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“Winter wonderland” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Iso-Syote

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Hotel Iso-Syote
Iso-Syote 93280, Finland   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Iso-Syote
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Hoofddorp, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Winter wonderland”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

During the period of March 2013 we stayed with 4 persons in a Fjell Top bungalow which was very good for 4 persons, for more it will be small. The location, environment, hotel, service, excursions is perfect. This is what we thought Lapland/Finland would be and we have not been disappointed! Food was a very good mix with good taste and always different. To schedule some excursions (snow scooters, husky safari) is certainly a MUST!
Some points of attention: No cleaning service or clean towels in cottage, which is weird when you can make use of the hotel facilities and not the services. Hardly no wifi signal in cabin and strange table reservations strategy in the restaurant.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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160 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Horst, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We stayed at the Fjelltop cabins in March 2013. The cabins were spacious and all needed accessoiries were available like Wifi, Sauna, kitchen etc. It was possible to use the hotel pool which was located near the hotel.

We had half board service and the food was good, however sometimes the buffet was a bit cold. The menu was changing during the stay so one did not have to eat things twice. During lunch also a buffet was served. The staff was friendly.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

Stayed in one of the log cabins which was really lovely had our meals in the hotel and the food was excellent, the staff were pleasant at all times and very helpful. It was a very magical holiday and having the Snowmobiles, Husky and Reinder safaris was fun. The only downside was we didn't see the Northern lights due to cloud otherwise a fantastic holiday.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

I booked a four night stay with my fiance at the end of Feb to March and it was better than we expected! I think a few reviews (i am a keen Trip Advisor reader!) were a bit misleading really, but a lot of it is making it what it is, depending on yourselves as people i think.

First of all i think people have been right to say that remember that this is a 3* establishment. We love our Relais and Chateaux but we booked this place for the experience and the scenery and trust me after paying 400 euros a night in Switzerland this is cheap! I would DEFINITELY recommend getting a log cabin over the hotel. I can understand how people have been a bit upset at getting the hotel room and then having to eat at the hotel all week, it could get a bit repetitive and will end up being far more expensive as you cannot cook. I think it's good to have the option but up to you.....

The log cabin, basic as it is, and remember it's for the experience, was excellent! The photos don't really do it justice but it's so nice to have your own space. The beds, (yes two twins pushed together, but you have to understand the practicality of that if people didn't want to share the same bed), was comfortable and we slept well. The only problem with the bedding was that they only gave us enough for one duvet cover as there was only 2 of us staying, which wasn't really enough to cover both of us so we just improvised by covering the other duvet in a sheet. Please bear in mind that it sleeps 4 but this is definitely a 2 adults and 2 children deal as you don't want to be a grown up sleeping on a narrow sofa or pull-out! Fine for kids though!

We also took the two stools from the living room and used them as side tables.
Someone wrote in their review that it was a shame the table and chairs was in the way of the fire...it was a bit of an over-exaggeration but the simple solution was to turn them around to the side. As long as you put everything back the way it was there's no problem!

So in the kitchen we had a microwave, oven and electric hob, 2 pans (1 large and 1 small), 1 frying pan, a large pyrex cooking dish, cutlery and cooking utensils (could have done with a few more though), coffeemaker, kettle, fridge (no freezer) oven gloves, plates, 1 bowl, mugs, glasses and small wine glasses, amongst a few other bits and bobs. Washing up liquid, a new cleaning cloth and bin bags were there for us which was helpful. I'm only saying this because i feel like it's helpful to know these things, especially if you plan on cooking! I probably would have brought a few more things with me if i'd known we'd definitely have a microwave but that's ok as apparently some cabins are different and have different things in.

I would recommend bringing powdered milk for teas and coffees (if you don't want to buy/carry your own from the shop at the bottom of the hill), tea, coffee and hot chocolate itself, some kind of cakey thing for afternoon snacks, cheese and crackers, biscuits, packets of pasta things etc if you like them and the best thing i did was as my luggage wasn't too heavy, i actually managed to bring a bottle of mulled wine and two bottles of wine with me! So when we cooked dinner we could enjoy the booze without breaking the bank, plus they don't sell wine at the shop, only beers and ciders (which my fiance got a few of at about 3/4 euros each for the cider).
I do understand that as a 3* they aren't going to give you toiletries but i think a handsoap wouldn't have gone unappreciated, so i would recommend bringing your own just in case. I left my shower gels etc there but if the housekeepers leave them for the next person who knows.
Also the towels are a bit of a pain as you only get two bath towels and two hand towels (for 2 people staying) and if you want more you pay 5 euros, which isn't the end of the world, but if you can carry them i'd bring your own or maybe at least a tea towel, as i had to use one of the hand towels for this.
The log cabin is so cosy and warm so don't even worry about that!

