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“Saariselka” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Club Saariselka

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Holiday Club Saariselka
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Saariselantie 7, Saariselka 99830, Finland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Saariselka
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2009

I stayed at the holiday club hotel and i was travelling alone.

I found the hotel the holiday club hotel to be comfy, and warm with plenty of hot water, the food was good and plenty of it,

But may not be to all British tastes but you are in Finland, i liked it.

the staff and facilties are top notch, the pool and jacuzzi was a bit on the chilly side.
the saunas and steam rooms are naked, no costumes, so brits either go with the flow or give it a miss.

the ski school or in my case snow boarding is really good, my instructor Timo was patient and gave good advice taking me from almost nothing on a snow board to gettin turns.

the equipment for hire seems to be excellant at the ski school, as were all the staff at the ski resort.

The panimo and the beepop are good places to have a drink aores ski but beer is expensive and you dont get a full pint. its just how things are there.

i found the Finnish people to be friendly and well mannered.

In general i have no complaints about this hotel or resort and will go again.

The ski area is best suited for beginners or improvers and would not recomend it for the really expereinced skier, but there is a good sno board park.

i will go again

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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230 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
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Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2009

Hotel probbly more 3 star, but very clean, free entrance for hotel guests in spa area and free well equipped fitness room. Good buffet breakfeast, good quality food in the evening. Room size good, fridge in the room, so possibility to store drinks/food. Nearby supermarket with very good selection.
Restaurant area could benefit from redecorating.
Charming small village, very quiet, endless snow and ski slopes for cross country.
Airport was Kittala - long 3hrs busdrive from Saariselka, was the only letdown. Temperatures were reasonable at that time of the year between -10 and -5 C. Booked through Inghams. Very helpful and nice representative Lorna.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2009

Great place for snow, reindeer, tobogganing and snowmobiling. The hotel is good with a reasonable buffet breakfast and evening meal (more variety would have been good, but the food on the whole tasted good). Lots to do including an indoor pool, tennis and badminton courts.

The town is small and at this time of year quite quiet. Temperatures ranged from -20 to -5, and lots of snow. For skiers, the slopes appeared very quiet.

Highlights are the cafe at the top of the ski lift, the toboggan run, igloo hotel and plenty of day time activities.

There are a few bars and restaurants, and a supermarket and small museum in the town. And one shop that seemed to specialise in stuffed animals of every kind.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2009

Saariselka – 15th – 22nd February 2009

We booked this holiday through Inghams 3 weeks prior to departure, although the holiday was advertised through Lastminute.com who were extremely unhelpful and unable to complete our booking, so upon hearing about this, Inghams kindly price matched Lastminute.com.

We flew with Monarch from Gatwick on Sunday 15th February. The flight was slightly delayed, but comfortable, with good on-board food, and entertainment. (Mama-Mia!)
I was quite surprised that they were charging £2.50 for headphones as usual, however, this is now termed as “Rental!” and you have to give them back at the end. This is potentially an extra £20 for a family of four to have them on the outgoing, and then incoming flight. We still have ours from a long haul flight some years ago and always take them with us though!!!!

We landed at Kittila, which was busy with some back log due to frozen doors on all the planes. It took well over an hour for everyone to get on board the bus, and travel to Saariselka with Lorna, our Inghams Rep. We arrived at the Holiday Club hotel, where check in was swift thankfully as by now it was past midnight, and we were all tired. They presented us with a packed lunch type meal, as we had obviously missed dinner, which was a nice touch, and we went to our rooms to eat and sleep!

The rooms were super. Clean, neat and tidy, although compact as we had a family room for 4. The children had a sofa bed, and we had twin beds. There were coffee and tea making facilities which were replenished daily, a hair dryer, bath robes to enable you to get to and from the hotel pool, endless supplies of towels for your use which were replenished when ever we needed, a fridge, and a shower. During the week, the maid service was excellent, and our room was cleaned to a high standard each day.

