to them I have moved here. I got job at KOTI through my relative who worked with Hannu and after waiting for 5 months on my working permit I could start working. Because it’s been my first and long Winter here, I didn’t had so much chances to explore Helsinki outdoors but I definitely will now that it’s Summer and the weather is nicer.”

We went on to talk bit more about Helsinki and how does she like it compared to her home country: ” I think that Helsinki is very safe, you can walk late at night on the street, going back home and nobody will bother you or attack you. It also has great public transportation which is reliable.”

When I asked her how does she like working at KOTI apartments and if she has something she’d like to pin as the best feature of her time working for KOTI and she went on to say: ” I really have nothing to complain about , everybody from the KOTI staff have been so nice and kind to me. Also same goes for the KOTI visitors or tenants, everybody is so friendly to me and makes me feel appreciated. I am very happy about that.”

I hope that this brings you third KOTI apartments humans closer and that you know whom to expect when visiting KOTI apartments. 🙂

Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Humans of KOTI apartments

June 5, 2020

One of my favourite profiles to follow on Instagram is Humans of NYC. That is where I got the inspiration to create couple of posts titled “humans of KOTI apartments” in which I would like to bring you closer the sweetest staff which works here and makes my life and everybody else’s here that much nicer, comfortable and makes sure that everything works perfectly. 😉

In my previous blog post I had a coffee chat with the owner of KOTI apartments, Hannu. Today I’d like to introduce you to Jasmin, Hannu’s right hand and a good fairy which always greets you warmly at KOTI apartments lobby and is always ready to answer your questions or wish you a nice day.

Jasmin, Helsinki

I have known Hannu (owner of KOTI apartments) for about 10 years. We have worked previously together and there was a break of 5 years until our roads crossed again when he was starting KOTI, he called me up to join him and I happily accepted. 

I go by the motto of “People maybe won’t remember your name or what you did but they will always remember how you made them feel.” 

That’s my guidance not just in work but also in my life. If I can make a difference in somebody’s day by saying simple “Hi” and smile to them, that makes me very happy. 

Our customers are from everywhere, all parts of the world. Usually if they’re Finnish then they’re staying for bit longer or because of their own home’s renovation but if they’re foreigners usually there are no rules and we have visits from everywhere. 

Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Finnish sauna at KOTI apartments

May 7, 2020

Finnish sauna experience at KOTI apartments was just what I have craved for on a rainy Spring day. I must admit that I have never been to sauna before my move to Helsinki, Finland. It has been 12 years already that I have moved here and I can proudly say I’m a big Finnish sauna fan. 🙂

There are many saunas in Helsinki, some are private, some are shared and public but almost every building has one, unless you’re a lucky one and have your own inside your own apartment.

“All people are created equal but nowhere more so than in the sauna.”

KOTI apartments sauna is a private one which anybody can use with an announcement beforehand. You have to reserve the time and date and then it’s yours for the whole day.

When you enter the sauna from the 1st floor, you get inside a big space with relaxing area which also has TV, fridge and coffee machine. Then there is a walk in shower with Rituals body shop and shampoo and then there is the sauna with pamphlets and mini pillows for the maximum comfort.I have tried many saunas, even the old traditional wooden ones but this is by far my most favourite sauna experience. 🙂

*This post was made in collaboration with KOTI apartments but all of the photos and opinions are my own.

Food, Lifestyle, Travel

Breakfast in bed

April 28, 2020

Breakfast in bed at KOTI apartments is what the dreams are made of!

Breakfast in bed is what anyone has to treat themselves once in a while. One of the best parts of staying at the hotel is that you can order your breakfast in bed. Guess what? KOTI apartments can order your breakfast to bed from next door’s restaurant Ventuno. Specially created breakfast just for KOTI apartments visitors will satisfy all of your tastebuds.

Every Friday there is a delivery of freshly baked cinnamon buns to KOTI apartments. You can just swing by the lobby and grab your treat. I think that it’s a small gesture but every person ever visiting KOTI apartments was happy camper eating those delicious buns. What’s better for weekend breakfast than that?

I always thought that it’s important how you start your day. If you wake up slowly, take your time to stretch, do your morning beauty routine and make a healthy breakfast is just a perfect way to kick off your day and make sure that your energy levels and vibes are high and positive.

I like to start my day with freshly squeezed orange juice, croissant sandwich and yoghurt with berries and mysli. If not that then a smoothie and porridge with honey and cinnamon. This is what I usually order when I’m staying at the hotels and now I am treating myself every now and then to this kind of combo in my own bed at KOTI apartments. 😉

This post was made in collaboration with KOTI apartments, all of the opinions and photos are my own.

