Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Grand Hotel Tammer - superb service in sumptious surroundings



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 Can a hotel in Tampere live up to the expectations of name such as Grand Hotel? Yes. Grand Hotel Tammer offers superb service in sumptious surroundings.

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Grand Hotel.

Already its name evokes such grandiose (and justified) expectations. 

Luxurious ambiance echoing the glamour of a world gone by. Gold and glitter; velour and wow-factors. Champagne bottles joyously popping open under the endless chandeliers. 


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Ladies dripping with fur and diamonds; top hat-clad doormen whose eyes have seen it all but whose discreet silence guarantees that the secret lives of the aforementioned ladies' husbands remain just that: a secret.


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Unfortunately nowhere in the world is there a dedicated auhority, operating under the anonymity of a secret society overseeing whether the facility itself has what it takes to live up to the expectations set by a name as grand as a Grand Hotel.


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Rather sadly this is not always the case, as for instance Grand Hotel Velingrad (by Bulgarian standard awarder with at least a gazillion stars) has showed.


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Grand Hotel Stockholm on the other hand did, and with its glorious settings, sublime service and lovely spa (and those White Ladies served by their renowned cocktail lounge) it firmly remains as one of my favourite hotels ever. 

They say that in each city there's only room for one Grand Hotel. In Finland there's only one in the whole country: Grand Hotel Tammer in Tampere. 



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Opened in 1929 GHT is the oldest hotel in Tampere.

Its launch back in the day was such an event that there was only one hotel in Finland able to rival its luxurious standards: Hotel Kämp in Helsinki. GHT proudly advertized itself as "perfect in every hotel-technical way".

Its opening year 1929 was Tampere's 150th jubilee, but tragically in the middle of a global recession the timing couldn't have been worse. 



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So, this international standard luxury hotel didn't have a choice but to start search for a manager in the international luxury hotel scene. They found one from Cannes, where one Alexander Adlivankin (originally from St. Petersburg) had created his own hotel and restaurant empire. 

He agreed to take on GHT's lease, the conditions of which required him furnish the hotel down to its crockery and cutlery. 


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His (and his Finnish-born wife's) moving truck must have been a sizable one, but many of the furnitures brought over from France at the time are still in use in the hotel today.


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Located near the Tammerkoski river, in the serene surroundings of Tammerpuisto park the neo-classicalbuilding is protected by the Museum authority. 

Unlike nouveau riche, its facade's quitely confident dignity doesn't make a spectacle out of itself.

Over the years the hotel has been lovingly restaured, carefully retaining many of its original features. Already its entrance entices one to step inside; with a wink in her eyes she whispers you promises of decadence. 


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You will have to open the door by youself though - there are no dignified old men in top hats anywhere in sight. Oh, well.

As one steps inside, the visitor is greeted by lond corridors with monogrammed carpets, rows of sparkly chandeliers, antique sofas draped in velour - all the carefully chosen details paying homage to a glamorous Old World era, wrapping you into their arms and welcoming you into a world where time stands still. 


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"Take a breath", the walls seem to say. "Relax. This is the time to enjoy. How about a cocktail to woo you in the right mood?"

Painstaking attention has been paid to the details and maintaining the right ambiance- one's eyes are busy trying to take it all in. 


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Sumptious seating arrangements that invite you to sink in and forget about the world. Old photos that capture the hotel's glorious history. Antique cabinets brimming with old dishes used in the restaurant .

And yes, gold and glitter.

(Oh, and the most adorable powder room-complete with a chaisse-longue!


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This is a place where parties have continued well into the morning - oh, the things these wall could tell!

As a professional soldier and an incurable history nerd (step aside ladies - this one's mine!) Gothenburger was thrilled to find this plaque in the atrium; telling how the hotel had back in January 1946 acted as the venue for a get-together of the surviving members of a war-time elite squad known as "Törni's jägers"... only for them to slapped with a life-long ban.

(That must have been one hell of a party!)


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Ah. 

The atrium. Quite possibly my favourite place in the hotel.


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It's glass-roofed serenity offers a perfect refuge when the weather outiside is bad; creating a nice bubble in which you can indulge illusions of retiring into the library of your very own mansion (oh, come on - don't tell me you wouldn't!).

A pot of tea, wrapped in a blanket and immersing oneself into one of the many books on offer... or a G&T-fuelled Trivial Pursuit tournament to pass the afternoon. 

(Our current TP ranking puts me and the Gothenburger at an even score - the situation is downright unbearable and demands a rematch).


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Our room was located o the 6th floor and offered spectacular views over Tampere rooftops. 

The Standard- room itself (depending on the day of the week price per night is around €140) was cosy, yet a little on the small side for our liking. 



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There was no bath either (let's face it: one of the reasons why I travel), so for next time we'll upgrade ourselves into a room that has. 

The rooms are carefully restaured with consideration for the old and this becomes evident particularly in the bathroom. The shower for instance was such a beauty, but the water pressure was too low. 


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The glorious settings continue all throughout the public space, such as in the banquet hall where breakfast is served. 


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Underneath the carved wooden arches and chandeliers in a room where the ceiling height must be at least 10 meters... can't think of a better setting for a breakfast - the most important meal of the day (and the other reason why I travel).


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(Especially seeing how true to their style even tea was served in monogrammed silver pots!)


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The quality of the extensive breakfast was exactly what you'd expect from Radisson Blu. The cold cuts and vegetable array was varied and gluten-free guests had been taken well into consideration with their own separate selection. 

Bacon was largely optimally crozzled and those in search for healthier ways to start their day are probably thrilled with the daily changing porridge option. 


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The staff's excellent customer service skills warrant a mention of their own.

We were offered a late check-out already upon checking in (depending on the booking situation this free of charge until 6pm!) and we gladly took up on it - enjoying the lovely hotel (and ourselves!) until the last possible minute. 


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The hotel, which last year was acquired by the Radisson Blu chain, has become a firm favourite in Tampere: last year it was awarded with Trip Advisor's Travellers' Choice accolade.

Thank you for a wonderful stay, Grand Hotel Tammer - you truly are the Grand Old Dame of Tampere hotels. We can't wait to be back!

How about you? Did GHT's Old World charm win you over, too?



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Grand Hotel Tammer
Satakunnankatu 13
33100 Tampere

tel. 020 123 4632


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ANYONE FOR SECONDS?


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