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“Glass igloos & cabins are great, service & food not so much” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

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Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Kiilopaantie | 9, Saariselka 99830, Finland (Formerly Kakslauttanen Hotel & Igloo Village)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Saariselka
Dobbs Ferry, NY
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Glass igloos & cabins are great, service & food not so much”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

If you are fortunate enough to stay in a glass igloo on a clear night and are fortunate enough, as we were, to see both the aurora borealis and shooting stars from your cozy bed, the experience is fantastic. I imagine it would be disappointing to come this far and pay this much just to look at a starless, cloudy sky.

ACCOMMODATIONS: THE PROS: The glass igloo and cabin we had were both wonderful...Very clean rooms, thoughtfully set up, very cozy & by that I mean genuinely cozy, not real-estate-speak for small...Nice to have our own sauna in the cabin; some have hot tubs...Comfortably warm...You do have to walk a few minutes from the "lodge/restaurant" to your cabin or igloo, but it's relatively short...THE CONS: beds in the cabin were uncomfortably solid & hard (this from someone who prefers a hard mattress)...Hot water is on the sparse side...Our cabin's smoke detector was disconnected...Looked inside the snow igloos; they're pretty small and claustrophobia-inducing for those sensitive to small, dark spaces, but they're attractively set up if that's your thing.

FOOD: PROS: Board is required for 2 meals, and if you don't like the set 3-course included meal, you can order from an a la carte menu & apply a credit towards your bill...Good presentation for dinner main courses, decent salads...Never went hungry, wondering when the meal was coming...Good choices at breakfast, nothing fancy but typical Finnish fare...CONS: If you're a foodie, don't expect much. Helsinki has some world-class dining, and there are supposed to be some good restaurants in nearby Saariselka, but the food here is nothing to write home about. The soup & bread lunch is mediocre, but it is filling if you're hungry. Breakfast and dinner are better.

AURORA BOREALIS: Great for aurora watching when the weather is clear. We saw them both clear nights, twice each night. Be prepared that it's a spectacular and awesome experience, but the colors you see with the naked eye are no match for the intensity and color spectrum in photos (even of the same event, as we learned from checking out other guests' photos). Sometimes they are cloud-like, sometimes you see movement and undulating, sometimes plumes of light appear to beam up from the horizon. Mostly they appeared white with a green or pink/purple tinge, maybe. Very moving, really awesome, but I heard a number of people express a little disappointment about the lack of color. Two big downsides: Even though most people are here for the northern lights, there is no notification system, and almost everyone we met grumbled about that. So it's hit and miss, or people try to stay up all night and go outside every so often to check. This is not as easy as it sounds considering at -30 C and -22 F it takes quite a while to get enough clothing on to be able to check. In the glass igloo, as we found, you could sometimes see the light display right overhead, but sometimes you had to walk outside to clear a stand of trees to see them. ALSO, there is too much light pollution on the grounds near the areas people go to observe the aurora borealis. At the very least, when a display is in process, they could cut the lights, and recommend guests use flashlights to get around (even provide or rent them perhaps).

SERVICE: Meh. PROS: Rooms are well cleaned. Most waiters or waitresses are very attentive and friendly...food comes fast...staff tries to accommodate food requests if they have it on hand (e.g., getting a sandwich for someone at lunch)...Most of the "front desk" staff (see other reviews for details on this odd arrangement) are pleasant and will answer your questions or try to be helpful (IF you ask and IF they have time). CONS: Staff seems overworked and sometimes there are too few people at the front desk (as per other reviews). A couple of the staff are distinctly unfriendly and treat you as if you're bothering them when you ask questions...The way the hotel works is not explained well either in advance or when you arrive. You don't find out until you get there that no one will bring your luggage to your room (I suppose they will if you cannot), that you should plan to use a sledge to pull your luggage to your room/cabin/igloo. This is fine if you arrive in daylight and see what others do, but not if you arrive late, as one couple we met did, with no help or suggestions from the staff. THe person who checks you in might not explain the system for signing up for activties or how you are notified of your time slots (not a hard system, but if you don't know it -- as we didn't -- it can leave you feeling out of the loop)...As one other reviewer noted, you don't find out until the time comes that if you switch from an igloo to a cabin (most guests seem to do this) you will have to be out of your room for a good part of the day. They do have a place to store your luggage, but it would be nice to be prepared for this in advance and arrange activities accordingly...It would be helpful to know how limited the lunch fare is in advance...It would be helpful to have basic medical care available (basics like ice packs, bandaids, ace bandages).