Food, Lifestyle, Travel

Live like a local

April 27, 2020

Live like a local at KOTI apartments. I think that it sounds very interesting. At least to me, whenever I go somewhere I’m not that much interested to do typical tourist things but more see what locals suggest and do what they do too.

Live like a local at KOTI apartments is easy, thanks to this mini guide and also thanks to the best location in town which offers so much at your doorstep.

The best time to visit Helsinki is just coming now. Summers are my favourite time of the year in Finland and Helsinki looks especially enchanting at that time.

DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE MUSEUMS

Two museums in one! Check both of museums with the same ticket and enjoy the past and present of the Finnish design & architecture. In both museums you will find works from Alvar Aalto, Aarikka, Arabia, Iitala, IvanaHelsinki, Fiskars, Stefan Lindfors, etc.

ST.JOHN’S CHURCH

This Lutheran church designed by the Swedish architect Adolf Melander in the Gothic style is the largest stone church in Finland. It is definitely a delight for your sight outside and on the inside. You can come in to just check it, make a prayer or attend a full mass service.

ANTON & ANTON GROCERY SHOP

Anton&Anton is local’s favourite grocery shop. You can find many interesting products from small, local producers and farms, from freshly baked bread and pastries, to special sauces and seasonings, to meat, fish like Finnish salmon, fresh eggs, milk and so on. They also have a mini deli cafe as part of the shop so you can sit down and enjoy your coffee or their famous porridge for breakfast.

VENTUNO RESTAURANT

Or you can enjoy breakfast next door to KOTI apartments at Ventuno, cosmopolitan restaurant serving the best flavours of Italy. Ventuno is the latest restaurant to open from B&W restaurants who have famous sister restaurants such as Farang and Gaijin which are also very popular amongst locals for fine dining Asian fusion cuisine.

YES YES YES

Another popular restaurant among locals is fully vegan and vegetarian restaurant Yes Yes Yes. It’s almost always full so it’s good to make your reservation in advance but you can also just walk in and catch a seat at the bar. Besides trendy and visually attractive interior it will amaze you with the best vegan and vegetarian food in town such as halloumi fries, tandoor bread with dips and baked sweet potato. Nearby is also YYY’s sister restaurant The Cock also worth checking out. 🙂

URBAN A & WILD THINGS HELSINKI

If you are in the mood for shopping some new clothing you should definitely stop by Urban A. They offer carefully selected mix of hand-picked brands mostly from Scandinavia. In their shop you can also find flowers, plants and pots by Wild Things Helsinki and Studio Arhoj.

EXTRA TIPS

Here are some extra tips for you, best pizza near KOTI apartments and in town is Daddy Greens, for a great night out and the best cocktails, Liberty Or Death is the bar to visit, for some more unique shopping, check a lot of second hand shops like Relove, Paper shop, Putiinki or sustainable bags designed in Finland by Lovia.

Whatever you will decide to check and make your stay in Helsinki more like a locals live you won’t make a wrong pick. 🙂

*Commercial collaboration with KOTI Helsinki. All of opinions are my own.

*Photos by me and Liisu @ashiyad

Food, Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

KOTI Helsinki ; live like a local

April 16, 2020

In my previous post I have introduced you to luxury apartments in the heart of Helsinki – KOTI apartments. Today, I wish to let you know some of my thoughts of actually living there as a local. Testing made in 1 week time period made me realise that KOTI apartments are even more than what I was expecting.

KOTI apartments have 30 differently sized apartments and I was testing one of about 40 m2 their Classic apartment. Besides cool and modern design, I have right away noticed how comfortable it is to live there. Couch is very comfy and can be made into extra sleeping space if needed. Bed is also very comfortable and has 4 pillows which I love because I always sleep with 3 pillows if I can. 😀

Toilet has enough space for everything you need, shower is just perfect and you can pick which shower you want, the regular or rain shower and all while laddering nicely scented Rituals body wash.

Under the sink there is washing and drying machine in one and also gel tablets for washing your clothes. Of course, dryer, hand soap, 2 people towels set…

Kitchen is full of utensils and machines you would need during your longer stay, from toaster and coffee maker, tea boiler to pots, pans and cutlery, mugs and glasses. You’re all set for living. 🙂

Complimentary coffee and tea are waiting for you and they get replenished once a week during your personal cleaning day. Dishwashing machine helps a lot to keep everything clean in the kitchen but you also have some cleaning supplies in case you need them. Oven, micro and fridge are all of great quality and I would pick them for my own home too.

