Although this website focuses mainly on premium travels sometimes you end up in a situation when you have a short overnight stay, you do not really need all the bells and whistles of an up-market hotel and you feel that since you are just going spend a very few hours there anyway you could just as well spend the money on something else.
This was the case a few days ago at Helsinki Vantaa airport. Ten hours between flights, of which at least two would be spent at the airport as well as with airport formalities, or perhaps on or waiting for a hotel shuttle bus. At the end it would be no more than a maximum of eight hours inside one of the hotels.
After having tried all kinds of hotels in and around Helsinki Vantaa airport, including the Hilton, the three Scandic Hotels, the Clarion hotel and even Glo Hotel I decided to go for a budget option this time.
There is in fact a hostel on the airport grounds called Forenom Hostel Vantaa Airport. But it is not a hostel in the proper sense. There are no dorm rooms with bunk beds, you get your own room. Although not ensuite it is fully equipped with everything else you may need.
Upon arrival at Helsinki airport around 11 pm I caught the shuttle bus to the hostel, which is the same bus going to the long-term parking P4B, leaving from bus stop 21 just outside the arrivals hall. As this is not a hotel shuttle bus the hostel is never announced during the ride and not mentioned on the signs either, so you need to keep an eye outside the window to get off at the correct bus stop or speak to the driver to get some help.
I noticed the P4B sign outside the window, the long-term parking which should be located next to the hostel, so I pressed the stop button. I believe there was in fact a second bus stop slightly closer to the hostel, the next one after the one I used, but you could see the building straight away and it took no more than 2-3 minutes to walk from the bus stop.
Upon leaving the next morning I managed to miss the bus by just a few seconds so I decided to walk back to the terminal, which is certainly doable. It takes about 15 minutes and there are plenty of signs to follow.
After having booked and paid a few days in advance I received both an e-mail and an SMS in the early afternoon on the day of arrival with some instructions on how to enter as well as the access codes. The building is unmanned so in order to get in you use an access code to open the front door.
Once inside there is a small lobby with some armchairs, reading materials and important information regarding the hotel and the airport. As expected there was no reception desk and no one was around, but there is a telephone number to call in case there are any problems.
There is also a vending machine in the lobby if you want a snack or a drink before going to be, however it only accepts cash. Otherwise there is nothing nearby in terms of bars or restaurants. If you want to eat properly or do some shopping, make sure you do this before leaving the airport terminal. There is a fairly good supermarket landside in the arrivals hall.
I had been assigned a room on the ground floor, through the door next to the lobby, so there was no need to use the lift.
My assigned room was #107. Again since there is no reception desk there was no one at the hostel to hand me a key. Instead a second access code was included in the SMS and the e-mail, to tap on the key pad next to the door to enter the room. Actually quite easy.
The single room looked just like the official photos on the webpage. A small self-contained room with a single bed, a small table with two chairs and a closet. Basic but in a good condition with nothing missing.
There was also a TV and fridge and on top of the fridge there was a basic selection of plates, glasses and cutlery, so you can do some basic cooking in the room. Next to the window there were also a microwave, a coffee maker and a kettle.
The only negative aspect is that there are only shared communal showers and toilets. These are located in the corridor outside the room. These were basic but in good condition and whenever I was there there was never anyone around. But of course some people may have problem with this. There were also washing machines available in the same area.
However as you leave your room you need to remember to bring the access code to your room with you, or make sure you have memorised it properly.
For the price of 41 euro this was not bad at all. Although they call it a hostel you do get your own room with most amenities needed. Cleaning is also included in the price but you will need to make your bed yourself in the evening using the sheets and pillowcases provided on top of the bed.
The price of the stay was less than a third of the nightly rate at virtually all the chain hotels at the airport the same night (Hilton, Scandic, Clarion etc) and with just ten hours between flights it was a surprisingly decent option considering the price.