Amid the pine forests that line the Baltic shores of the Turku archipelago in south-west Finland rises a red-roofed leviathan - the Naantali Spa Hotel, one of the country's leading health resorts. Built in the Eighties, it houses some 360 rooms, spread across its Spa and Suite hotels and the Sunborn Yacht, moored at its side, which is the first custom-built waterborne hotel of its kind. The resort is plush with a capital "P", the interior designers having gone overboard on the brass, marble and glass. It's housed in a structure reminiscent of a mall, with piped muzak and themed dinner-dances to boot. But what it lacks in style it more than makes up for in facilities. There is an impressive five pools (wallow in the open-air one on a crisp, snowy day), four saunas, two hammams, a beauty salon, therapy centre, five restaurants and three bars, which should provide ample distraction for any transit-weary traveller.

Amid the pine forests that line the Baltic shores of the Turku archipelago in south-west Finland rises a red-roofed leviathan - the Naantali Spa Hotel, one of the country's leading health resorts. Built in the Eighties, it houses some 360 rooms, spread across its Spa and Suite hotels and the Sunborn Yacht, moored at its side, which is the first custom-built waterborne hotel of its kind. The resort is plush with a capital "P", the interior designers having gone overboard on the brass, marble and glass. It's housed in a structure reminiscent of a mall, with piped muzak and themed dinner-dances to boot. But what it lacks in style it more than makes up for in facilities. There is an impressive five pools (wallow in the open-air one on a crisp, snowy day), four saunas, two hammams, a beauty salon, therapy centre, five restaurants and three bars, which should provide ample distraction for any transit-weary traveller.

LOCATION

Naantali Spa Hotel, Matkailijantie 2, FIN-21100 Naantali (00 358 244 55 100; www.naantalispa.fi) is on the edge of the town of the same name. This is Finland's summer capital, a popular old-fashioned harbour in the Turku archipelago.

Time to international airport: Book a flight via Helsinki to Turku, from where a taxi to the hotel will cost about €30 (£21). Alternatively, from Helsinki airport take the bus to the city's main railway station, which runs every 20 minutes, takes half an hour and costs €4.90 (£3.50) each way. From there, take the fast Pendolino (tilting) train to Turku, a journey of one hour and 49 minutes that costs €28.40 (£20.30) each way, or the slower express, which takes just eight minutes longer and costs €4 (£3) less. From Turku railway station the taxi ride again costs around €30 (£21).

COMFORTABLE?

Remember, you're here for the facilities, not for the aesthetics. That said, each room - whether it be a humble double or a palatial royal suite - offers a peaceful and comfortable place to rest your head after a hard day in the spa. The most interesting option is the yacht. Its 140 rooms - all with sea views, some with balconies - are veritable mini suites, split into sleeping and sitting areas, although the cubicle shower rooms lose on comfort what they gain in space.

Freebies: Complimentary toiletries include a fresh California grapefruit bodywash and rather more utilitarian anti-bacterial gel for the hands. The presidential suites in the Suite Hotel have private saunas, as do the royal suites on the Sunborn Yacht, plus a Jacuzzi that's big enough for three close friends.

Keeping in touch: Telephones and Ts are supplied throughout. Depending on the room, you might also get pay TV and internet access.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Doubles start from €72 (£51) per person per night, based on two sharing, including buffet breakfast, unlimited use of the sauna, pool complex and fitness centre, admission to the dance restaurant. Rooms on the yacht start from €82 (£58) per person per night. The hotel can also be booked as part of a package through The Travel Experience (00 358 9 622 9810; www.travel-experience.net).

I'm not paying that: Then stay in the annex known as The Summer Hotel (00 358 2 445 5767), about to be renamed Familyhotel. Just across the road from the main complex, its 52 apartments contain somewhat simpler rooms. Facilities include shared use of a kitchen, TV, shower and toilet. Guests get free entry to the fitness centre and the evening restaurant and can buy tickets to the pool and saunas. Doubles from €50 (£36) per room per night, apartments start from €90 (£64) per apartment per night.

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