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“What an experience”
Review of Snow Village

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Snow Village
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 8, 2014

This was a special weekend break for our special birthdays - and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

We had a log cabin which was lovely It was very clean and had everything you could think off, including TV in English and a log fire, the description didn't give it justice at all - it even had its own sauna. Only down side was it was a good 15 mins walk from the main site - which was the only down side of the weekend (many of the cabins were close by, might have been down to who we had booked it with).

We did the Husky Safari which was fantastic (2 hrs, with an hr each Mushing the dogs) and a stop in a log hut with a beautiful fire eating fresh cooked sausages.

This followed later in the day with a Reindeer Safari, this was enjoyable but the only time I felt the cold (about an hr and half with your own Reindeer) followed with cooking your own sausages in an open fire in a Wig Wam and fresh cooked pancakes.

We also did the Snowmobile Safari - which was just fantastic - 2 hrs (1 hr each) reaching about 60 kph over frozen lakes and through snow covered pine forests was just fantastic. I would have loved to do the Safari which included fishing on a frozen lake, but this is only possible in the week.

That night was the Ice Hotel night (we chose for this to be our last night, otherwise, its the night you arrive), we had our dinner in the Ice Restaurant, the food was fantastic, unfortunately ate rather quickly due to a cold bottom !!! but we did manage pudding !

Then it was a night in the Ice Hotel - I can only describe this as camping in a tent on a very very cold night (kind off) it was an experience (possibly one you wouldn't repeat) but certainly worth doing. We both slept well and enjoyed the experience.

The hotel itself is very worth visiting, it is amazing to know how it was made and constructed and then melts each year.

The staff were totally fantastic and would do anything for you.
The food was excellent and the prices weren't that bad really - yes more expensive than the UK, but not ridiculous.
The temperature whilst we where there was -20, going up to -5 (classed as warm!!) possibly -30 downwards might have been tough to do.

We unfortunately didn't see the lights, but to be honest we weren't that disappointed as the experience was amazing anyway.

We flew from Manchester and only just made the connection at Helsinki (by 5 mins) & unfortunately our luggage didn't make it for 24 hrs - so all those specially brought thermals didn't get much use - the staff were fantastic in lending us thermal gear - apparently it happens often, so take as much as you can in your hand luggage. We only just made the connections on the return trip too !

I would love to do it again, and further explore Finland - maybe next time with the kids (we didn't tell them we were in Santa Land!) I don't fully understand any negative feedback regarding visiting Santa - but then going that far for one day is a tad extravagant - I would recommend a little longer.

PS I am a contact lenses wearer and I had no problems at all in wearing them in any of climates whilst there (I didn't sleep in them in the Ice Hotel)

Room Tip: If possible get a cabin close to the main facilities
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 - 80 of 135 reviews

Reviewed January 18, 2014

After reading numerous reviews about the Snow Hotel I was very wary about spending the night - almost to the point of cancelling altogether! I'm so glad we went. We spent 1 night at the Snow Hotel in January 2014 as part of an Inghams package. The 2hr transfer by snow mobile was a bit much. Considering the temperature was -23C, I would have preferred to have been given an option of snow mobile or road transport - that is an Inghams issue and nothing to do with the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted very warmly by the staff and given a short but comprehensive tour of the hotel. We had been allocated 2 rooms (2A,2C) but they offered the option of all staying in the same suite, which we accepted. The suites are all individually designed and much more impressive than the plain rooms.
We had a meal included in the Ice restaurant which was very nice. There were plenty of options on the menu to choose from and drinks were reasonably priced, given the remote location.
You can't go to your suite/room until 10pm as there may were still tours going on and the doors are just flimsy curtains - not much privacy if you decide to turn in early! The sleeping bags, fleeces and pillows provided were clean and very warm. The room temperature stays between -2C and -5C. We all slept better than expected and were very surprised to be still asleep at 8:30 when we were woken with our glass of warm berry juice.
The bright lights in the rooms were a bit of a distraction during the night, but you can angle them away from your eyes.
We found the 'warm room' a bit chaotic when getting ready for the night. It wasn't busy the night we were there, but only 1 toilet for men and 1 for women meant a bit of a wait until everybody was ready.
Overall, we were very impressed with the Snow Hotel. The staff were very helpful and polite. I would highly recommend a night's stay if you get the opportunity.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank Ails70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Our family of 4 booked the New Year's Eve package with another family. We booked a suite each. We enjoyed the buffet dinner. The stay is expensive (specially if you drink alcohol) but we thought it worthwhile for a once in a lifetime experience. We did a tour, danced and drank in the ice bar, played on the slide, had our fortunes read and watched midnight fireworks.

