The Meri sauna restaurant houses a sauna and a spa, but also a world-class Nordic and seasonal restaurant run by renowned Finnish Michelin chef Hans Välimäki.
In the late summer of 2022, a large sauna and restaurant complex with almost 1,000 seats will open in the Inner Harbor in Vaasa, just a stone’s throw from the city center. Meri is the largest investment in the tourism and restaurant industry in Ostrobothnia in many years, and unlike many other Finnish and Nordic competitors, Meri stands out by being 100% floating
Sisäsataman Terassi Oy, owned by a group of young entrepreneurs in Vaasa, is the owner and implementer of the project. The total cost estimate for the project is approximately 2.5 million euros.
The financing of the project is based on both capital investments and crowdfunding. The project has also received support through EU REACT funding from the NTM center. Having gained momentum in 2020, the project is finally moving from design to construction. The floating structures are already in their entirety in Vaasa.
The project will commence construction during the early summer of 2022. Construction will be completed by late summer of 2022 and the doors will thereafter be opened to the public.
“We are extremely eager and proud of our new project that will bring the Vaasa region to a new level in the international tourism industry. The whole region should be pleased with our new experience-based concept! We will make the Meri concept known internationally and hopefully welcome many international tourists in the coming years. But the people of Vaasa also get access to unique experiences close to the sea. We have invested profoundly in wellness services for adults and offer spa and sauna experiences all year round” says Tommi Mäki, CEO of Sisäsataman Terassi Oy.
“Meri means sea in Finnish. We chose the name to pay tribute to the proximity to the sea, the history of the region and the Ostrobothnian World Heritage Site. Kvarken’s world natural heritage area is prominent feature in our interior design, both in the sauna department and in the restaurant” Mäki continues
Finland’s most famous Michelin chef Hans Välimäki is in charge of the restaurant.
“The floating restaurant is already an experience in itself, but for those in search of a culinary treat, Restaurant Meri will focus on fresh fish, delicious seafood, ripe vegetables and quality meat. At Meri, European and continental cooking is emphasized, all served in a relaxed atmosphere with cordial service every day of the week. The new restaurant also includes a bar and open-air service with over 600 seats”, Hans Välimäki explains.
Hans Välimäki has played a significant role in the project, adding his unique touch to the restaurant’s menus. In addition, Välimäki has promised to visit the restaurant now and then to make sure everything works according to the highest expectations.
The Finnish company Bluet, which specializes in floating structures, has been involved in planning the project. They have previously been involved in Allas Sea Pool in Helsinki and in the sauna restaurant Saana in Kuopio. The floating basic construction is specially made for Vaasa and Meri. A solution of the same size and standard does not exist throughout Europe. The floating basic construction is a custom-made one and has been designed and manufactured in Finland.