Small sized table is actually great for 3 people to sit comfortably, flat screen smart TV will keep you entertained when needed and Helsinki guide book comes in very handy to be aware of all of the great spots locals love which are also nearby KOTI. WiFi is great and works well on multiple devices.

There is small balcony, enough to catch some fresh air and enjoy the view. 🙂

There is a ton of closet space and you won’t be lacking space for your clothes, shoes and so on.

Weekly cleaning is a saviour and I believe that when staying longer than a week you realise that it means a lot to have a day off to not worry about cleaning and have somebody else change your bed sheets and vacuum clean.

Finally, let me mention that every Friday lovely people of KOTI leave freshly baked cinnamon buns at the lobby of KOTI for the residents to take and enjoy. MMMMmmmm! Sounds heavenly doesn’t it? Yes, KOTI is really worth booking your stay with them.

*Commercial collaboration with KOTI apartments, all of opinions and photos are my own.

Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

KOTI apartments

April 3, 2020

KOTI apartments offer you modernly designed and highly comfortable apartments in the heart of ever so popular area in Helsinki called Ullanlinna. 

Building itself is right next to the Design and Architecture museums as well as it’s surrounded by many cute and unique shops, St.John’s church, trendy restaurants and vicinity of the sea. 

With concierge-services and short or long term accommodation, KOTI apartments are perfect for those who wish to live like a local when visiting Helsinki. KOTI customers usually stay from couple of months to years but you can also book your stay for as short as one night only. 

Each of KOTI apartments are like a real home where you can make food, do laundry or invite your friends over. 

Sweet and welcoming KOTI staff will make sure that you’ll feel cozy and lively during daytime, and have your peaceful haven at evening and night.

KOTI apartments also provide you with once a week apartment cleaning, speedy WiFi, smart TV, possibility to have private sauna moments as well as breakfast delivery from next door restaurant Ventuno. 

Nothing is impossible at KOTI apartments and they’re your perfect choice when you want to have the comfort and convince of a hotel but privacy and coziness of your home in one. 

*This post has been made in collaboration with KOTI apartments. All of the opinions and photos are my own.

Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Visit Helsinki: Hotel Helka

October 8, 2019

Visiting Helsinki and looking for a discrimination free, filled with unique art pieces and a “very Finnish” style hotel, Helka is the right choice for you. Located in the Helsinki city centre – Kamppi, it’s very easy to reach hotel Helka no matter which transportation you choose. Immediately as you enter Helka you’re greeted by the lovely and laidback staff.

You can choose if you want to use an electronic, self check in or the traditional one. Whatever you choose, your check in and check out will be equally user friendly and rarely that you’ll have to wait long to do either.

Hotel Helka has gone through some renovations and got a nice facelift so now it shines like a new penny. 🙂 You can check my previous review of Helka here. Besides standard comfort and smart rooms, there are also junior suites, all beautifully decorated with a touch of pink and cute notes, such as “Spend a night with Alvar Aalto” as there are a lot of designer touches in the hotel rooms, from Alvar Aalto vases to the Design house Stockholm famous brick lamps.

Many visitors have stayed in hotel Helka since it’s opening back in 1969, from the random hotel guests to the public personas. Hotel Helka also has a bit of a “movie history” as it served as a Hotel Budapest in American movie Gorky Park.

When visiting Helsinki, from the outside, Helka’s building doesn’t look that much different from other nearby buildings and you would never guess how stylish, cozy and pretty hotel is hiding inside. 🙂

I loved my stay at a Junior Suite and it’s private sauna was very much appreciated as I happen to love Finnish sauna and to have one at your own disposal in your own room is one of those small things which make life beautiful.

There are no mini bars at the hotel rooms because Helka is the holder of the Green Key and is very eco friendly so by not having mini bars it saves 50 000 kWh annually.

Delicious and organic breakfast is served every morning. If you feel like grabbing a drink with your friends or have a meeting with a larger group, Helka’s bar is always ready to serve you. 🙂 If you’re feeling like snacking, there’s a chance to grab a sandwich from the bar as well.

Finally, hotel Helka’s prices are some of the best ones in town and rooms are most of the time sold out but if you book in advance and through the hotel’s website using the code pinkhelsinki you will get -10% off your reservation.

*This post was made in collaboration with Hotel Helka, all of the opinions are my own.

Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Radisson Blu Plaza : Visit Helsinki

September 11, 2019

Radisson Blu Plaza is one of 4 Radisson Blu hotels in Helsinki. I haven’t stayed at the Radisson Blu Plaza previously but I knew that it’s one of the nicest looking old buildings in the heart of the city.

