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Hotel Merihovi
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Kemi
Reviewed June 9, 2006

We stayed at the Merihovi for a week around our wedding at the Snowcastle in Feb 2006. We chose the Merihovi after reading other reviews on TripAdvisor, but we still weren't really prepared for what we found!

First impressions were not great. The decor gave the impression it hadn't been updated since the 1950s. Our room was down a very long, dark corridor that gave a very hostel-like feeling, and then we couldn't open the door to our room because there was a problem with the lock. We wondered what we had done. Then the door to our room opened, and everything became clear.

The Merihovi is a 1950s theme hotel. Rather than not having been updated, it has been well maintained whilst keeping its character. The hotel has a charm that grows daily as new features become noticed. It is clean, comfortable and homely. If you're looking for chic 5star luxury this will not be the hotel for you. But what it does offer is actually far more sophisticated- a spiritually as well as physically relaxing environment where everything that you are likely to need is catered for without the pretension or over-sold nature of so many 'modern' hotels.

Our room was a suite with its own sauna- a sauna with a view over the snow-covered streets and an external thermometer reading -17Cdegrees. Not an experience offered everywhere! Clean and spacious with homely comfort, we could have lived there for a good deal longer than a week!

But the single best thing about the Merihovi has to be the food. Both the restaurant and bar meals are of exceptional quality and value. There is a delightful under-selling of most of the dishes- something simply described as 'warm chicken salad' was a hearty meal with a huge amount of delicious seasoned chicken sitting on top of a perfect heap of salad, vegetables, vegetable crisps, croutons, and dressing. In fact, I read back my description and even despite my efforts it still undersells the dish. There are a great deal of traditional Finnish ingredients used- including local fish and meat, but assembled with a sensitive creativity and attention to detail that is rarely achieved. The breakfast buffet isn't bad either!

Our taxi driver from the airport was amused at the thought of us staying in Kemi for a week. He suggested that a town so small (and it is small) couldn't possibly be of interest for so long. OK, we were getting married to occupy one day and had preparations to make for the couple of days before, but we still left at the end of the week feeling there was more to do. The Snowcastle itself deserves more than one visit, as its character changes completely at different times of day and in different weather conditions- but I honestly couldn't tell you which combination is my favourite as they are all spectacular. No photograph can do it justice. As a wedding venue I doubt you could surpass the romance, and a meal in the snow restaurant might be a bit eccentric, but compromises not one bit on the quality of the food or service.

Walking on the frozen Baltic sea or the local park buried under the snow might not be much of an attraction to the locals, but to silly tourists like us it occupied many happy hours. The view from the café at the top of the Town Hall is worth the vertigo- time it with a plane arriving at the airport if you can! Art is given a high status in Kemi, with enough good quality installations to surely be worthy of a guide map around them all, but maybe it's more fun finding them by yourself! A couple of small museums are worthy of at least a brief visit, and the range of good quality restaurants and cafés is impressive for such a small place.

The Merihovi is also a great base from which to explore the artic experience. We went husky dog-sledging through stunning scenery, snowmobiling on the frozen sea and travelled on the Artic Icebreaker Sampo. The Sampo might not be the cheapest excursion, but as the only tourist icebreaker ship anywhere in the world (or so it claims) I don't think it's actually overpriced. With an excellent meal and the (hopefully not) once in a lifetime experience of ice-swimming thrown in, as well as a good quality tour and chance to chat with the captain on the bridge, I think it was very good value. We linked the snowmobiling with our Sampo cruise, which includes the quite unnerving experience of parking the snowmobile on the ice and standing there as the Sampo cruises with all its icebreaking power towards you! This link certainly helped make the most of the day (and saved a bit of money), but if I ever get the chance to go again, I think I'd welcome the chance to have the full Sampo cruise separately as the three hours goes very quickly indeed.

So I've drifted a bit from the Merihovi, but in a sense I haven't. With it being such a small place, the businesses of Kemi all seem to work together and the friendliness of the place almost feels like it's one place. And as everyone returning from the Arctic ever says- it's not as cold as you think (as long as you go properly prepared)!

  • Stayed: February 2006
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16  Thank Jinglehopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 - 64 of 91 reviews

Reviewed April 12, 2005

Full recommendation to this hotel! I only stayed for one night but two full days (Overnight trains to and from Helsinki!) This really was a lovely hotel, homely room, warm water, amazing views cosy bar, but best of all the staff were very very helpful. They went out of thier way to make my experience the best it could be. Thank you to them! I cannot fault this place in anyway!

  • Stayed: April 2005
    • Value
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8  Thank smileme2you
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Poole, Dorset
110
Reviewed February 28, 2005

We have just returned from Kemi, following our wedding on the 14th February in the Snow Castle. We stayed one night in the Snow Castle and 6 nights in Hotel Merihovi. The food was absolutely out of this world ( 5 star Cuisine) our stay was made all the better by Sami the Bar Manager serving us whoose sense of humour and kindness is spectacular and his English is better than most of the British! The Brealfasts in the Hotel were very memeorable with just about everything you coulsd think of from Smoked salmon, cheeses hams and salami's to croisants etc
We had a suite with a Sauna which was really great and definately added to the holiday.
This is an experience that everyone has to do, if you want 5 star treatment and hotels you will find a few things lacking but the food and a couple of the staff make up for it.

Wendy Blow and Neil Bayley

10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2005

Hotel Merihovi has an old fashioned charm and the staff offer their guests personalized service. The rooms are good size, clean and functional. I have stayed in Hotel Merihovi 4 times now since 2003. My last visit was in April 2004 and I will be visiting again in April this year. Furthermore, I have booked three of my colleagues there as well. Being relatively small the staff recognize you and make you feel part of the family. Hotel Merihovi is quiet, but then so is Kemi. For the purpose of short visit or business trip to Kemi, this hotel is ideal and in my view better than more impersonal Cumulus.

6  Thank mariaV7288FS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Waterford, Wisconsin
19
Reviewed August 22, 2003

If you enjoy an unusual experience where few tourists would wander, try the Arctic wasteland experience in Lapland Finland. A great place to eat, to shop, and to wander. I visited there in 2002 and returned again with my 3 teenagers in 2003. Ther Euro was not exchanging for the highest amount so the trip was expensive. I will go again but this time I'll see the December land of the midnight sun thing. In April we had little night time. I'd like to experience the No daylight thing in December. The weather has changed considerably I'm told so it isn't as harsh as a person would imagine. I would LOVE to have a job there. Any one reading know how I can find employment in the ARCTIC. I am a scientist of sorts. I'm employed in the healthfield.

9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: Vi valde ett lågbudgetrum som nog egentligen var ett enkelrum då ingen sängbelysning fanns på den en...
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  • Stayed: July 2017, traveled as a couple
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Thank Karl M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: business -huone tai sviitti
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  • Stayed: July 2016, traveled on business
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Thank Arto M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Merihovi

Address: Keskuspuistokatu 6-8, Kemi 94100, Finland
Location: Finland > Lapland > Kemi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Kemi
Price Range: $120 - $149 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Merihovi 4*
Number of rooms: 69
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Also Known As:
Merihovi Hotel Kemi

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