The rooms and sculptures are beautiful. Most of us slept very well while some were a bit cold. But the point is the adventure of sleeping in an ice cave so sleep is not really the point anyway and it certainly was an adventure. The staff were great and we had a very memorable stay.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank meghc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

We did the Thomson day trip to Kattiia from Gatwick on 21 Dec 2013.

The question we are asked most is "Was it worth it?" And we have to give two replies:-

Answer 1: For the Magic of meeting Santa, deep in the woods in Lapland It was worth every penny.

Answer 2: For value for the money spent, No..

This leads to the other question... "Would we do it again?" and the answer to that is YES!! Although having taken our eight year old to see Santa, I doubt we will actually return again.

So what do you get for all that ££££ spent?

The outbound (3 hours for us) flight:
Everyone gets a really good hot breakfast
The children all get an activity pack that includes a Santa hat crayons and colouring tasks.
In flight colouring competition
In flight entertainment is the whole flight singing Christmas jingles, with some children on the intercoms led by the flight crews.

Airport:
Kittilia is a small airport
outside the airport building there is a big building 'maga-shed' where Thomson provide suitable clothes for all to wear.
Changing into clothes takes a good 30 to 45 minutes.
TIP - Make sure you get clothes that fit, after leaving the shed it is too late..

Coach
The 40 minute coach ride is uneventful on roads that are covered in snow.
Scenery is fantastic through the many many forests of snow clad pine/fir Christmas trees
On the coach we were given a piece of paper that had a map of the activities (below) but most importantly it had our meal time and our time to visit Santa.

The Ice (snow) hotel has 6 activities that you get to partake in.

1. Husky dog ride being pulled on a sleigh through the woods - Lasts about 5 minutes... Fantastic 5 out of 5

2. Reindeer Sled ride through the woods also takes about 5 minutes but is much slower than the dogs. 4 out of 5

3. Children's 'SkiDoo' bikes. Very mall track with small powered skidoos for the kids. 5 out of 5

4. Small snow slide..... It is a slide! 2 out of 5

5. Adult Skidoo bikes. Small children cannot ride these, but adults can.. 5 out of 5

6. Inside the Ice hotel is a slide made of Ice for the kids. 4 out of 5

Then of course you can go into the Ice hotel, it is fantastic to look at from both inside and outside. A good 30 minutes was spent looking around the Ice hotel.

Next to the Ice hotel is the restaurant, with an open fire. Here is where you eat your meal(s) at the prescribed time given on the coach. Food was fantastic and lots of hot chocolate too..

The most impressive part of the trip is the trip deep into the woods to visit Santa. At the prescribed time you get on your sled, that is pulled by an adult SkiDoo for a good 5 or six minutes into the forest.

When the Skidoo stops you are greeted by an Elf who takes you to an open fire where lashings of hot berry juice and gingerbread are being handed out... Children play in the snow and get warm by the open fire until they get to go into Santa's log cabin.

Inside the cabin..... yup, you can guess this bit :-)

Back on the skidoo to that activities after another berry juice and warm by the fire.

At the end of the day the coaches take you back to the airport, where you re visit the Mega-Shed leaving the winter clothes behind and cross back to the airport for th flight home.

Homeward Flight.
The flight home is started by some sales of Alcohol for the adults (very welcome) and followed by another good hot meal.
After this they dim the lights and everyone snoozes back to UK (less the crew of course).

So that is the day.


Hope that all helps..