ACTIVITIES: All are hugely expensive. Husky ride (we did the 2 hr. version) was one of the best activities, we thought. Touristy, yes, and the dogs know exactly where to go, one sled following the next, but it's fast, it's fun, and it's very different. Dogs seem to be treated well, seem in good health, and don't appear overworked . The vendor they used for our ride (apparently there are several the hotel uses) stopped to take our pictures with our own cameras. You can switch from driver to passenger. Guide was very helpful, very friendly, answered all our questions at the end (you don't have time during)...Reindeer farm was a total of about 18-20k on a snowmobile (slow at first, high speed on the way back, fun). Not so much a working farm as a pen where a handful of reindeer are kept & fed between rides for tourists. You get a delicious pancake w/lingonberry jam at the "farm," and some Sami items are displayed, but no one speaks about Sami culture at all...Cross country skiing is right outside your cabin or igloo door. The network of trails is extensive in this area, ranging from beginner to expert trails. Equipment the hotel rents seems very good quality.The instructor was excellent, very methodical.

NOTE: Previous review is right: for the money, you'd expect maybe not exactly luxury above the Arctic Circle, but better service, food, attentiveness to guests needs, and organization at the lodge. That said, we're glad we went, we liked the accommodations a lot, and we had some interesting experiences. Plus, the hotel is filled with guests as adventurous as you are.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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schweiz
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 108 cities Reviews in 108 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

It is not easy to write a review about the Glass Igloo of Kakaslauttanen as we have so mixed feelings. I have read the review before and I do agree with many of them.

The Glass Igloo are a technical masterpiece, nice and always warm, glass never foggy even you have temperatures differences from 50 degress in-to outside. I dont want to imagine their electricity bill! Having the incredible luck to see 3.5 hours full of wonderful Auroras makes this experience truly unforgettable. However this should not be a part of the review as the Aurora are not "included" in the price and you need to be lucky to see them.

I understand the high price of the Igloos. Technically, its worth. Also the village is very nice and really lovely built with lots of nice details. But there it ends!

What dissapointed me and also the reason I would never go back was the following:

- lots of staff but all asian with bad english and noone really is informed about whats going on
- you are not treated as a guest who will pay a small fortune for the night. You are treated like a tourist, happy to be there with them
- there are no showers in the Igloos, you have to go to the main house. No problem with that, however the showers are open (6 total) and it feels more like camping with absolutely no privacy. 2 hairdryers only and not a single mirror (for women quite difficult)
- you pay for Coffe or Tee 2€!! Not even included in this high price. Served will it be in cheap plastic cups. Absolut No-go for this price range!
- Dinner is ok. But could be better as previously mentioned. Breakfast eggs were served in cheap plastic cups, orange juice was more water than anything else
- the Igloos itself was very very warm - 25 degrees without any possibility to adjust the heat yourself
- we paid to be using the whole park as an Attraction: however the whole park was closed, the Ice Church was closed so nothing to do at all

After all - the big lack of this Hotel is their Manager who shuffles every penny. Cheap staff, no service, rather save money than offer a nice cup, or a mirror extra. If I arrive at a expensive place like this calling itself "Santa Park" I want to see a nice Finnish Women in traditional clothe, welcoming me. It's the little things that can make a stay wonderfully unforgettable or badly memorizable.

Would I go back? - No
Would I recommend it? - No
Was it great? - Yes, but cause of the mother Nature above us. The Hotel itself did not make our stay truly unforgettable.

Room Tip: make sure you get the Igloos in the NEW part of the village!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

The igloo itself was delightful, though hotel itself was a major disappointment. This was the "splurge" part of my trip to Finland and it didn't live up to my expectations or the description of the facilities on the website. There are not four restaurants - as claimed - just one very mediocre one. After sampling lunch - no choice, just rather dire soup and supermarket bread - I took a taxi back to Saariselka (about 21-22 euro each way) for dinner (where there is a great choice of restaurants at every price level). The staff seem universally indifferent and the whole place seems chaotic. I stayed at three different hotels in Lapland and this one was by far and away of the poorest quality. As much as I enjoyed the igloo itself, I could not recommend this hotel - especially as I have yet to receive a response to my email to the hotel outlining my concerns.

