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An Old Finnish Tale Told Anew

01 SP Runo Hotel (1)
  • Words Vidula Kotian
  • Date 19 May 2022

With its muted palette, understated elegance, and a distinct fondness for materials that bear the test of time, the new Runo Hotel Porvoo offers a relaxed and elegant boutique to explore this idyllic part of southern Finland, just an hour’s drive from Helsinki.

Runo, which means poem, lyrically threads together Finnish traditions, history, and mythology throughout the property.

03 SP Runo Hotel Reliefs Facade

Traditional techniques The façade is painted with traditional lime paint

02 SP Runo Hotel Facade

Jugend style The building was constructed in 1912

Envisioned by co-founder Erkka Hirvonen and brought to life with the help of Finnish interior designer Joanna Laajisto, Runo is the perfect example of how historic spaces—the Jugend-style building was constructed in 1912—can be transformed without losing their soul. Many of the original elements have been retained—such as the reliefs on the façade that depict mythical figures from the national epic Kalevala, regal staircases, and early-20th-century fireplaces—and blended with contemporary Nordic and rustic furniture.

04 SP Runo Hotel Guestroom Interior Design

Inviting The rooms are awash in natural light

05 SP Runo Hotel Guestroom

Unique architectural element This suite features an original fireplace

06 SP Runo Hotel Bar Marble Chairs Detail

Noble materials Reflect the regal building

The ground floor, a big open modern space that houses the lobby, a restaurant, and lounge, features a mix of Shaker-style furniture and Scandinavian classics including Hans J. Wegner’s iconic J16 rocking chairs and Space Copenhagen’s Spine lounge chairs, interspersed with paintings and sculptures from young Finnish artists such as Linda Linko, Riku Riippa, Iisa Maaranen, and Inka Bell.

07 SP Runo Hotel Lounge

The living room A Formverk Design corner sofa and Hans J. Wegner's J16 rocking chairs create a homey atmosphere

08 SP Runo Hotel Art Painting

Celebrating female artists Painting by Linda Linko

09 SP Runo Hotel Art Sculpture

Eye-catching Plaster sculpture by Riku Riippa

The theme of renewal is seen throughout the property, from the carefully renovated structure to the repurposed traditional Karelian textiles and the locally handcrafted pieces of furniture, some of which were made from 300-year-old pine floorboards sourced from Hirvonen’s family estate in the nearby countryside. Hirvonen’s mother and father also sifted through hundreds of old hay sticks and cleaned up salvageable pieces so that craftspeople could transform them into towel ladders in the bathrooms.

10 SP Runo Hotel Hay Sticks

Old hay sticks Sourced from Hirvonen’s countryside estate

11 SP Runo Hotel Craftspeople

Salvageable pieces The floorboards were locally handcrafted into furniture

12 SP Runo Hotel Bathroom Towel Holder

The towel ladders Made from the hay sticks

The pride of place the Hirvonen family feel for Runo also extends to the city, Porvoo—known for its medieval Old Town, charming wooden houses, and an exciting culinary scene that draws foodies from the capital and beyond. “From the start, the owners had a clear vision of what kind of a hotel they wanted to develop,” says Laajisto of the project. “They had realized the value of the old building, interior design, and high quality. In Finland, hotel projects are rarely implemented with such devotion and detailed design.”

13 SP Runo Hotel Lobby

Small details to a whole Create a warmly inviting and aesthetically pleasing living space

14 SP Runo Hotel Restaurant Dining Table

Runo Kitchen & Bar Serving modern Finnish food

Featured Hotels

T Runo Hotel Porvoo Finland

Runo Hotel Porvoo

Porvoo, Finland

Featured Hotels

T Runo Hotel Porvoo Finland

Runo Hotel Porvoo

Finland, Porvoo
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