Survival in paradise – 24 hours in Wiklund

CAN YOU SURVIVE AN ENTIRE 24 HOURS OF A CITY BREAK IN THE SAME BUILDING? AND STILL BE ENTERTAINED. TURKU’S NEWLY REVAMPED WIKLUND THREW US THE CHALLENGE AND CAUGHT THIS DOE EYED REPORTER SQUARE IN THE FACE. FOLLOW BELOW MY VENTURE INTO THE UNKNOWN.

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Admittedly, I have every chance of success. The Wiklund building, which has recently undergone a full modernisation from the cellar to the ceiling, houses the Original Sokos Hotel, the complete Sokos Department Store, three restaurants, a café, a grocery store, a beauty salon and hairdresser, as well as a rooftop bar.

As I step through the doors of Original Sokos Hotel Wiklund, my eyes light up with satisfaction. Immediately next to the reception I spy a welcoming café, my spot for the evening reading my book perhaps (maybe with a piece of apple pastry).

No fear of hotel fever here

I’m also delightfully impressed by my hotel room. The décor manages to be both modern and cosy at the same time, and everything feels wonderfully fresh, with the hotel having only opened in March. All the details are highly appreciated.

For emergencies, I always carry my own anti-boredom survival kit – a bag of nuts and a good detective novel. (Both are sold on site, if you fail to be as prepared as me.)

Hot stones and hotter discounts!

It's then time to explore just what the building has to offer. I start with the beauty and treatment services of Hyvä Olo, which advertises relaxation for both the mind and the body with its hot stone massage therapy. And oh, how it did. As the hot rocks caress my back, I almost faint into nirvana as the stresses of the world melt from my shoulders. Are you feeling comfortable? Er…yeah, you could say that.

After the pampering treatment, it's time to hit the much anticipated tour of the department store. Now this I’ve really been been waiting for. My hotel key is a magic wand that miraculously reduces regular priced products by 15%. When checking in, I probably sacrificed some of my class by showing too much excitement on discovering this information.

A shopper’s heaven

My attention is directed primarily to women's clothing and the cosmetic departments, both of which caught me by surprise with the selection on offer. I find many of the items that have been on my shopping list for a while, and spend far too long gently stroking the picture perfect shoes from Terhi Pölkki. Calculating the pain of my future bank balance, I reluctantly tear my grip from the shoes and head for some comfort coffee.

I spy Walo

With so many street level temptations, I rush to the elevator that takes me to the top of the building, where the sweeping scenery of the Walo Rooftop Bar awaits. I’d heard talk about this place and now I understand why. A completely new perspective is opened onto the whole of Turku. There's the cathedral, there’s Engel’s Vartiovuori observatory, and there’s the neon lights of the energy tower. And with the bar's cocktail menu just as close to heaven, I find my barometer of satisfaction reaching bursting point.

I find my barometer of satisfaction reaching bursting point.

The evening’s finishing touches are provided by a meal at the Italian-style Trattoria restaurant on the second floor. After tucking into my antipasto and pizza with the appetite of a golden retriever, I contently curled up in my room for the night.

Even after the best dream of the year, I can’t miss trying the hotel’s breakfast. With a wonderful choice of delicious delicacies, the selection also included products locally produced, such as the Alitalo apple juice. Something I’ve never had before but I now can’t be without! Worthy of an extra exclamation point!

After letting go of the juice dispenser, I quickly revisit the department store (in case I missed something) and pick up some food from the delicatessen for the journey home. As I pack my bag, I sum up the balance of the day. Was I entertained? At every stage. Did I long for the outside world? Are you kidding – I didn’t even check social media. Would I accept the challenge again? In an instant.

In fact, I may even make a habit of these compact resort city breaks.

ABOUT WIKLUND:

In collaboration with TOK.
Text Sari Kelkka. Video Kim Allen-Mersh.

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