The following day we arrived in the restaurant area for breakfast. It was a buffet style arrangement with lots of choice. The food was fresh and replenished frequently. You could have cooked choices, fruit, cheeses, hams and breads, cereal, yoghurt, tea, coffee and juices. There were fresh vegetables in with the eggs and bacon as others have said, but this is simply what the Finns have. They were NOT veg from the night before as they were different every time. The restaurant is set within an open area leading to the hotel reception so you can sit and watch the world go by! It also fits around large glass windows so you can look into the hotel pool. The reception area has FREE internet access, loads of tourist information, a television, log fires, and comfortable seating areas.

We are not skiers, and spent the week walking, tobogganing, and shopping! There were not many sledges around until right at the end of our weeks’ stay. I understand this was the busiest week of the season so far so this would explain it, but I certainly didn’t feel that the resort was busy, so goodness only knows what it is like when it is quiet! The super-duper toboggan slope was so much fun. We did this a number of times during the week. If you are a novice it is a good idea to stand at the bottom and watch the Finns for a few tips before you throw yourself from the top! Glasses, or goggles are a good tip too! You can use the ski bus which is E2 for a day ticket. At various times throughout the day you can get to the top using the bus, or you can use the ski lift, which I am most proud to say I had a go on!!!! This was E3 per child per lift up, and E5 per adult for a single lift up. A great experience with great views and one everyone should try!!!!

Upon returning to the hotel each afternoon, the children always used the swimming pool. This was included for hotel guests, but NOT for guests staying at the Holiday Club apartments. The cost for a family to swim was E38 if you were staying out of the hotel. The pool was super, although sometimes a little chilly, but looking out onto the snow covered roof and trees whilst swimming was wonderful. Showers and shampoo are available in the changing rooms, as are hair dryers. We did not use the Saunas as I really didn’t fancy frightening anyone with my body as swimming costumes are not allowed!

We also took a trip to Inari to see the Siida museum of the Sami people with Inghams. This was a super trip and also enabled us to see first hand some of the areas visited in the TV programme “Johnny goes to Lapland” where an eccentric Red Deer farmer from Exmoor visits Lapland to swap his Deer for Reindeer. All very interesting and a good trip out! There are all the usual trips which we have done during previous visits to Lapland, but readily available should you wish to book. There are also a nice selection of shops should you want to pick up souvenirs, and two supermarkets if you are self catering.

Evening meals at the Holiday Club were also super in our opinion. There was always a super selection of salads and soup for a starter, a choice of 2 main courses, and dessert followed by tea or coffee with biscuits. We did not see any “recycled” food from previous days as such, and were impressed by the choices, quality, and quantity of this self service buffet. If you are looking for pie and chips, then try the Costa del Sol, or better still, holiday in the UK! When in Rome and all that…

For a good view of the Northern Lights, it is best to take a walk away from the hotel up towards the log cabins and stand within the areas behind the Inghams cabins. We had a super viewing one night, despite for Solar forecast only being 0/1.

Saariselka is a good resort with a good selection of shops, and small Sami exhibition centre, and a good choice of accommodation. There are lots of cut through paths within the heart of the village so that you can get from A to B without hiking for miles! We did notice on a daily basis though that the Finns certainly were not as friendly as we have found them in Levi and Yllas in the past. Infact on occasion they were really quite rude. Many of the locals had much more limited English than the other resorts, especially the ski bus drivers, so beware and try to use their language, even if only a few key words. We are in their country after all!

The Gatwick flight home was quite a trek. We sat on the tarmac for an hour whilst there were yet more problems unloading the luggage holds and reloading them again. We were also issued with our boarding passes whilst on the transfer bus, so any requests such as sitting together as a family were not possible. Our plane was full, with 361 seats out of a possible 362 seats taken, although I understand it only came out with 110 passengers on board from London due to the falling numbers of bookings for Inghams.

