This was our base for our (DS and I) short adventure to Lapland. It’s a fantastic hotel in a great location with a great restaurant and ambience. Before confirming the booking I did wonder whether we should stop in a more “themed” hotel or one in Santa’s village to get a better experience, but I’m really pleased we didn’t. I’m not one for forced fun and that feeling of being herded around in a tour group on holiday so this added a more independent element to our trip.
The hotel is about a 10 minute drive from the airport, and about 25euro in a cab. It’s about a 30 second walk to the offices and “start point” of Lapland Safararis http://www.laplandsafaris.com/en/ and a 3 minute walk to the offices and “start point” of Safartica http://www.safartica.com – both of whom we used for our excursions (Husky and Reindeer safaris – both about 20 minutes drive from city). The main shopping area (small) is a 10 minute walk away and here you’ll find a pharmacy, handful of clothes shops, cafes for hot chocolates, fast food restaurant and a small soft play.
Bedroom wise, this is a fairly standard 4* hotel: modern and roomy. Our room was a twin, with decent space around the bed and good storage for all our warm weather gear. Free wi-fi works throughout the hotel which was an added bonus.
For food there are two restaurants within the hotel – Fransmanni serving French and local cuisine and Amarallio – Mexican. Breakfast served in Fransmanni was plentiful: fresh fruit, meat, cheeses, breads, bacon, eggs, cereals, pastries – standard hotel fare. We ate a fantastic 3 course dinner there too which was AMAZING. The kiddies menu was more grown-up than you typically encounter in the UK: no pizza, fish fingers or chicken nuggets. But fried salmon, grilled chicken and beef brisket. My DS who can be quite a fussy devoured it. As is typical in the Nordics, prices are expensive, but the food was certainly of a high quality. If you’re stopping a few nights there is a pizza bar across the street which is a good budget option and a good spot for a cheap warming lunch between excursions.
Of course you don’t come to Lapland to use the hotel facilities. We went on both a husky and a reindeer safari organised direct with two local suppliers Lapland Safararis http://www.laplandsafaris.com/en/ and Safartica http://www.safartica.com. Both were amazing and added a magical element to our trip. Snuggled up with DS and whizzing through snowy forests on a sleigh pulled by 12 dogs will stay with me forever. I dare say the lady in front had a slightly different experience: Huskies can’t help but go when the urge takes them, no stopping for comfort breaks during a ride and at a fast pace things do fly through the air....
Our reindeer safari took place in the evening and again was magical. It was just DS and I, so a little spooky through the forests; not helped by conversations of bears and other such natural predators. Much slower pace than the huskies so I’d recommend a reindeer ride first, saving the thrill of huskies for later. After the ride (and arguably the highlight for DS) we drank hot juice and ate cinnamon buns around a fire, before heading into the snow for some snowball fighting and snowman building. You are kitted out with everything on these excursions: socks, boots, suit, hat, scarves and gloves. You leave all your gear at the tour office and change back on your return.