Holiday accommodation since the 19th century
Kasino Island boasts a long history of spa accommodation with the first spa being completed in 1896. It was named the St. Olav Spa in honour of the patron saint of Olavinlinna Castle, the devout St. Olav, King of Norway. It was the first spa ever built in Finland. Restaurant Wanha Kasino next to it saw the light of day two years later in 1898.
At the turn of the century, the Kasino Island was busy with international tourists. Wealthy visitors arrived in hordes in summer from cities as far away as St. Petersburg. Visitors stayed in the villas built on Kasino island and other nearby islands or in the homes of the townspeople in Savonlinna. Visitors went to the spa for cures. In spa brochures, the islands were called the Happy Islands as entertainment and socialising played an important part of spa life. Common treatments of the era were clay wraps and formic acid baths!
More accommodation facilities were built as the number of visitors grew. Reminders of the good old days of gentrified pleasure and recreation are the Wanha Kasino, the Suruton and Kalliolinna villas and the Vuorilinna Summer Hotel originally built as a hostel. Pedestrian bridges connect the islands.
Following a fire that destroyed the old spa building in 1964, a foundation called the Savonlinna Health Spa Foundation was established to design a new spa and hotel. The new Spahotel Casino opened for business in the spring of 1969 and was subsequently extended to its present size in 1974.
In 1975, the spa was taken over by the holiday destination chain Lomaliitto. As a result, rehabilitation was added to the range of services offered by the spa.
Savonlinna Hall, a convention and concert centre, was built next to the hotel in 2002. It includes a main auditorium with seating for 800 and a number of smaller rooms for private functions. Savonlinna Hall was the first all-timber convention and concert centre ever built in Finland.
Another new era dawned on the Casino in 2010 when it was acquired by Primehotels Oy and included in the international Best Western hotel marketing chain. Hotel’s story continued as independent and unique, Spahotel Casino, 22 August 2016.