Kemi was the center of the big industry already in the beginning of 20th century where the managers of sawmill industry and the heads of timber floating were remarkable persons. They received a lot of guests and business associates and they meet them always in the company´s premises, because there wasn´t any hotel in the town. After wars came change: foundation - works of hotel Merihovi began in 1946. At that time there weren´t much building materials because of the war.
Concrete reinforcements and bricks were picked up from the one old sanotarium which was blowed up during the war. There were over 300 constructors in work. Hotel Merihovi was opened on 27th of April 1949. Maybe it was too early, because the paint was still wet. First Blackflies of the spring got stuck in the paint, and there was another painting to come.
In spite of the fact that there were not much building materials, the result was splendid. Designer Paavo Tynell´s decoration, shigning sconces and classical white pillars in the hall created festive athmosphere. Local inhabitants and hotel guests were charmed with the hotel. The first scrap book of the hotel, which is conserved in the Kemi historical Museum, tells about Merihovi¹s happenings and visitors in the beginning.
President Urho Kekkonen stayed in Hotel Merihovi first time in 1959. Later on he came many times when returning from his fishing trips from Lapland. Cosmonaut Juri Gagarin "pulled people in" to the hotel and town´s first TV broadcast was sent from the hotel.
There were afternoon balls, fashion shows and very popular May Day lunches in Merihovi. From the very beginning there´s been two restaurants in the hotel, first-class hotel-restaurant in the 2nd floor, and a popular, folksy bar in the 1st floor Last mentioned got name Ankkuri (Anchor), because the local people wanted that the sea "is present" in the town. When the time passed by, Ankkuri turned into an artist-restaurant where all kind of people spent time at the tables, talking and having a nice time in harmony.
Time passed by,and recession came... Merihovi was closed in 1997. Through very happy coincidences present owners Mrs Päivikki Palosaari and Mr Pekka Saari succeeded to get the old silvery cutlery and the original lamps and sconces back to the hotel. It isn´t very usual that a whole block of flats has been acquired around knives, forks and sconces...
The opening of completely renewed 50-years old hotel Merihovi was 30.10.1999. Before opening there was a thorough and burdensome renovation, almost everything was renewed. Old was respected as much as possible,yet the demands of the modern age were taken into account. À la carte restaurant on the second floor and Cafe-Night Bar Ankkuri are still there where they used to be and 69 rooms are ready for the guests.
Welcome to hotel Merihovi. We hope You´ll enjoy Your stay!