Fabian Cares – Meet Maria

On our Fabian Cares page, you can get to know the Fabians! We tell you about the good deeds in our day-to-day life that bring us joy, and how you can help together with various charities. We share our tips for doing things in Helsinki as well!

MEET OUR STAFF: Receptionist Maria

Who are you and what do you do on a daily basis?

I'm Maria Lehing and I work at the reception desk of Hotel Fabian. Our story together with Fabian actually started six years ago, when I moved from Estonia to Finland and started here as a cleaner and after that I joined our breakfast team. I started studying Finnish and graduated with a degree in tourism. I enjoyed the change, so I moved to hotel reception, encouraged by my sister. She is also working for the hospitality field!

My day-to-day work mainly involves customer service and various reception tasks. I help to develop our breakfast product and I have now also started to create social media content for the hotel. I particularly enjoy having the time to have long conversations with our guests. I speak four languages, which helps a lot in my job.

What kind of things make you feel good?

Helping animals is a matter close to my heart. When I lived in Estonia, I used to go to a nearby shelter, Varjupaikade mtü, to walk homeless dogs so that they could get out of their cages. I have spent my whole life surrounded by animals and have owned a rabbit, a parrot, a guinea pig, cats and dogs. Now I have my own Yorkshire terrier.

I donate monthly to WWF, which protects endangered species and also, among other things, restores valuable forest areas. I appreciate the important work they do for nature. I have also surprised a couple of my friends and they are now godparents for two reindeers living in Lapland!

What is the best thing about working at Fabian?

I have been at Hotel Fabian for six years now and there is no need to change. We have a lovely team here and it's always nice to come to work. I can really focus on our guests and learn about their lives. There have been many occasions when a guest comes into the hotel and tells me, for example, that they remember me from breakfast years ago, when I was still working in the breakfast team!

I think that quite a few hotels allow you to get to know their guests so well that you even develop friendships. Hotel Fabian is popular with long-stay guests, as we have LUX rooms in the courtyard with their own entrance and kitchenette. It is also possible to stay with us for a month at a time with our Home at Hotel Fabian package. Last year we had a guest staying with us during a renovation and over the three months we became friends with her. She even had her own vacuum cleaner and always kept the room really tidy. As a former cleaner, I really appreciated this! We now go out for a weekly meal together to catch up.

What do you recommend to do in Helsinki?

In fact, I have designed a whole list of restaurants in the area: what kind of food they offer and how far they are from Hotel Fabian. My absolute favourite, however, is the restaurant Krog Roba in our sister hotel. I have never been disappointed yet, the service is excellent and they clearly use good seasonal ingredients.

Of course, our guests are interested in the main attractions of Helsinki. In the summer I recommend a picnic in Suomenlinna. In winter, it's nice to take a walk on the Esplanade with the Christmas lights on. There are also lots of nice cafés near the Senate Square. Especially for international visitors, I always recommend Fazer café, where you can taste Finnish chocolate.

Tell us about your most memorable joyful encounter with a hotel guest!

One of our regular American guests stayed with us and sat at the bar next to our reception and we had a long interesting discussion while I worked. Among other things, we reminisced about the coffee we used to have at the Hotel Fabian, which we both loved. Before he left the hotel, he came to the reception and brought a packet of coffee beans - he had found some of that specific coffee somewhere and wanted to bring it to me! There are many moments like this and they will stay with me as really nice memories.

What was your #GoodDeedOfTheDay today?

A new member of our breakfast team started today and I helped her to get started. And of course I made coffee for everyone!

Receptionist Maria Lehing


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