We loved our stay. Darinka and Lorna, the Inghams reps were fantastic. They were helpful, friendly and very entertaining. The hotel was great, food good, resort lovely, although I have a sneaky feeling that my heart is still in Yllas, for now anyway…!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Yorkshire
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2009

Saariselka is a very beautiful village, justed returned from a one week stay at the Hotel Holiday Club. Very unsure about going after reading the recent reviews on the hotel. Can understand some complaints that have been made, but others unjust. On arrival at the airport, we were very swiftly through passport control to collect our luggage and were sat on the bus for our transfer for just over an hour as we had to wait for another flight to arrive before we could leave, we were kept informed throughout, but with a three hour transfer ahead of us we could have done without it. Firstly the rooms are a little small for a party of 4 (2 adults and 2 children 12 & 10), but adequate and clean. Restaurant is small for the size of the hotel and not a great selection of food, but you would have to be very picky not to find something to eat. Small lounge/relaxation area with an open fire next to the restaurant, only down side is you have to walk through the restaurant in your dressing gown to get down to the swimming pool area!!! Hotel staff friendly and spoke excellent English. In my opinion the Hotel is not a four star, but is more than adequate for a place to relax, as on a holiday like this you want to be outside not inside in a hotel room. Hotel very well situated in the centre of the village, a short walk down hill to the cross country ski slopes, although I would not call this a beginners track!!! Paid for the Mini Reindeer and Mini Husky Safari through Inghams before we left England, a little disappointed with both trips, the reindeer safari, we only had one small ride on the reindeer sleigh, approximately 5 to 10 minutes max, and the rest of the time we were inside the Kota keeping walm and talking about reindeer. The Husky Safari is does not mention that you have to "mush" the huskies yourself, you have a very short driving lesson and are then sent off into the wilderness with a pack of six dogs and two guides on skidoos should you come across any problems. This should be noted in the brochure, as I would not have paid nearly £100 for a family of four to take this excursion had I have known. All in All a beautiful holiday and would go again tomorrow.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Chorley, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2009

We went on our first skiing holiday very worried not about learning to ski but after reading some of the reviews about the hotel and resort. No need to worry. We knew there was a 3 hour transfer and we enjoyed the winter scenery and were well prepared with books etc. The hotel was clean and cosy. Staff are very friendly and helpful. Food very acceptable yes not loads of choices but good wholesome fresh food and as the rep advises you need to consider local produce and be ready to eat differently to what you do at home. Always a lovely salad and soup for starters Main courses were often one salmon dish and one reindeer dish (sorry animal lovers but we do eat beef!) sometimes pork. Creamy mash and crunchy chips like wedges and lovely vegetables. Puddings were simple like spiced apple crumble or yogurt & biscuits. Bacon available for breakfast as well as boiled/custard eggs with vegetables yes veg for brekkie,fresh waffles, continental breakfast. we would advise buying a bottle of wine/spirits at the airport as the hotel is very expensive. 6 euros for a vodka/bottle of beer. There is a fridge in the room. The local supermarket give you money off your next purchases when you take your bottles back to their recycle centre. The hotel spa facility was wonderful after skiing every day. The skiing was amazing soft powdery snow in beautiful surroundings. We booked the freshers week deal with Inghams through lastminute.com fabulous value for money. Free tuition (we had a very patient instructor called Marita) free ski equipment hire and lift passes would highly recommend for anyone who has never tried skiing before. It's a lot of money to pay if you don't like it. Inghams reps were brilliant Lorna and Darinka thank you so much. Lots of great trips available. We loved the husky safari.
Saariselka was a great experience for us. Make sure you take the chair lift to Kaunispaa bring a sledge with you and ride back down the toboggon run it's great fun and if you have the energy and a lift pass you can go as many times as you like.

  • Liked — Spa facilities
  • Disliked — Entrance to spa through dining area
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2009

Just returned from 7 night stay to this hotel travelling with Inghams and must say that we are really disappointed with the false description of hotel etc...

There is a 3 hour transfer to resort but what they dont tell you is that they stop for about 30-40 mins on way which is really annoying when you have young children and they've been up a long time and all you want to do is get off the bus!

The Inghams Rep on coach was nice enough, likes trees! Didnt spot any wild reindeer, but the scenery was astounding...

At hotel, you are given your room key and pointed in the direction of rooms where you walk down corridors where the doors opend outwards!!! Be careful!!! When we got to our room, we had to wrestle with the door to get it open but eventually it obilged and let us through...
Also, you get zapped everywhere...even between yourselves!