Room Tip: If you really want the glass igloo experience, factor in a taxi back to Saariselka and bypass the ho...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hull
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

After reading many mixed reviews about the Igloo Village we are please to say that we had an excellent stay there recently. We are very well travelled and have stayed at many excellent Hotels over the years so we were a little unsure what to expect here. Well what we got was a lovely hot (some times too hot) log cabin with a king size bed, seating area, kitchenette, stone log burner, wet room with toilet, washbasin and sauna off. The cabins were rustic as you would expect but very clean and spacious our paperwork said a small log cabin for 2 but we had more than enough room. Our cabin was number 28 and just a short 5 minute walk from the main hotel. Later in the afternoons after returning from our trips we would light the sauna and then the log fire as the heating goes off whilst the sauna is in operation, it never gets cold though, and then spend half an our warming up in the sauna - fabulous! We spent one night in a glass igloo which was about a 10 minute walk away from the hotel. The glass igloo is a MUST, they have automated beds which are very comfortable and great for a seated position to look at the stars/northern lights. There is a private toilet and washbasin too and they are very warm indeed and a cute little hobbit doorway lol.

The food in the restaurant wouldn't suite anyone who liked a full english and burger and chips, but if like us you like good tasty food you will enjoy it. We had sweet and sour chicken and rice, pork fillet in a lovely sauce with veg & potatoes, fillet steak, sauce, veg & potatoes and fish in a white herby sauce with veg & potatoes. There was always a starter of various salads and soups also a dessert however as I have diabetes I just asked for cheese and crackers and this was available for me. If there was anything you didn't like the sound of they would always find an alternative if you asked.

Now to the excursions, we did the husky trip and snow mobiling. The husky's is an experience not to miss it was fabulous and the dogs worked hard but clearly loved it and they are extremely well cared for and loved. We had a female guide on the snow mobiling who definately liked to be in charge she certainly made sure no one got a speeding ticket lol! However this was fun also but it was minus 15 degrees on this day so it was really cold, if they tell you to use their gloves make sure you have some liner gloves with you as I found my hands to be very cold, should have stuck with my own gloves but you trust what they tell you as they have the experience, same with the socks make sure you have at least two pairs of woollen socks on.

The Northern Lights appeared on 3 nights out of 4 not exactly as seen on the TV but still great fabulous to see.

The reception area is small so don't go when you are short of time, the staff were always pleasant and helpful and if you are relaxed and pleasant you get the same back. I read someone said they had a no can do attitude, I think this was probably because they hotel is full booked all the time if you were asking to change accommodation they actually couldn't do this for you as there were no spare rooms to be had.

One final point I think I actually met Santa Claus, well the owner looked just like Santa Claus and he came to wave us off as we left and made a point of shaking hands with everyone as they left this is something you don't get very often these days how lovely.

Room Tip: Request a room near to reception.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

Aside from the sometimes questionable service and lack of a cool lounge and reception area, we had a wonderful time in Kakslauttanen!

The queen suite was spacious, warm, cosy, luxurious... and sitting in the jacuzzi outside at night, at -25C, watching the sky shimmer, was just magical. The glass igloo was brilliant, too, it exceeded my expectations in terms of comfort and space. I would definitely recommend both. We also saw the Turf Chamber, but I was very glad we hadn't booked to stay there, as it looked disappointingly small, claustrophobic, and bare. I would definitely not recommend that.

The food was great and the menu choices very good.

I loved it, our best trip yet!

Room Tip: Definitely go for the queen suite if budget allows, and a night in the glass igloo.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

We loved our recent stay at this hotel. We had a glass igloo which was quite spacious and cosy and then a cabin for a night. This was fantastic too and was spacious and had its own sauna. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the food good and plentiful. A bit of paradise in a winter wonderland.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coffs Harbour
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

Although we didn't see the Northern Lights, our 2 days in Kakslauttanen were worth the trip. This was because of the location and the accommodation - definitely not because of the service! We spent one night in a glass igloo & one night in a cabin. The igloo is amazing, heated to a comfortable temperature, hi-tech beds & a little toilet/sink room. Just dragging your luggage there on the sled is an experience. The cabin was also great. The sauna was terrific & having an open fire in the living/sleeping area was a real treat. Unfortunately the service at reception was abysmal. It is poorly designed so people waiting to check in are mixed in with people ordering food & buying souvenirs & all with only one cash register! Our igloo wasn't ready until hours after we arrived & nobody explained the lunch arrangements in the meantime (lunch is soup & bread only). On the second day we were changing from igloo to cabin & again had to wait several hours after checking out of igloo to get into our cabin. If we had known this would happen we could have arranged a full day excursion. Regardless of this, the Hotel is located in a magical place. The winter midday twilight was magical & almost made up for not seeing the Northern Lights.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

Address: Kiilopaantie | 9, Saariselka 99830, Finland (Formerly Kakslauttanen Hotel & Igloo Village)
Location: Finland > Lapland > Saariselka
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Saariselka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 41
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Kakslauttanen Hotel And Igloo Village
Kakslauttanen Hotel Igloo Village
Kakslauttanen Hotel Saariselka
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort Finland/Saariselka

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