Along with Turku and Naantali, another town I visited in Finland in June was Savonlinna. Best known for an annual Opera Festival in the Olavinlinna castle, the town has just over 27,000 residents, and is in eastern Finland, very close to the Russian border, and surrounded by beautiful lakes.
Our hotel was on a small island, accessible via a footbridge from the main area of town, and very close to the train station. Like our hotel in Turku, our hotel had an excellent breakfast buffet, and for the few mornings that we spent in Savonlinna, we enjoyed what they had to offer!
We stayed at the Primehotel Savonlinna Oy hotel in Savonlinna. This is right on Lake Saimaa – famous for the hard-to-spot freshwater lake ringed seals. From our room we had lovely views of the town across the lake, and around the property there were two additional islands, one small one which was just for walking and hiking, and another larger island which had a number of interconnected walking/hiking trails, and one building – a pancake cafe!
But.. we didn’t have any pancakes, with such a big buffet breakfast!
There wasn’t quite as much selection in our hotel in Savonlinna as there was at our Turku hotel, but still there was plenty to choose from. There were a selection of cereals to choose from as seen above; corn flakes, granola, oat rings, plus mixed dried fruit and raisins. There were also seeds and a sour fruit mix similar to what was on the cheesecake we enjoyed in Turku’s museum cafe for the cereal. Beside the cold cereal, there was also a pot of hot cereal – porridge or oatmeal.
Other hot foods included eggs, Karelian pasties, and then either meatballs or sausages that were rotated each day.
There was also a cold buffet smorgasbord which included cucumbers, tomatoes, sliced deli meat like salami and ham, sliced cheese, pickles, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, and herring. There were also a few choices of fresh fruit like bananas and plums, and they offered a selection of breads and buns to choose from along with butter, jams, and other spreadables. Of course, there was also coffee and tea, and they offered a few types of milk (including lactose-free milk alternatives) and juices.
I’ll admit, I still found it a bit strange to see cold cuts (sliced deli meat) for breakfast.. but that didn’t stop me from having some salami! Oh, and yes… there’s more herring for breakfast at the bottom on the right hand side of the photo above.
There were four dining areas in the Primehotel. This area, shown above was the largest. It was down a short set of 3-4 stairs, and had wonderful huge windows looking out to the patio and then the lake beyond, with the town across the water. The furnishings were clean and simple – typical Scandinavian design!
There was also the aforementioned patio, which was net-covered to reduce falling leaves from joining your meal and had a few patio umbrellas too. However it seemed a bit chilly, so we never did pop outside to enjoy our meal.
At the top of the stairs was the buffet itself, and near there was an inside bar, with a side area with more dining tables – so this would still be a great choice for someone with mobility concerns, as you wouldn’t have to manage the stairs to find an appropriate place to sit. I really liked that a lot of the families with young children tended to sit in this upper dining area rather than joining us below – it kept the atmosphere calm and relaxing.
There was also a formal dining room just off to the side from the indoor bar and close to the lobby. While the dining room was dressed as if they were expecting guests, I never did see anyone take their buffet breakfast into the formal dining room. We were never at the hotel for dinner either (instead we enjoyed things in town, which I’ll blog about soon!) so I don’t really know if the formal dining room had dinner guests instead.
I loved the mis-matched formal dining room; with the different china hutches, mis-matched chandeliers, and mis-matched dining room sets, it seemed to be a unique way to furnish a large dining room for multiple guests, while still retaining the feeling of a family dining room.
This post is getting pretty long, so I’m going to split it up, and share with you some of what I enjoyed at the Buffet in a later post!