In the past several years, lounge operators have increasingly put their ability to think outside the box front and center when it comes to lounge design. This is especially evident in the rise of customized lounges that take local cultures, art, and design into consideration, from Kenya Airways' brand-new African safari-inspired lounges in Nairobi to the Ottoman and Seljuk influenced design of Turkish Airlines' CIP Lounge in Istanbul. As one of the world's leading hubs of innovation, it's not surprising that Finland has stayed on top of this trend with the Finnair Premium Lounge in Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. This lounge features not only the best in contemporary Finnish design, but its very own premium sauna, a staple of Finnish culture.
Novel And Inspirational Oasis
The Finnair Premium Lounge was designed by local Helsinki design firm dSign Vertti Kivi & Co, drawing inspiration from Finnish traditions, customs, and trends. Based on Vertti Kivi's Space Alive concept, the Finnair Premium Lounge's variety of features change throughout the day and across seasons, adapting to make guests feel more comfortable, relaxed, and above all, welcome. Colors, lighting, and sensations are ephemeral, transitioning from day to night and from winter to summer, just like Mother Nature itself.
The wall and furniture colors are subtle: white, grey, and not overly dramatic, par for the course when you consider contemporary Nordic design. The special mood lighting on the walls, shades of blue, magenta, and fuchsia, blend perfectly with the interior to create a mellow and chilled ambience.
For additional illumination, there is no shortage of lamps to brighten up the room. This is especially valuable in a city that experiences as much darkness as Helsinki does on an annual basis. As night turns into dawn, the suspended lights disappear into the ceiling, welcoming the genesis of a new day. Curtains open and close, moving around and about, leaving you guessing where they'll be moving next. Video projections change on a whim, shuffling through a bewildering array of climates, seasons, and times. This creates a very unique and dynamic atmosphere that remains peaceful, harmonic, and reminiscent of the great outdoors to boot.
A Wonderland Of Amenities
The lounge's layout consists of several different sections, including a main lounge with seating areas, a bar and restaurant dining area, an upper floor with splendid views, a separate room with lounge chairs, a relaxation area with showers, a kid's room, and of course, the featured sauna. The chairs are brought to you by famed furniture designer Eero Saarinen, carefully selected from the signature Tulip and Womb series.
If you'd like to get some restful sleep or just a place of your own where you won't be distracted, make yourself comfortable in the secluded area upstairs with the reclining lounge chairs and white curtains for privacy.
The bar area also serves as a food counter, and this is where you'll find a number of local delicacies to satisfy most taste buds. Hot breakfast items are served in the morning, and hot meals are also available mid-afternoon and later in the night. Throughout the day, you'll find gourmet snacks, salads, hot soup, desserts, and more from the self-serve buffet. Take a moment to savor the unique hors d'oeuvres-type treats, delicious pates and pickled salads. Snack on salmon and cold cuts of meat, including ham and a local specialty, reindeer. The food is served on high quality, high fired Marimekko porcelain.
While you're here, don't miss the chance to enjoy a drink from a classic littala Ultima Thule glass. In addition to free champagne, which is evidently a huge plus, there's a number of high quality wines to choose from. Other beverages include beer, tea, water, orange juice, soft drinks, and a traditional Finnish staple, coffee.
The spa area is small, but very cozy. You'll find a number of individual washrooms and changing rooms in the vicinity, as well as shower rooms. Should you decide to take a shower after that long-haul red-eye flight, you'll discover the enchantments of local forest berry based shampoos, shower gels, and lotions.
Introducing The Sauna
The highlight of the Finnair Premium Lounge is the mystical sauna, which is likely the only one of its kind in airport lounges worldwide. Like a traditional sauna, men and women alike share the space, and towels are optional. The lounge is small, with room for roughly five standard-sized visitors, though this does have the advantage of making the atmosphere a bit more warm and cozy. Immerse yourself in a warm environment with moist air for a quick and thorough detox before your flight.
Qualifications For Entry
The Finnair Premium Lounge is located in the Non-Schengen area of the airport terminal. While Finnair already operates the Finnair Lounge, which is located next door, the Finnair Premium Lounge was built specifically to cater to the needs of Finnair's Gold and Platinum frequent flyer members, as well as their oneworld Emerald counterparts (while flying on a oneworld carrier). However, even if you don't fit into one of these categories, you'll still be able to utilize the Premium Lounge's new private shower suites and the sauna, as long as you qualify to enter the regular Finnair Lounge.
Putting It All Together
When you're passing through Helsinki Airport, there's no better place to unwind. The Finnair Premium Lounge is a fascinating, enjoyable experience that will leave an imprint of pleasant memories. Whether you're looking for an airport lounge sauna, delicious premium snacks, or a soothing, well-lit place to cuddle up with a good book, you'll find all you need and then some. Once you've gone through the lounge, be sure to let us know what you think by leaving a review in the LoungeBuddy App!
Finnair Premium Lounge Statistics
Capacity: 407 square meters, room for 122 passengers
Location: Terminal 2. Non-Schengen area, by Gates 36 and 37 next to the Finnair Lounge.
Operating Hours: Open 7 days a week from 6:00 AM to midnight
Amenities: Non-Smoking, TVs, Wi-Fi (free), Newspapers/Magazines, Flight Monitors, Internet Terminals, Complimentary Snacks, Beer/Wine (free), Premium Drinks (Free), Premium Food (Free), Showers (Free), Children's Room
Access Eligibility: Present your Finnair Plus Gold, Platinum, or Platinum Lumo Card when flying with a oneworld carrier. Members of equivalent oneworld Emerald statuses are also welcome.