Radisson Blu Plaza

Radisson Blu Plaza is located right next to the Central Railway Station and it’s hard to miss on not spotting it as it’s facade is grandiose. There’re 302 rooms in this hotel which have been refurbished back in 2012 so now they’re decorated using the most impressive classics of Finnish design, for example some of the suites are decorated with Alvar Aalto’s most famous furnishings.

Hotel Lobby

Big ball room is perfect for events and weddings, there’re guest saunas, gym and hotel lobby is a perfect place to chill at or work on your laptop while you’re waiting on the room or on your private chauffeur to take you to the airport.

Radisson Blu Plaza has some of the services which aren’t so common in Helsinki such as concierge, bell boy and private chauffeur as well as a possibility to pick your own pillow (there are 5 different options).

I must say that the bed was one of the most comfortable ones I’ve slept in and that’s something that is very important to me when I’m staying at the hotels.

I also found it very convenient that all of the lights in the room could be adjusted on different “modes” on a mini electronic screen right next to the bed. Bathroom was well set up with the Radisson’s own toiletries and the TV screen in the bathroom mirror was a nice touch.

I sometimes like to test room service by requesting either a meal or something random like a set of cutlery or tea just to see how quick they are and how willing they’re to meet your needs. I did it this time too and Plaza’s room service was 5/5.

Radisson Blu Plaza is getting more and more recognised for it’s big breakfast buffet. The selection was plenty, various and thoughtful, meaning that they have served different variations to suit different diets. The restaurant’s design was incredible, very beautiful ceiling and lots of art photos everywhere.

If you’re stying at the Business Room or suite, you have the exclusive chance to have a more private breakfast at the hotel’s Business Lounge/ terrace. If you’re arriving with the car, Radisson Blu Plaza has its own parking garage.

It was a short but sweet stay at the Radisson Blu Plaza which I would recommend as a great choice for a weekend getaway or a very convenient place to stay at in Helsinki at a competitive price. 🙂

*This post was made in collaboration with Radisson Blu Plaza but all of the opinions are my own.

*Thank you to Miss Annukka for making this possible.

*Photos by Natali K. photography

Food, Lifestyle, My Work, Travel

Hotel Katajanokka : Visit Helsinki

September 3, 2019

If you come to Helsinki by boat, chances are that you’ll arrive right at the Viking Line port and a hotel which is conveniently located nearby is hotel Katajanokka. Hotel Katajanokka is a very unique hotel and one of those experiences which you can put on your “bucket list” and the reason for that is because it used to be a prison!

Hotel Katajanokka entrance

Hotel Katajanokka was “made” in 2007. when it had been transformed from a prison into a hotel. Restoration lasted for a while and once it had opened it’s doors to the visitors it immediately became hyped up and a wanted place to stay at! You can still visit original group and isolation cells in the hotel but other than that and some prison like metal doors or window rails, you would never say that it served as a county prison previously.

Hotel Katajanokka goes by the motto “escape the ordinary” and you definitely do feel everything but ordinary staying at this modern, stylish and incredibly sweet hotel. The staff is one of the nicest I’ve encountered in my numerous hotel stays around the world.

Escape the ordinary

In 2018, hotel Katajanokka joined to chain of Mariott hotels which sets them a level up higher and a certain standard which they’re meeting flawlessly. All of the bedrooms are simple, practical and the walls are decorated with the photos and small details like “lockets” to portray the hotel’s past.

For all of the hungry bellies, on the 1st floor of the hotel, there’s a well spoken about restaurant Linnankellari which serves you delicious Nordic cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had a chance to enjoy fine dinner testing some simple but full of flavour starters such as sprout salad, local blue cheese with rhubarb jam, new potatoes and broiled fish.

Main courses are hearty and perfect for sharing if you ain’t too hungry. 🙂 Linnankellari serves classics such as hotel’s own burger and fries as well as cooked pork ribs or something lighter like spelt risotto with asparagus.

There are three desserts but all three were very light and different, from deconstructed Pavlova to creme brûlée Linnankellari style, all three were worth the sugar spike. 😀

If you need a hotel in Helsinki which is nearby the best of local attractions but enough “tucked away” to give you sort of privacy and peace, hotel Katajanokka is the right choice for you, not to mention that if you’re into that whole “bucket thing” list, you simply must stay here!

*This post was made in collaboration with the hotel Katajanokka but all of the opinions are my own!

*Photography by #natalikphotography

*Thank you to Ms.Heli for this opportunity and Ms. Anni for the warm welcome.