The bathroom, or 'wet room' isn't exactly state of the art but there's plenty of hot water and the sauna was lovely! Keep putting water on it and it'll heat up nicely. We were given a hairdryer but i'd brought my own just in case.
The fire was great and we were given lots of firewood for over the 4 nights we were there. You can buy more for 7 euros i think at the hotel. We had to get firelighters from the shop though (only 3 euro) so bring them if you don't want to buy your own.
We only ate in the hotel the first night we arrived after our very efficient transfer from Oulu airport (lovely man met us at the airport with a sign and it's a 2 hour drive). We were a bit worried about the food because of bad reviews but my fiance went for the beef steak (pricey at 25 euro but this is Europe) and i got the 'small plate' of basically burger, salad and chips at a mere 13 euro. Well the burger came and it was HUGE! And really nice actually and i don't tend to eat a lot of junk food, it was more because it was cheap and i was hungry! My fiance really enjoyed his steak too but maybe we just got lucky. The service from the restaurant staff was surprisingly great after such reviews, so good first impressions.

I can understand how people aren't too enamoured with the restaurant as it's quite a limited menu, especially if you don't want/like meat and the buffet seemed ok but it's all quite pricy for what it is, especially the alcohol. We only ate at the restaurant that night as the next night i cooked mexican chicken fajitas with homemade tzatziki and breads and Spaghetti Bolognese and homemade garlic bread and olives another, all ingredients bought from the shop at the bottom of the piste. This was another thing people made out in their reviews, that the shop was limited and very expensive....for certain things yes it is expensive...pasta etc and a few other necessities, but all in all i really didn't think it was that bad, considering where you are too, and they had a great selection of things, (even lactose-free Flora spread!). If you're not a cook i can understand it'll be hard to look at things and know what to do with it all but you can make some basic things, even boiled egg and soldiers (using the egg holder in the fridge) for breakfast!

Anyways enough about the food, the scenery was STUNNING!! The pictures as i said just don't do it justice. The air is so clear it actually sparkles from the snow. We decided against the guided tours in the end and to go for it with the skiing instead, since people were saying it's a good place for beginners/intermediates, not that busy and after looking, very reasonable prices for lessons!
We just turned up and waited only an hour for a private lesson on our first full day with Dan for 1.40hrs, for a very reasonable 90 euros. We shot through everything as luckily we both took to it but i'm sure if we hadn't Dan would have been very accommodating still. He was great and i felt confident afterwards but it's not the kind of thing you want to rush either. We also got a free hot chocolate each at the cafe for booking the lesson which was very nice.
I really enjoyed the slopes and the second day we had a practice ourselves and went over what we had learnt through Dan and then challenged ourselves a bit more afterwards.
It might be worth mentioning that the smaller slopes in the Snowland section is actually free to go up (not sure why, i guess it's because of the kids) but it's great for beginners and actually really fast from the top of each side. I don't think they advertise this fact but if you go through i think the right-side barrier, it doesn't need a pass. We had to hire the boots, poles and skis for 20 euro for 3 hours, (10 euro with the lesson) and bought the lift pass for everything for 3 hours also, (27 euro each) so it didn't make a different to us, but if you're a beginner it might be worth just staying there for the day to practice as that's where your lesson starts and then you won't have to pay for the pass.
We would have 3 hours which was enough for us (it is COLD!) so would get the free bus from the hotel at 11am (timetables available at reception, takes 15 mins and a lovely ride) and get the 3pm bus back or 4.50pm if we wanted to hang around. The buses are only once an hour but we used them all the time and really appreciated the service. People were complaining about them in their reviews too but i think if you time yourself accordingly they can only be a great help and the driver was lovely. You can ask for extra rides for 2.50 euro but we never felt the need.
The cafe at the bottom of the slope was lovely, a great place to sit by the fire and warm up with a hot chocolate and a delicious doughnut or muffin! It gets very busy at the weekends though of course. We booked for a fondue there one evening (you have to book a day in advance), so after skiing we got the bus back at 3pm, relaxed at the cabin and then got the 6.15ish from the hotel and they had everything all ready and laid out for us with a candlelit table by the window, with lots of goodies to dip in the cheese (you can opt for reindeer if you wish!) We had to get extra garlic bread and chips to dip in! We were finished so quickly we even managed to get the last bus back rather than getting a taxi so then we had plenty of time to drink wine and relax in the cabin! For 25 euro each i guess it's not cheap but it was great food and service and of course it's the experience that matters! You'd get that in Geneva for just the fondue and bread!

