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“Unforgettable experience”

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Lapland Hotel Luostotunturi
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Luosto
Certificate of Excellence
Cambridge, UK
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Unforgettable experience”
Reviewed December 30, 2012

We have just got back from "Christmas in Luosto" with Canterbury travel, staying in one of the log cabins with our five year old.
The whole Santa and his elves part of the experience is impossible to fault - it was truly magical to be pulled into the forest on a sleigh and be welcomed into Santa's home on Christmas day itself. We were hugely impressed by the enthusiasm and friendliness of all the elves, and the kids' entertainers at the Merry Elf in the evenings were excellent too.
The log cabin was warm and comfortable, and a 5 minute walk from the restaurant where we had our meals served. We loved the cosiness of having our own cabin, with its log fire and sauna. The only downside of being in a cabin was that it was a bit of a faff to get all kitted up to go out for meals, particularly breakfast - other families had brought breakfast foods with them, and since the log cabin is equipped with a kitchenette this could be a good option if you're just as happy with Weetabix as with eggs and bacon. Bring a travel kettle though as there is none in the cabin.
The food in the Kello log cabin restaurant is very basic, as were the lunches we were served whilst out on activities.However, the atmosphere is lovely, the service is good, and there is plenty to go round so we were well fed. There were usually chips and sausages etc for kids. The Christmas dinner was actually quite good.
Luosto itself is small and quaint, and the area is incredibly beautiful and uncommercialised. It was -24 degrees, and we were glad we had balaclavas under our warm hats and ski gloves with "magic gloves" underneath. Handwarmers (in our boots!) were useful too. The gear from Canterbury consisits of a snowsuit and snowboots which did the job fine.
Go on this holiday for Santa, the elves and the magic of it all. Don't go expecting much from the huskies or snowmobiles. The husky or reindeer sleigh rides each lasted a maximum of 5 minutes. However, that was probably enough for a 5 year old so we were happy with that. We were somewhat disappointed however with the snowmobiles. The kids got one chance to ride a mini snowmobile round whilst held on a rope, rather like being on a horse in a ring. The adults had very little opportunity to ride - due to a mixture of breakdowns and lack of helmets, my husband had one 2 minute ride and that was it. The activities consisted really of playing games in the snow with the elves - the highlight for us being "musical huskies" with Tricky Dicky, with the adults on hands and knees woofing in the snow. You had to be there.
The "search for santa" involves all the coaches circulating round the various activities at different times. This was well co-ordinated between them all in that we never met another coach party at any activity. However, it did mean that even our tour guide sometimes seemed to have no idea quite what the day's itinerary was going to look like as we set off. Twice we had lunch only 2 hours after breakfast.
Overall, this was a great experience and whilst some aspects could be improved, the really important bits are done brilliantly and I am sure we will remember this trip for a lifetime. I have given it 4 stars due to the slight issues mentioned - but my son would give it 6 stars. I am off now to put on my souvenir CD of the Elf Song....

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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8 Thank annie6724
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Salisbury
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Quite possibly the biggest rip off I've ever experienced. However, I would like to start off by stating that Finland and its people are both stunning and very friendly respectively. A very beautiful part of the world and well worth the visit, possibly utilising another provider.

Canterbury Travel market themselves as the leading provider of Lapland experiences. Other posters have quite rightly posted from the perspective of both a child and an adult. Both my children loved it. That said they both believe in Santa Claus and therefore can't be trusted!!!!

From an adults perspective, it was false advertising at best. Activities were billed as 45- 60 minute experiences; it should have stated that it was a 5 minute experience with 40 - 55 minutes stood in a field (albeit a snowy one) waiting your turn. Children's skidoos were meant to be available - only saw one my children literally managed to get 15 secs each before they were turfed off and trundled back onto the coach.
Catering is described as 'delicious'. This was obviously reviewed by an individual who has had an experience with caustic soda. I found the food in the resort to be palatable and no more. The food served outside of resort was only fit to be described as 'slop' and we resorted to providing our own packed lunch to ensure that our children could at least be presented with the option of recognising the food put in front of them.
The search for Santa also included events for the ultra adrenaline junkies in the form of tobogganing. A member of our coach party also managed to get a free ride in the back of a Finnish Ambulance and a tour of the local Hospital after fracturing his spine.

I could go on to describe that although quaint, the cabins were filthy, but I really can't be bothered-a bit like the management who couldn't be ar**d to handle the numerous complaints in the resort itself.

