Imatra, Finland

The Imatrankoski Rapids has been a famous tourist sight since the 18th century. For example Catherine the Great, the Empress of All the Russias, visited Imatra in July 1772. In 1892 the railway came to Imatra, which immediately shortened the journey from St. Petersburg and increased the influx of tourists. There were originally two wooden hotels used by Russian aristocracy, but but they had been destroyed in fires in the beginning of the 20th century.

The Grand Hotel Cascade d'Imatra (Valtionhotelli in Finnish) was opened in 1903. The huge jugend style castel hotel was designed by Usko Nyström and it represents the romantic medieval knight castle style (like the Neuschwanstein castle in Germany).

After Finland's independence in 1917, the Russians found themselves barred from crossing the border and the remote location of the Imatrankoski Rapids near the Russian border no longer held any attraction to Finnish tourists. The 1920s saw the construction of the Imatrankoski power station; after that, the rapids were allowed to surge free only for special shows.

Valtionhotelli was renovated to the original outfit in 1987. Today it functions as a Spa Hotel owned by Restel Oy.

Reference: Imatra Municipality


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Founded: 1903
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Finland
Historical period: Russian Grand Duchy (Finland)


4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Naamio Kostaja (9 months ago)
If you need a glimpse in to the 90s. Small rooms, not renovated. Poor lighting. And this was the "superior" room. Make sure to ask for a renovated room or move on. Not classic on the correct sense.
esa aho (10 months ago)
Wonderful old building, great experience to spend few nights with superb breakfast. Sauna and pool & jacuzzis were better than earlier reviews described. It is not a spa, but nice still. Free games. Food was great in the restaurant, but check the opening times, it is not open every day.
Sergey Berdnikov (11 months ago)
Good hotel in historical house. Rooms in old building are cute but not more. And very expensive. Breakfast was a average. Totally hotel is overpriced. It is not like castle or palace most likely is like old pretty house.
shaun Lewis (11 months ago)
Very pleasant and relaxing stay over a Saturday and Sunday during a blizzard. Old building rooms were nice, the spa was empty, so had it both days almost to ourselves. Restaurant was very good and location is excellent.
Kwok Ng (14 months ago)
This is the second time we visited this place in December. Since it was taken over by scandic, there have been some improvements and some areas to improve. There are two parts. The old part which is part of the castle and the newer part that is connected to the Congress centre and spa. The spa was very small, really only nice to dip in after a sauna.. But the sauna didn't get hot enough to warrant a dip. Typical of scandic, the toppers were random, and they needed to be changed so that the spikey part isn't facing upwards. We noticed the condition of the mattress topper and it is a sign that they should be changed.. And we were in the newer section.. I wonder what it would have been like in the older section?! The breakfast was in the old castle side, but it had only single pane glass, so it can be cold to sit by the window (where the view is). Otherwise the breakfast was typical scandic. There is a games room, and a bar to enjoy games and the evening in the castle.
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