The room was too small for a family of 2 adults, 1 child and 1 infant...we had to move the room round as anybody who has a 20 month old will know that wall lamps and plug sockets and small children dont really go together! So cot had to be wedged in between twin beds...the sofa bed was not a bed...it was terrible, the room had plenty of storage for clothes but nowhere for skiing equip. The wet room had a small drying cupboard where apparently you dried the towels they provide...interesting idea judging by the size of towels compared to drying cupboard.
Its alot easier just to help yourself to towels at the end of the corridors! Our room also wasnt very warm...but it was warmer than outside...just!

Food...OMG!!! AWFUL!!! We'd read some previous reports on Tripadvisor but went with an open mind...it closed very quickly! Breakfast was a blessing as they have toast and waffle maker but thats about as good as it gets! Twice we had bacon rashers, but agree with comment above that the rest of it looked like the night befores left overs...very strange have broccoli for breakfast! However, they also had some cereals out along with ham, cheese slices and bread. On an evening, if the veg in morning hadnt been eating then they stuck cheese on it and served it again! there was nothing really that my 2 children would eat...no pizza and only twice a small bowl of chips was put out, and 1 of those were not cooked properly! So we ventured next door to the Rakka restaurant, put complaint in with Inghams rep was that bad...I dont normally complain about anything but it was unreal!!!
Also, we found out that if you book with Inghams adults get 11 euros off meal and kids 5 euros...great for the takeaway pizza!!!

The only 'facility' we used was the swimming pool, which close's between 10-12 to allow locals in... The pool was cold but getting out was awful, it was freezing! They need to turn heating up!!! Nobody tells you that you need a swipe card to lock your gear away!

The Extras...
We made the fatal mistake of not pre booking anything! My eldest went to ski school which she enjoyed immensley, the group was small, 3!!! and she was youngest!
The Reindeer safari was fun...we did maxi whilst little one and dad went on mini...you turn up, get in then off you go!!! On return you get warm berry juice which was lovely...and a little info about reindeers...found out some interesting facts! Also, you get a bit of info on Sami people.
The Skiidoo was a nightmare for me, but my other half and daughter loved it! When we booked it at the welcome meeting it doesnt make it clear how long it is for...only after an hour did I realise that we were going to be out some time...the length of safari should be explained alot more clearly...I had on 3 layers of clothing, inc thermals, ski gear and then a thermal suit, then a blanket and I was cold...really really cold!!! My little one who sat next to me in sledge was tucked inside a thermal sleeping bag and blankets...the whole experience for me was horrible cos if i'd known how long it was going to be I wouldnt have gone on it at all!
Now the best part for me was the Huskeys, it was FAB...I turned up expecting to be put in a sledge and taken off by an experienced huskey driver...nope...my other half! But it was great...it was the highlight of my holiday... whatever you do...do this!!!

You can hire skiidoo's in resort and go off by yourself, the younger ones can even have a go on the mini version @ Top Safari, 20 euros for half hour...

All in all, Saariselka is small, when night draws there is not much to do at the hotel...you cant even get drunk as its really expensive...there is no evening entertainment on!

I did get the feeling its all money money money out there, my other half was left fuming when he bought a lift pass only to discover after he'd paid that none of the bigger slopes were open only the nursery and you didnt need a lift pass...25 euros gone!

The place is peaceful and very beautiful but its not a ski resort for serious skiers...the slopes are not as close to the hotel as brochure says, but the skibus is always on time and doesnt hang around!!!

Would I go back to Saariselka...NO...

  • Liked — the front door
  • Disliked — ignorant staff, coldness outside swimming pool, food......
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Club Saariselka

Address: Saariselantie 7, Saariselka 99830, Finland
Location: Finland > Lapland > Saariselka
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Saariselka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Club Saariselka 3*
Number of rooms: 134
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Also Known As:
Holiday Club Saariselka Hotel Saariselka
Holiday Hotel Saariselka
Saariselka Holiday Hotel
Holiday Club Saariselka Finland

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