Hotel Heymo 1

A new type of hotel offers an urban experience

Heymo challenges the ordinary and traditional hotel. Sokos Hotels’ new unique hotel only asks you to pay for what you need – the rest you can find in the city. Heymo offers a community-driven, urban, bold and appealing experience that is all about loving life. You can meet as a community in the versatile shared space in the lobby. The hotel rooms have a relaxed atmosphere and focus on comfy beds that you can sink into after a busy day in the city. Each Heymo hotel also has a “Fixer” who will take care of almost any customer need. They will also give you tips on the best spots in town.

Heymo 1 was the only Finnish project selected among the 17 best in the “Hotel and short stay interior” category of the international design and architecture competition Dezeen Awards.

Stay in the city, not in a hotel

Heymo is the newest hotel type operated by Finnish hotel operator Sokos Hotels. Heymo’s concept is built on the four Cs: comfort, caring, curiosity and clarity. Heymo offers an automated but personal experience. It is designed for urban city explorers who appreciate clarity and a good night’s sleep. The key to everything is the Flexible Service concept where you pay only for what you need. The visually captivating spaces invite guests to take pictures and share their experiences with others. The first Heymo hotel opened its doors in Keilaniemi, Espoo, in spring 2022.

The spaces were designed according to the following design drivers:

  • urban story
  • boldness and a love for life
  • wondrous peace and a good night’s sleep
  • easy maintenance

It was our pleasure at Rune & Berg Design to be involved in designing a new hotel experience with Sokotel’s chain management and hotel operator. We have worked together with our client to create the interior concept for the rooms and to design the hotel’s customer facilities. The graphic look and feel was designed by creative agency Bob the Robot. “This is a totally new concept, very colourful and different”, says Satu-Anna Larvamo, Project Manager at Sokotel. “Our aim is to provide a seamless, easy and warm experience. The Fixers are always ready to help at the lobby – the staff let customers know that they are there for them”, adds SOK’s Development Manager Jukka Kaartinen.

An experience that combines community and wondrous peace

The appealing and vibrant hotel experience in Heymo’s shared spaces is built on community, boldness and an urban atmosphere. The lobby has a self-service desk for check-ins and check-outs, a co-working space, a self-service kitchen that offers high-quality take-away meals and the hotel’s Lounge, a living room for gatherings. The shared spaces have a refreshingly bold look: delightful colours, a variety of arched shapes and interesting furnishing and material choices capture the attention.

The rooms focus on sleep and relaxation. The bed and a good night’s sleep take centre stage. Customers can choose one of three rooms: a two-person basic room, an accessible room that is also great for families or a three-room Heymo room that can house up to seven people. The hotel also includes a special Lucky you room whose guest will be chosen from among the hotel’s guests with a lottery each day. The design of the rooms was kicked off with a design sprint, while functionality was ensured with model rooms that test customers commented on. The end result is compact, peaceful rooms that make good use of limited space.

Heymo’s design puts people and intuitive use first

Although Heymo is largely automated and the automation is well-implemented, the design puts people first. The spaces are easy to visualise: all shared spaces and features are located on the first floor. The higher floors are fully dedicated to immaculately-designed hotel rooms. “The rooms work thanks to a number of small details. Some beds can also be used as desks, and the chairs can be folded on the wall to space. As another example, the rooms designed for families and people with disabilities have more space but also a place for changing a baby”, says the project’s Lead designer Riina Ruuska.

The hotel’s colours also direct people in the different spaces. Orange points to activities. Pink means self-service and blue signals purchasing. The room colours are more toned down and natural: warm beige, whitewashed spruce plywood and accents with orange, which indicates activities. “Signposting is very important in a self-service concept. Heymo was planned so that the colours support the hotel’s intuitive use and to make it easy for people to get their bearings”, Riina summarises. Jukka agrees: “The end result is coherent. We wanted to create a unified brand at each touch point of the customer experience, and the fact that it works in different situations a big success. The brand colours are visible and their placement is logical, for example.”

The Heymo concept was developed and designed in close co-operation with Sokotel’s project managers and concept development. “It was great working with you. Everything went smoothly and progressed well. In projects like these, we need partners like you. The end result is amazing”, Satu-Anna says happily. “You had your own vision and view to move towards, and you also provided reasons for your choices. It also challenged our ways of thinking, that is what a design agency needs to be”, adds Jukka.

The new concept has been well-received, and the customers have understood what kind of experience they will get. Of the 262 hotel rooms in Heymo, 90% were booked by the end of May 2022, only a few months after the hotel opened its doors. The average booking rate has been somewhat lower for now.

Details entail playful combinations of colours and materials. The wall plastering has a beautiful texture.

Want to learn more about Heymo?

Heymo 1 was the only Finnish project to be selected among the 17 best in the “Hotel and short stay interior” category of the international design and architecture competition Dezeen Awards. Read more about Heymo’s Dezeen Awards 2023 success (in Finnish).

Watch the Sokos Hotels video! (in Finnish).
You can read more about the first Heymo hotel in Keilaniemi, Espoo, in this article (in Finnish).

Photos: Mikael Pettersson and Aleksi Tikka

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