If you have a spare 6000 pounds (that you have saved for 7 years) to treat your children, please do yourself a favour and spend it on your children, rather than lining the pockets of Canterbury Travel.

Finland = stunning, truly stunning
Canterbury Travel = Dick Turpin in a snow suit!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
11 Thank George482
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2012

We recently travelled to Lapland to do the 'search for Santa' holiday with Canterbury travel. The five days were magnificent and we stayed at the Luostotonturi. For those used to five star business travel the basic facilities may come as something of a shock but the whole place is geared to functionality. He rooms are basic but warm, the pool great, sauna great and he gym well equipped (and under utilised). Don't go for the food but prepare ourself for the warmth of the welcome you will receive from the staff.

Room Tip: All the same !!!!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jason M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herts
Level Contributor
76 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2012 via mobile

We went to Lapland on the Magical Moments tour between 20 and 23 December staying in one of the log cabins. So here's my thoughts...

The administration prior to leaving from Canterbury is very good; it's a very expensive trip but undoubtedly one of the best. My negative comments below should in no way put anyone off booking.

On arrival we were efficiently ushered to a bus that would be ours for the duration. The main issue with the bus (and something that can (and should) have been addressed/ avoided) is that it was a free for all on seating every time we all got on the bus meaning some families were separated from each other. A ridiculous situation that was easily avoidable by asking people to stay in their original seats.

When we got to the resort we are taken to a tent to get snow suits and boots. Thanks to the staff in the tent this is all remarkably efficient and the suits and boots are of great quality. It reached minus 24 when we were there so they were desperately needed. I'd advise anyone going to buy both a good quality balaclava and good quality ski gloves; anything less will be painful!

The main problem on the first day was the process of getting into the log cabins. This process took 45 minutes of sitting on a bus with its doors open for 45 minutes in -17 degrees. Two elves were near the coach throwing snowballs at each other. It wouldn't be beyond the wit of man to have one of them provide some additional help.

The elves are fantastic overall however and special mention really must go to Speedy Sam who was super with all the children and was a great hit wherever he was - how he stayed outside for so long without freezing is anyone's guess! The big mistake was before we got to the resort the bus stopped to let Tricky Dicky on. He came on, sprayed the children with water and pretty much left a bus of crying children. A number of the children were still scared the next day of meeting him again - perhaps a more gentle introduction to the elves and Tricky Dicky would be wiser in future.

The log cabins are great - nice and warm and all with their own sledges. Beds are great, rooms are warm and the whole thing is fabulous for the kids.

With regard to the activities, way, way too much is outside. It doesnt seem to be appreciated that 4 and 5 year olds just can't cope with the vast majority of activities being outside all day. The first activity was the reindeer farm. Ridiculously cold and the one, yes one, kids snowmobile, served to do nothing but put icicles on the children. The reindeer ride was excellent though and everyone enjoyed it, albeit freezing cold. It was Speedy Sam who made the experience great for the kids and again I can't speak highly enough of him.

The buffet food was described in the brochure i think as "simple" but to be fair the dinner and lunches provided were very tasty and the service was excellent.

When we went to see Snowy Bowey (after the reindeers) already some children either stayed on the bus or went back early - it was just too much to be outside for a location that added very little to the overall experience.

We then arrived at the next location (huskies) we were told that there was a change of plan and we met Tricky Dicky in a field instead which appeared to be nothing more than a time filling exercise. Within 15 minutes of being there a third of the children had already returned to the bus, freezing or scared.

When we eventually got to the huskies it was a free for all as to who went first. Thankfully we were near the front, really enjoyed the husky ride, and managed to retreat to the fire to warm up. At that location we also met Mrs Clause, Nini the Elf and Wendy Wood. They were all excellent and thankfully our meetings were indoors. This made all the difference and all three deserve credit.

Early on the final day we were taken in the dark on snowmobiles to a mystery house - it turned out that this was Santas house and each family were taken in one by one; the snowmobile trip was excellent by the way. On entry, each child was met by Corporal Candy for a chat; he was absolutely excellent and a real credit. Upstairs we were taken to see Mrs Clause again (once again excellent) who opened up a magic door that led to Santa. The meeting with Santa was truly memorable and will be long remembered by kids and parents.

The rest of the day, being somewhat critical, was a bit of a rehash of activities already done. The location where children tried on snow shoes was a waste of time but the sledging at lunch on a huge hill was a great success. The final location was a husky ride and snowmobiling for the adults - this was a good way to finish.

