RUNO Hotel Porvoo — Photo by Marriott
RUNO Hotel Porvoo — Photo by Marriott
RUNO Hotel Porvoo — Photo by Marriott

With a name and ethos that reflect Finland's unique history and traditions, Runo Hotel Porvoo is a newly opened city escape. The word runo itself, which translates to "poem," sets the tone for the property, with a cozy, calming, and poetic ambiance established through Studio Joanna Laajisto's exceptional design. An emphasis is placed on neutral colors and natural materials, exemplified everywhere from the guestrooms to the traditional Finnish sauna to the communal Living Room furnished with bespoke contemporary furniture and artworks by young regional artists. Located in the city of Porvoo, only a short distance from Helsinki, Runo Hotel is a place where Finnish traditions meld seamlessly with modernity.

Co-Founder and General Manager Erkka Hirvonen envisioned Runo Hotel Porvoo, located in its namesake Finnish town, as an experience in and of itself and as a place that feels as inviting and comfortable as a good friend's home. He, along with Studio Joanna Laajisto at the helm of the interior design, made this vision come to life in a property that faithfully respects its heritage while also providing modern amenities. The original structure, built in 1912, retains many of its original elements, including reliefs on the corners of the façade that depict mythical figures from the "Kalevala," Finland's national epic poem. The interiors, meanwhile, feature high-quality natural materials like wood, stone, and marble, for a cozy and rustic feel that is elevated through an abundance of bespoke contemporary furniture pieces and sleek, minimal lines.

In each of the 56 guestrooms, Laajisto's inviting neutral color palette is paired with Nordic simplicity; however, much like reading a poem, there is often more than meets the eye. Certain pieces of furniture, for example, were not only made by local craftspeople but also incorporate materials sourced from Hirvonen's family estate in the nearby countryside: 300-year-old pine flooring was repurposed to produce small bathroom benches, and Hirvonen's mother and father sifted through hundreds of old hay sticks and cleaned up salvageable pieces so that a craftsman could transform them into what are now towel ladders. These unique pieces are complemented by 2.9-meter-high ceilings and glass shower enclosures, brushed steel fixtures, and stone tiling, which combine to exude an understated elegance. A similar mood permeates the bedrooms, where bespoke wood armoires and DUX beds make guests feel at home, while Carl Hansen leather armchairs and Marset Funiculi Fabric lamps are invitations to linger longer. These contemporary pieces are accented by upcycled traditional Karelian textiles, also sourced from the Hirvonen family collection. A number of suites have balconies with views of the picturesque Old Town and another three feature early-20th-centuy fireplaces that were preserved from the original building.

Extending the design ethos, Runo Hotel Porvoo's food and beverage philosophy also honors Finnish traditions with contemporary twists. Runo Kitchen serves a daily breakfast and weekend brunch with Karelian-style savory pies and decadent stews as well as seasonal variations on classics like poached eggs, made with locally sourced, organic produce. The menu, which changes every three months, also finds inspiration in Hirvonen-family recipes, with ingredient highlights including traditionally pickled cucumbers and chantarelles. This offering is complemented by pop-up dinners at the restaurant, plus food and drinks served at the adjacent Runo Bar. Beyond classic cocktails, the menu here provides a journey into Finnish drinking culture with spirits and signature drinks, including Rutumin Ryyppy, a spirit produced at the Hirvonen family estate, and Sprig, a cocktail featuring Finnish spruce-infused vodka, fresh lingonberry cordial, and a spruce spring garnish.

In addition, guests can relax in the Living Room, a ground floor space filled with oversized sofas, rocking chairs, and lounge chairs by iconic Danish design brand Fredericia and ambient lighting by Louis Poulsen, Örsjö, Foscarini, Vibia, and Paavo Tynell, among others. More than a place to meet friends or hang out, this area also acts as a stage for contemporary art and currently hosts pieces by Inka Bell, Linda Linko, and Iisa Maaranen, three young Helsinki-based female artists. Starting this month, artist and curator Fanny Tavastila will stage biannual exhibitions, each with six emerging artists from the country. On the ground floor are also three modern meeting rooms, with capacities that range from eight to 70.

Upstairs, on the top floor, awaits a crown jewel: here, the Attic Sauna provides a revitalizing wellness area replete with a traditional Finnish sauna, hanging cold water buckets, a fireplace with lounge chairs, and a terrace overlooking the Old Town. There are also two treatment rooms, offering perfect spaces for individuals or pairs. The Attic Sauna can also be reserved in combination with the adjoining Attic Lounge for the ultimate private day-spa experience.


Distinct for its colorful wooden houses that line the river Porvoonjoki, Finland's second oldest city Porvoo is a medieval town steeped in history. Well-preserved buildings like the cathedral date back to the 15th century, and the Old Town together with the Porvoonjoki River Valley are recognized as a National Landscape of Finland. The Old Railway Station has been transformed into an art gallery and summer café, and it is also home to an ironmonger and upholsterers. But beyond the sites to see, there are also many tastes to try: located around an hour's drive from Helsinki, Porvoo has become an easy city break destination, its charm enhanced by a burgeoning gastronomy scene. Among the cohort of new-wave casual dining restaurants, one standout is Restaurant Vår. Only a four-minute walk from Runo Hotel Porvoo, its frequently rotating, multicourse set menus place a strong focus on seasonal and local ingredients.

Hotel website