In the 1960’s, Shell moved to the other side of Aninkaistenkatu to its current place. The old gas station’s building was renovated to fulfil the needs of Turku police department – to police custody cells, to be exact.
To the so-called old part of the building (the rounded part facing Aninkaistenkatu) moved the legendary Helmibaari (Pearl Bar), and the police guard station moved to the so-called new part, which had also one new floor built to the top.
Over the years, the “new part” worked also as a guesthouse run by city of Turku. This building definitely has its history with accommodation, and few of our guests have shared with us their memories about the previous nights in here!
Hotel’s name Helmi (pearl) originates naturally from Shell and it’s pearl, and honours in its own way the history of this remarkable building.
The first hotel guests stayed in Hotel Helmi in May 2008, after the long and thoroughgoing renovation. The “new part” had a third floor built upon its shoulders, and after the demolition works were done, over 200 tons of concrete and iron were carried out. The building had barely anything more than its walls standing, because the building services (air conditioning, heating etc) needed to be installed, and the walls needed to be soundproofed.