So we recently finished up a four night stay at Rovaniemi’s City Hotel and I have a few impressions to pass along to other travelers considering visiting the area.
Summed up, I think City Hotel is definitely worthwhile, although I wasn't happy with the final price I (sort-of on-purpose) overpaid. The reason I chose City Hotel was because the pictures and services they offered impressed me the most (when I compared them to the other possibilities listed here on TripAdvisor), plus City Hotel is in the middle of the town, central to pretty much anywhere you'd want to go, and lastly I didn't think it would be smart to stay far out of town at the (grossly commercial & somewhat isolated) Santa Claus Village.
When booking the place, I got lured by the marketing on the website and splurged on a “VIP” package, which put us into the Junior Suite and provided a few nice extras, including a bottle of welcome champagne & no-hassle airport transfers included.
The first thing I noticed upon getting up to our floor was that the regular rooms (at least the ones I saw on the third floor) were very attractively renovated and modern looking, but wow were they comically small. The “Junior Suite” we stayed in appeared to be two rooms that were turned into one. Instead of one bathroom, the entryway to what would have been the second standard room has been replaced with a full shower stall and a private sauna room. So that feature was nice! The “king size” bed was actually a futon frame with two mattresses side by side. If one is a vigorous (tossing & turning) sleeper, there’s a decent chance the space between the two mattresses might get a little wider before waking up in the morning. There was a plush sofa & chair & work table in the first room and a chaise chair at the end of the bed in the second room, a little too close to the flat panel TV or otherwise it would have been more practical beyond just holding our day’s clothes. The smallish windows had really effective black out curtains (not super important in wintertime when there’s only 4 hours of light, but definitely much more useful in the summertime), and there were small doors that could open up small slots next to the window to let in fresh air.
About the bathroom areas, the W.C. was really beautifully bright and clean, as was the separate shower room. We did have some odor issues with the WC which I’ll talk about in a moment. There were flat panel TV’s in each of the suite’s rooms, but I didn’t have a chance to turn them on to see if any International channels were there. We were too busy catching up with our sleep or doing outdoor excursions (and the concierge located on the first floor can absolutely help with all kinds of arrangements, if you haven’t already set things up ahead of your arrival).
The staff was exceedingly friendly and helpful, and I had quite a lot of interaction with them both prior to my arrival (where I dealt almost exclusively with the sales supervisor, Minna) and during my stay. Urgent business back at home came up during my visit here and the front desk people graciously assisted me in printing out forms and scanning them in and e-mailing them back to me.
Breakfast buffet every morning in the Monte Rosa restaurant was very diverse, and we did a couple dinners in the Monte Rosa restaurant in the evening (expect to pay about €50 for dinner for two). Because it wasn't super obvious from the ground floor lobby area, I never got around to trying the the cafe in the basement.
There's laundry service at this hotel, but it's off-site (i.e. your laundry leaves the building and comes back the next morning). The service only operates during business days (Monday through Friday) and not during weekends or National holidays.
"Premium" Internet was included, and I didn't have any trouble connecting to the outside world or doing VoIP (voice) calls back to family at home.
Here were some specific negatives I remember about the room itself:
The suite's private sauna room has some nifty controls next to its entry, but there were no detailed instructions (English or Finnish) specifying how to actually properly use the thing for novice sauna users like me. We did both a dry sauna experience and then we poured some water onto the heated rocks in the sauna and immediately got a steam room experience.
The radiators weren’t super powerful, even when the dials were set to “3” (which appeared to be their highest settings), but the towel warmers in the bathroom and shower room of the suite were working really well.
The small pillows weren’t so impressive, and the towels in the bathroom were even worse (small and not very fluffy).
I tried calling reception a couple times (“dial 9” from your room phone) and nobody ever picked up.
And for the second half of my stay here, we had to keep the w.c. room closed because there were intensely foul septic-type odors coming out of the bathroom (perhaps from the drain?). I was hoping housekeeping would have found and gotten it fixed up quickly, but the smells persisted up until when we checked out, when the front desk told me that they were aware of some issue with some "filter" or some technical jargon. But it was quite of a bummer to have to tolerate that.
Was the VIP package worth it? I vaguely remember the reason I chose it was because the package price was pretty close -- possibly even a tiny bit less -- than the regular price of the Junior Suite, including the nifty extras (plus a "welcome!" box of Finnish Fazer chocolates and a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket), but down at the front desk I got a quick peek at a list of guests staying at the hotel during our stay and I was shocked to see that our rate was between two & three times what every other guest in the hotel was paying. In total, we paid €1246 for four nights (or €310 per night). Then again, as I type this review and think about the good memories I had of the place and our visit (and even despite the horrid w.c. fragrances), I'm actually glad I stayed in the junior suites when I think about the relatively small size of the regular rooms I saw. I hope I get to come back!
If my notes here help you out, please let me know (and motivate me for writing other detailed reviews) by voting "helpful" below. Thanks for reading and enjoy your visit!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An international hotel set right in the very centre of town next to shopping areas. Exceptional comfort and personal service create a cosy entirety for business or pleasure. The hotel has a fantastic location with warm and personal décor and delicious cuisine.The numerous sights and destinations within easy reach provide you with an opportunity to escape everyday routines. The excellent location of the capital of Lapland provides a perfect departure point for your adventures. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Top City Rovaniemi
- Rovaniemi Top City Hotel
- Arctic City Hotel Rovaniemi, Finland - Lapland