One of the biggest tragedies of our travels is that whenever we get to stay in a nice hotel, it’s usually just to sleep for a few hours. We rarely get to enjoy all the amenities these places have to offer and we always wish we had more time. This week we finally got the chance to change that at Hotel Sveitsi in Hyvinkää, less than an hour’s drive from Helsinki. Even though it was in part a work trip – There was both photography and content marketing involved – we also enjoyed the opportunity to have a kind of “extended girls’ night out” for a couple of days: lounging in the hotel pool, a movie night, an escape room and so. much. food.
Almost by accident our stay at Hotel Sveitsi was also heavily escape themed. The movie we saw was about a prison break, we tried our hands at an escape room and of course escaped our own everyday life from the bustle of the big city into the serenity of the Finnish forest.
What is this Sveitsi you speak of?
Sveitsi is Finnish for Switzerland, but the recreational are we visited is actually in Hyvinkää, about an hour’s drive from Helsinki. Why it’s named after the Alpine country is not sure, but according to the history section of Visit Sveitsi, there are a couple of theories:
“Legend has it that the area was named Sveitsi, Finnish for Switzerland, after an inn kept by a German family in the area. Another legend says that the hilly terrain got its name from the Sanatorium patients whose treatment regimen included lots of exercise in the propitious climate of the area.”
The hotel was recently renovated and is now the perfect home base for exploring all the area has to offer. There’s an adventure park, outdoor and indoor swimming pools, hiking and skiing trails, horseback riding, a movie theater, spa treatments and much, much more.
Prison break with Papillon
We kicked off our visit to Sveitsi the best way we know how: by going to the movies! And if there’s something we love more than a comfy movie theater, it’s when that theater, in this case BioRex, is literally in the same building as our hotel. No matter the weather, you can just walk down the hallway and you’re at the movies!
Our Sunday afternoon was spent lounging in the luxurious armchairs of the Rex Screen, stuffing our faces with popcorn and soda. The movie we saw was Papillon, a remake of the 1973 classic, this time starring Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek. It’s based on a true story and though it’s by no means an easy watch, it’s definitely one we’d recommend. Both Hunnam and Malek give great performances, and it’s the kind of movie that stays with you for long after the credits roll.
Cooling it at the pool
Sveitsi Swimming Pool also offers both indoor and outdoor pools, though the outdoor ones are only for summer use, for obvious reasons. Still, we had a relaxing dip in the indoor pools. There’s one for fitness swimmers but also a pool for kids, a water slide and a pool with massaging jets for all sorts of aches and pains.
Another bonus of the Sveitsi pools is that, like the movie theater, you can walk indoors from the hotel to the pool in nothing but your bathrobe and slippers!
Finding our way out with WayOut
We’ve been longing for a chance to try our hands at an escape room ever since the first ones opened in Finland but just never seemed to get around to it. Earlier this fall we got to face off with a shorter version at the FOX stand at Comic Con Stockholm. The Passage themed escape room was a great taste of the activity and left us wanting for more.
At Sveitsi we finally got to experience a full scale escape room with WayOut. They offer two different experiences in Hyvinkää, the more traditional Prison Break and the brand new Secret of Sveitsi. We were told that the Secret of Sveitsi is a bit more complicated and requires a slightly different reasoning than traditional escape rooms. We also heard it’s one of the harder ones, so of course we picked that for our first proper escape room experience.
Even with our lack of experience I feel safe to say that this was a spectacularly good escape room! Without giving away any secrets, the problems we had to solve were varied and interesting throughout the experience. It was by no means easy, but we never got frustrated and even though we didn’t quite make it out in the hour, we still had a blast. It’s easy to see how people get addicted to this, we’re already planning a tour of the other WayOut locations in Finland…
So. Much. Food.
In between our many activitites, Hotel Sveitsi’s own Restaurant Tila fed us and fed us well. After the three-course meal we had on our first night, we were so full we swore we’d never eat again. Until breakfast of course. We’d also like to give a special shout out to their dessert, a mint chocolate cake in the flavor of the classic Finnish chocolate bar Pätkis. We want to sing songs about this cake. We want to write poems to it. Or we just want to go back and eat some more of it.
The design of Hotel Sveitsi is full of beautiful little details, including traditional Finnish chairs that can be found at pretty much every grandma’s house in the country. Our favorite however may have been the ridiculously comfy chairs in the lobby…
Save something for later
Our two days in Sveitsi were action-packed and yet we still have stuff to do saved for our next visit. The hotel has two different spas that offer pampering and treatments, there’s an adventure park complete with zip lines (one of our favorite things in the world and of course lots of outdoor activities. I think for our next time we have to make sure it’s summer!
This is a collaboration post: Our stay at Hotel Sveitsi was done in collaboration with Prime Hotels, BioRex and WayOut but the experiences and opinions are our own. You simply can not buy our love!