Helsinki Insider: Tips from Katriina Moksi, General Manager of Hotel Maria

For a summer getaway without the crowds (or sweltering temperatures), Helsinki, Finland is a top choice. Get a local take on this design-forward seaside city from Katriina Moksi, the general manager of its newest luxury hotel, the Hotel Maria. Located in the historic Kruununhaka district, the property is setting a new standard for Nordic hospitality, with restaurants by Noma alum Ville Rainio, a state-of-the-art spa and a boutique showcasing Finnish designers.

Previously, Katriina worked with Helsinki’s legacy hotel brand Kämp (behind the Hotel Kämp and Hotel St. George), as well as Finland’s largest ski resort, Levi. A Helsinki resident of over 20 years, she shares her tips for where to stay, eat and explore, below.

Why should travelers have Helsinki on their list? The beautiful location next to the seaside; the Nordic culture, wellness philosophy and atmosphere; the great museums, cafés and authentic neighborhoods; and the incredible nature that is just outside the city limits.

Katriina Moksi
  • For breakfast or a coffee: At the Maria if in Helsinki—and in the Lapland, at Leving Iglut.
  • A favorite spot on-property: The relaxation area at the Maria Spa in the morning is just perfect.
  • For lunch with a local friend: The Old Market Hall for salmon soup.
  • For dinner with a local friend: The garden terrace at the Maria is easygoing and always a happy place.
  • For dinner with a friend from out of town: Lilja, the fine-dining restaurant at the Hotel Maria. It brings the best of Finland to the plate.
  • For dinner with family: Fat Lizard. My son loves the pizza there.
  • For a romantic dinner: Särkänlinna sits on an island just a short ferry cruise from the city center. The sea around it is so beautiful.
  • For a drink with friends: Bar Maria—We have the best cocktails and 31 different Champagnes.
  • Favorite museum or cultural institution: Ateneum, the Finnish National Gallery in Helsinki. I also love visiting the theater in Helsinki; the atmosphere is magical.
  • Favorite neighborhood to wander in: Kruununhaka. It is so historic and peaceful. And all around Senate Square and Esplanadi is great for shopping.
  • For a dose of nature or adventure: Nuuksio, a national park quite close by in Espoo.
  • Favorite wellness ritual in the city: Finnish sauna—of course!
  • Favorite shop for a special gift: The Maria Boutique for jewelry.
  • Favorite hotels in Finland (besides the Hotel Maria): Hotel Iso-Syöte, Levin Iglut, the old-world charmer Runo in Porvoo and Kuru Resort in the Saimaa area. These are all very special places close to beautiful nature.
  • Favorite places in Finland (besides Helsinki): The Lapland, especially the Levi area; since I lived there for many years, it is like a second home. There is no place like the Lapland anywhere else in the world.
  • Where you’re traveling next: Portugal!

I’m looking forward to opening Phase Two of the hotel, which will include 67 more rooms, a ballroom and expanded wellness area, as well as additional terraces and an outdoor barbecue space.

Katriina Moksi

Contact your Indagare Trip Designer or Indagare, if you are not yet a member, to start planning a trip to Helsinki, Finland. Our team can provide expert travel advice and assist with custom itinerary planning, hotel, restaurant and guide recommendations and more.

Published onMay 8, 2024

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