Make sure you get up for the sunrise and watch the sunset wherever you are, they're amazing.

All the staff were really wonderful with us, despite what some people have said in their reviews. Again, maybe we were just lucky but we were really surprised with the level of customer service and how friendly everyone was, from the people at the ski hire and lesson place, to the girls at the cafe and restaurant, to the bus driver and the very helpful receptionists. What we did find was that the Finnish guests/skiiers, as much as we hate to say it, weren't friendly really atall, so maybe that's what they were talking about. It was quite surprising but not a big deal. A friendly smile can go a long way anyhow, you just have to try a bit harder!
I personally didn't have a problem with a language barrier at the hotel/ski resort at all, only with Gerrelda, one of the managers over email, who as much as she was ultimately helpful, it was like getting blood out of a stone for information and she would tend to only answer one out of about 4/5 questions in each email which could get a bit frustrating. Again not a big deal though.

Our transfer back to the airport was painless again. I would suggest booking your own flights (do the whole thing yourself rather than using Crystal Ski or a company) as I booked the 5.30pm leaving from Oulu, which meant when we checked out at 12noon, we could lock the luggage in the cabin for the staff to collect and bring to the reception to keep there and we hired a couple of sleds and went off for a walk around the fell which was just amazing. You can keep to the 'path' so you don't have to have snow shoes or anything, i just had my Uggs, and it was a brilliant end to the stay as we hadn't had the chance to walk around much as we'd been skiing alot.

I think 4 nights was a good amount of time but obviously it depends how much you can spend etc as it would have been good to stay longer and do some tours too.

This has turned into a HUGE review but i wanted to highlight a few things that i thought i may have found helpful when reading up on things before i left.
I also added some photos which hopefully will be helpful too. I get a lot from Trip Advisor so it's always nice to give a bit back right!

All in all it was a brilliant stay and totally worth the journey to get there. I think we'll go back in a few years time when we have some kiddies to take too!

Room Tip: just go for a cabin!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013 via mobile

This is our second visit to Finland. A year ago we went to Karesuando for an unforgettable Lapland activity/Father Christmas holiday. This year we returned for some gentle skiing. We hadn't been skiing for 13 years and our 7 year old was a first time skier. We chose Finland for our return to skiing as everything is so remote, meaning so too are the crowds. Leaving th fast and furious skiers to the alpine slopes, we favoured a more gentile experience. Iso Syote is perfect for beginner or rusty skiers. Our cabin (stunning, rustic and lovely and warm) was very well appointed and was perched on the top of the fell. Once our ski legs returned and our daughter was sizzling down blue runs by day 2, we could ski all the way down. The skiing was varied enough for us as return skiers but not as challenging as Alpine skiing. We were quickly onto the blacks, and even ventured onto the black mogul which was huge fun.

The ski school and hire shop are at the bottom of the fell and there is a frequent free bus from outside the Hotel. The driver was so lovely and kind and the trip takes about 8 minutes. You don't need the bus if happy to ski down for hotel to main lift area and ski school.

The ski school was fantastic. Our daughter was predictably fearless and sizzling past us by day 2! Huge thanks to Veikko, dubbed by us smiley... We decided to take an improvers course after so long away for skiing. Maarti was great. The instructors rapidly progressed us. It was fun, yet calm and very effective tuition. Our daughter only had 2 in her class (hello James!) which was great.

Lifts are all drag lifts which suited us fine. Suits beginners and rusty intermediates but if you are looking for inter-village skiing without regular lift stops, this is not the place. Longest run 1.2 km. We loved it. Perfect for our daughter but I did miss the longer duration of skiing you can get in be alps.

Lovely restaurant with roaring fires and candles at bottom of feel. Grocery and outdoor shop too. Much cheaper thermals and better quality here than in the uk. Restaurant was very reasonably priced. If you like a tipple, suggest a hip flask as much cheaper. Only needed to order coke to get my holiday drink - rum and coke... Lovely. Duty free was pricey at gatwick for this but still much cheaper than buying at bar!!

We were HB so took our breakfast and dinner in the hotel. The remote location limits the food to an extent and it was rather salty and stodgy after a while but, to anyone knocks the food, I would ask if you eat like that at home and have several item to choose for each day. If you are vegetarian, the chef will cook you a la carte for no extra, which was great for our friend, Jane. If returned, my convert!! They are very strict about meal times so if you are a minute late, all closed.