Say hi to Santa from us... :-)

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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105  Thank ChannandGemma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2013 via mobile

just checked into this Snow hotel .. glad that I have make reservation for a suit .. it is very nice and beautiful . Staff are very helpful and informative . It is a good experience. Food wise is nothing to shout about .. not really nice

  • Stayed: December 2013
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Thank RobosapiensSo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2013

We went with thomsons on the day trip (there is also a 4 day option). Everything was perfect... Especially the aircrew which made the journey just incredible for our 2 children (aged 4 and 6). They provide all of the exterior clothing you require (its a 2 min walk from the arrivals) ... But please bring plenty of layers to go underneath the exterior clothing they provide because minus 25 degrees in a climate I suspect that few of us have experienced is breathtaking (you nose and hair freezes!) BUT You will not get cold other than your feet.
The husky ride was fab, the reindeer ride was what you'd expect (both of these only take a minute or so and this is long enough given the temperature), the snowmobiles are great even our 4 year old managed to get round the snow track, the adult snowmobiles are awesome (600cc!!!) but at 40mph this is minus 70degrees windchill so 15 mins is long enough... But above all else the snow hotel is amazing ... The ice bar where you drink from ice glasses sat on reindeer skin lined ice benches on ice tables was fab (the vodka was moderately reasonably priced and it was the only thing we bought... You will not need money for tips), the ice rooms and carvings were magnificent, the provided lunch was perfect and definitely needed to warm up before seeing Santa.
And so on to the big man... The team made our visit very special... The was no queuing, we sat around the camp fire drinking and eating the provided goods until it was our turn to visit his house. The kids both received a nicely wrapped large present (which had a cuddly toy in it) and had plenty of time with Santa.

There is on,y about 4 hours of day light but the venue is well lit and this made the experience even more magical.

So, in summary its a very long way to go for about 4.5 hours in the article circle of Lapland, Finland...But given the temperature and events this is just long enough. The children and adults will be exhausted after a VERY long day but this really is a once in a lifetime event... So if you can afford do it now whilst your kids are still young enough... Alternatively take the grandchildren - so we will be going again in about 25 years ;o)

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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12  Thank Glyn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2013

We flew from Glasgow for the Search for Santa daytrip with Thomson. It was a great day and although we didn't have any kids with us (my girlfriend is a big kid!) we still loved it! Flight was about three hours each way (slightly longer on the way back) - breakfast on the way there, dinner on the way back - both good. When we got there, we picked up our cold weather gear at a warehouse at the airport - snowsuit, boots, gloves, hat, scarf. Would still recommend wrapping up warm - we had thermals and a couple of other layers on and were fine - wouldn't have liked to have had too much less. There was a storage area at the airport to leave bags / shoes etc in (but not valuables).

Then it was onto a coach for a 30 minute journey to the Snow Village. The only things scheduled are lunch and visiting Santa - the rest of it you do when you please. Our lunch time was straight away so we got that out of the road then visited Santa (on a sledge pulled by snowmobile). It's a nice area set away from the rest of the village with a campfire outside to sit by while you wait.

After visiting the man himself, we went back to the village to enjoy the other items - snow mobile trip, Lappish ceremony, reindeer ride, husky ride, looking around the hotel and ice chapel, playing in the snow (which was very deep!) and finishing with a drink in the ice bar (down to the shot glass made of ice). After that, it was back onto the bus for the long journey home. We had about four hours in the resort in total (including for lunch) out of a day of about 15 hours. It would have been nice to have a little extra time but we covered everything so I was happy with that.

Beautiful landscape in the area, ideal for photos, but the light fades fast and it was fairly dark for most of our trip (although no problem at all getting around). It wasn't too busy at the resort either, which was good - queues were small and we weren't waiting for any length of time.

My only small gripe is that I booked in the January for travel in December - the price had gone down quite a bit by summer but I wasn't able to take advantage of that reduction. If you are able, maybe hold off until summer to book and you might get a better deal!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank David-Scotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Snow Village

Address: Yllaesjaerventie 158 | Lainiotie, Kittila 95980, Finland
Location: Finland > Lapland > Kittila
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Kittila
Price Range: $302 - $451 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Snow Village 3*
Number of rooms: 25
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