As Helsinki was being founded at the mouth of the Vantaa River in the mid-16th century, one Sipi Jaakonpoika lived on the shore of Lake Tuusula. Sipi is the first registered inhabitant of what today is the Gustavelund estate.
Later on the place was home to famous military families and for a time was a ranch. The manor, formerly known as Eggertas, was given the name Gustavelund in the 18th century after the wife of the then owner, Rear Admiral Karl Adolf Dankvard. The main building, said to be in the style of Carl Ludvig Engel, burned down in 1892 and was replaced by a new Empire-style wooden manor house that featured in several Finnish films.
The resplendent Gustavelund manor house blossomed under Karl Edvard Jonsson, who moved to Finland from Sweden and became prominent in cultural and restaurant life. In the early 20th century all manner of fruit and vegetables were grown in Gustavelund’s large greenhouses and gardens for sale to numerous restaurants in Helsinki: Fennia, Kämp, Kaivohuone and Operakällaren.
In the 1930s Rafael Sederholm, LLM and his wife Viola opened a hotel at Gustavelund. In the 1950s and under the famed restaurateur Viola Parviainen, the Gustavelund Tourist Hotel was popular with leading personalities in cultural, economic and political life in the Helsinki region. The evenings were for partying and the days for exercise in the invigorating lakeside setting and on the tennis court.
In 1956 Gustavelund was acquired by the Union of Finnish Rural Municipalities, which turned it into a course centre. The current white building is a pure modernist design by Into Pyykkö and was completed in 1965 as the Local Government College. The building has been expanded over time and a separate lakeside sauna building has been added. All that is left of the old manor building is the pavilion on the shore of Lake Tuusula
Hotel Gustavelund began in 1990 as a subsidiary of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. In 2015 the association sold the building and business to Pia and Antti Ropponen.