In 1883 the Karlberg estate was purchased, to serve as a summer home, by Colonel Hugo Standertskjöld (1844-1931), who had amassed a great fortune as an arms manufacturer in Russia. At his summer home he created a Central European style cultural landscape that was without equal in Finland and where the parties were among the country’s most dazzling.
In 1926 the colonel sold the manor house and all its property to the City of Hämeenlinna, which established the tourist company Matkailukeskus Aulanko-Karlberg Ltd. A hotel and restaurant were opened in the manor. The company was in operation for less than a year when, in January 1928, a fire totally destroyed the main manor house. The City of Hämeenlinna quickly had a classic wooden restaurant building constructed at the site; it was opened in June 1928. In 1936 most of the Aulanko area came under the control of the Finnish Tourist Association. The wooden summer restaurant was moved in 1937 to the Herala estate in Tyrväntö parish, where it became the main building.
A large modern hotel designed by architects Märta Blomstedt and Matti Lampén was built in 1938 at the site of the manor house destroyed by the fire. When completed, the hotel was a sensation. Its functionalist architecture was praised in Finland and abroad. It had 250 beds, a high-ceilinged dining room accommodating 760 people and a large outdoor terrace. At that time Matkaravinto Ltd, a subsidiary of the Finnish Tourist Association, was responsible for the hotel’s management.
During the war Aulanko served briefly as a military hospital and due to food shortages, the 9-hole golf course that had been opened just before the war was converted to grain fields. During the Olympic Games held in Finland in 1952, Aulanko was an Olympic village for visitors from abroad. Vacationing at the magnificent Aulanko hotel was possible then only for the wealthy, and the hotel became a legendary part of the history of Finland’s hotel and restaurant sector.
Hospitality services came within the reach of ordinary people in the late 1960s; the hotel’s operations then shifted, becoming increasingly conference-oriented. In 1978 Aulanko became a Rantasipi hotel when Matkaravinto Ltd merged to become part of Rantasipi Ltd.
The Congress Center with its winter garden was completed in 1988-90 and in 1992 operations were transferred to Tradeka Ltd’s subsidiary, Restel Ltd. Rantasipi Aulanko expanded even more in spring 2006 with opening of the new spa department and multipurpose hall. In addition, the hotel itself had a total rebirth by the renovation carried out in 2005–2006, and the hotel received a substantial addition when the new 18-hole golf course was opened in summer 2006.
Today Rantasipi Aulanko is officially known as Cumulus Resort Aulanko.