Park Hotel is located right next to the Puolalanmäki hill, on the outskirts of a beautiful park. This lovely Art Nouveau building was originally built as a private villa for John Edward Eager, the English manager of the Crichton shipyard. The members of the family were eager riders, so a stable was also built in the yard to accommodate two saddle horses. The original designs by Alex Nyström from 1902 are on display in the hotel lobby. At the time, the surroundings of the Puolalanpuisto park only included low wooden buildings, making this first stone building stand out from its surroundings; the building could even be seen from the train station. Two years later, the building of the Turku Art Museum was built on the same hill.
This beautiful Patrician villa was privately-owned and in private use until 1956, when the building was bought by the Martha Organization of Turku. The organization founded an esteemed school of household management in the premises, and the school stayed in operation until 1982. That same year, the building once again got a new owner, beginning its transformation into a hotel. In 1984, after extensive renovations, Park Hotel began its operation; the caterpillar had transformed into a butterfly. Only the exterior and yard of the building remained the same. Parts of the backyard are, however, overtaken by parking spaces – twenty to match each room. The stable was turned into a sauna, which has not yet failed to charm its visitors. The upstairs living room is perfect for relaxation after the sauna, and it can also be used to organize small meetings with catering.
The biggest individual change to this four-story building was the inclusion of an elevator. Each of the 20 rooms of the hotel is different from each other, having their own individual décor.
A lot has happened in Park Hotel over the years
A lot has happened in Park Hotel during its short history as a hotel. The hotel has been used as a setting in various movies and in several fashion and commercial shoots thanks to its beautiful details.
The current owners of the building, Eva and Zbigniew Dziedzic and their son Saul Paavola, took over the business in 1988. The hotel had already established its image, and the new owners continued on the same path. Whenever “cosmetic” changes are necessary, the personality of the hotel is taken into account and the cozy atmosphere of the small family-owned hotel improved even further. Based on the feedback given by our customers, we’re on the right track. Many of them have described Park Hotel as “a home away from home”. Its peaceful location in the heart of the city but away from the noise of traffic allows guests to sleep with their windows open in the summer, listening to the birds singing! The nature truly is close to us – not many hotels can say they have a family of hedgehogs living in the yard!
Ghosts or something different entirely?
I can’t imagine all the things the walls and windows of this house have seen throughout the decades and how many steps have walked across the stone pavings. The entire building and its surroundings exude positivity. Surely the house has been a home of happy people. Like in all old buildings, a “spirit of the house” has also been heard in Park Hotel. Many have heard its steps or knocks. However, these sounds are most likely explained by the movements of the old building. Hopefully our busy customers can also feel the positive atmosphere.