I wouldn't go HB again. Much easier to make breakfast in cabin and avoid rush. Lunch great in restaurant near ski school. If you want dinner at hotel, their a la carte much more tempting.

Finnish people are do lovely, polite and civilised. No hurry, no stress, no mad fast skiers. All perfect.

Finally, massive thankyou to Katarina from Crystal. Moved on to Norway now but she was always on hand and so friendly and dedicated. Crystal were fantastic. I recommend that you pay for lift pass, any equipment hire and tuition needed when booking via crystal as much more expensive in resort.

Can't wait to ski again and will definitely return to Finland. From our experience and friends who regularly ski in Scandinavia, it is a relaxed, unhurried and uncrowded beautiful place to go.

We did snowmobiles, husky, Santa etc last year further north but its all on hand here if you need it. Just make sure insurance covers as one unlucky person bumped snowmobile and landed himself an £850 bill.

Almost forgot. .... What about the snow conditions? Superb powder. Best we've had. Lovely blue skies for 4 days and temperature ranging between a comfortable -5 to -15. Not cold if all the right layering. Hotel provide free arctic suits, boots, even hats etc if your ski suit or clothing inadequate.

That's it. Try for yourself. Won't be disappointed. Nadia

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

We spent a week in this winter wilderness, what an amazing place, a hotel set on top of a fell just outside the arctic circle in a national park, quite isolated, but is is in a national park.
The whole area around the hotel was fantastic trees covered with ice and snow we went snowshoeing one day around the area in about 2 foot of snow brilliant fun, wonderful views, frozen wonderland.
The ski slopes are on the other side of the fell from the hotel, they were well groomed and quiet not too difficult skiing terrain, we hired skis and boots for the day, no lifts only T bar and button lifts made it a bit exhausting.
The hotel was basic but clean and the food was good and plentiful from a daily buffet, fabulous views from the panoramic restaurant, drinks were bit expensive, as is in most of Scandinavian countries, but we brought duty free with us.
The cabins were clean, warm and cosy, underfloor heating, drying cabinet, sauna and all the necessary accessories in the kitchen.
I thought the excursions were excellent, good value for money, great to experience the way of life of the local Finish people, huskies rides and reindeer farm, the snowmobile trips were great fun especially the night adventure we travelled around 20 km searching for the Northern lights, ( didn't find them) across undulated terrain and frozen lake just using our headlights. This is a holiday for adventurous people

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013 via mobile

From start to finish the holiday was brilliant. We booked through KE Adventure which I would also highly recommend.
We flew out from Manchester via Helsinki to Oulo and from there had a 2 hour transfer the journey was easy all the flights on time and the taxi was waiting for us at Oulo. On arriving at the hotel check in was easy and we were soon having evening meal.
The one thing that anybody has to remember with the hotel is that it is a 3 star ski resort. It's clean, warm, friendly and very helpful, and the food was basic but plentiful with fresh salads and lovely breads and at lunch there were great pizzas. The beer was also cheaper than what we had expected at €6.60 for 0.5l.
We participated in snow activities which were all booked already with our holiday however you can book onto activities at the hotel. All the activities were very well organised and when they say all day you are out 8 hours(inc travel)!!!!!!
Day1 - dog sledding - amazing we had a sled each with 4 dogs in a group of 4 and covered 30+km ( we were told that we would get one between two so this was a nice surprise) with a lunch stop by an open fire.
Day 2 - free morning so we hired sledges and found some good hills inc the footpaths to the main resort at the bottom of hill in the afternoon was snow shoeing well a walk around the mountain top with snow shoes on very pleasant but not exerting.
Day 3 & 4 - dog sledding this was the highlight!!!!!!!!!! Full day sledding 30+km with over night stay in a log cabin by a frozen lake where there is no running water electricity but there is a wood burning sauna and an outside toilet. The cabin was lovely and cosy with open fire and candle light and the dogs each had there own kennel outside. It was amazing see the moon rise over the lake and the sun rise the following day was magical. We then travelled back 30+km the following day.
Day 5 - snow mobile safari - -18 degrees coldest day so far. 95km great experience we shared a snow mobile which was fine as we shared the driving. Again stopped for lunch not quite as rustic as the dog sledding as this time we were inside a hut but just as nice
Day 6 - cross country skiing. We had a fab very friendly instructor who then let us keep the equipment and explore some more.
The northern lights well they also made an appearance on the Friday night at about 8 pm they were so pretty and just finished our holiday. They are not guaranteed.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Iso-Syote

Address: Iso-Syote 93280, Finland
Phone Number:
Location: Finland > Lapland > Iso-Syote
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Iso-Syote
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 30
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