The whole trip scrapes four stars only because of its magic for the kids and the performance of the elves; what dragged the experience down was our tour guide/ "Article Ranger" - for Canterbury Travels reference this was the guide on Bus A.

At best, she was enthusiastic singing the elf song and was always upbeat. At worst she i) ran a disorganised coach; ii) gave conflicting times for bus departures; iii) astonishingly asked if we could all do the last activity in our own clothes when it was minus 20; iv) left one family behind even after doing a 'head count'; v) we all know more about her allergies etc than really anyone had any interest in; vi) she had no idea about the logistics of the snow kit pick up on day 1; and vii) astonishingly came on the mic on the final day and asked if 'distracted' was a word. All in all quite astonishing. I just hope that the other guides are better and far more clued up. The best I can say about her is that she was enthusiastic, the worst is that she was not representative of the service others gave from Canterbury Travel.

The elves are an absolute credit however (including Tricky Dicky!). Snowey Bowey, Wendy Wood and Noisy Nod were excellent and Nini the Elf was very amusing; they were all superb and made the trip for the kids in their own way.

Overall it's a magical trip for the kids and I would recommend it. I just hope that the itinery in future mixes more indoor/ warmer activities with the outdoors particularly for the younger children.




Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
8 Thank Crowgen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2012

Booked through Canterbury travel, we stayed here as part of a 4 day 'magical interlude' tour and loved it. The tour guide was excellent; full of energy and provided lots of good advice making the whole experience very enjoyable. The activities were all well organised and the elves were great fun. They move around to different locations throughout the day so you do not get too cold in one place but you are never on the bus for too long in between.

Meeting Santa was the highlight and the experience was made to feel very, very real. Its Nothing like a shopping centre grotto and takes place in a secret location where you find 'Santa's house' in the woods. Families go in one at a time and go through the house chatting with the elves and then Mrs Clause before seeing the man himself. Our 4 yr old daughter had a magical time, loved the activities and the Santa experience is something that will keep her believing for sometime to come!

The hotel is modern with good facilities including a pool, sauna and gym. rooms were clean and a good size. Food was good, although the dinner options are a little limited. Hotel staff are very accommodating and friendly.

An expensive trip but well worth the unique experience it offers. I recommend it to anyone with children.

The brochure said that using the spa was extra but it is in fact included.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank HGriffin8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2012

Travelled as 3 generations of girls in our family - grandma, mummy and a very lively 4 year old! Previous 2 reviewers sum up the trip to a tee! Great work Canterbury travel yes the trip is expensive but worth every penny. Well organised, lovely staff and for us great memories! I will never forget my daughter Lottie's face when she saw Father Christmas had received HER letter and presented her with the present she had asked for! Back home have a very jealous hubby but will return as a family with our 2 year old son when he is older.
Only negative points pool was a little chilly but hey we didn't go there to swim! Food is basic but that is really the only bad side.
We stayed in a suite as wanted to be based in the hotel.
Brush up on your singing as you will earn the Search for Santa song and never forget it!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Lottiesmunmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2012 via mobile

We went on a 4 day magical interlude with Canterbury travel and it is the best holiday we have ever had. The tour guides made the whole thing so enjoyable. They were well organised and always made sure the children were occupied and having fun. We experienced husky rides, reindeer sleigh rides and toboggan rides. We met elves and special elves who were so enthusiastic and amazing with the children. Meeting Santa was again organised well organised and the children were in complete awe. They spent about 20 mins in the house and had time to have a good chat with Santa! We stayed in a 2 bed cabin which was just how you imagine. It was warm and cosy with sauna and log fire. Also had drying cupboard for wet clothes. Cabin was 5 mins from hotel in beautiful location. We pulked children to breakfast each morning on sleighs provided! Wouldn't recommend 2 storey cabin for very small children as ladders were used as stairs! There was a safety gate at top but was a bit rickety. Food was basic but tasty. Hotel staff couldn't have done more to make you feel welcome. It was holiday of lifetime and was made very special by all the staff of Canterbury travel and luostotunturi.

  • Stayed December 2012
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Helpful?
6 Thank Kimberly27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lapland Hotel Luostotunturi

Property: Lapland Hotel Luostotunturi
Address: Luostontie 1, Luosto 99555, Finland
Location: Finland > Lapland > Luosto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Luosto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Lapland Hotel Luostotunturi 3*
Number of rooms: 116
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Also Known As:
Hotelli Luostotunturi Luosto
Hotelli Luostotunturi Hotel Luosto

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