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“very nice place to stay in the center of town, with some caveats”
Review of Arctic City Hotel

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Arctic City Hotel
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Rovaniemi
Reviewed February 2, 2014

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!

Room Tip: if you've got the money to spend, splurge on a suite...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MichaelInSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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154 - 160 of 627 reviews

Reviewed January 30, 2014

This is a great medium sized hotel. The rooms are small, but hey, you wont be spending lots of time in them. Bathrooms are small but the shower was great. The breakfast is great with lots of local food. The staff were most helpful throughout my stay. The restaurant at this hotel is great. We dined here one evening as a group of 12. The food was superb.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Bones6t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2014

We dropped our luggage off at the hotel early in the morning and walked (about 5 min) to the pick up point for the Sampo Ice breaker (booked it through Kemi Tourism Ltd) at 'Aallonkatu' bus stop (see map.Also the bus stop for the NO. 8 bus for Santa Claus Village and Santa Park. Don't get on that bus!), located directly outside Lapland Safari Group. The coach (for tourist with logo: Kemi) took us to Kemi which was about one and half hour. We also took the same coach on our turn journey to Rovaniemi ( Check with the driver that he will stop at Rovaniemi ! Could have easily got on the wrong coach to Kemi! ) and the driver dropped us off at the same bus station ( please double check with operator) in Rovaniemi.

Back in the hotel, the lovely staff checked us in; collected the luggage and headed to our room. The suite was small but cosy and beds were comfortable too. We had a great night sleep.
The following morning after the early morning breakfast, which was delicious and great selections in a hall which was beautiful decorated with Christmas decoration..., we took the 8:15 shuttle bus (stopped at the front entrance of the hotel, info which we got from reception. Great, coz it was freezing cold and we didn't have to drag our luggage around!) to the Rovaniemi Airport for our 9:15 am flight. The driver except payment via credit card, great by the end of my journey I ran out of Euro!

Everything went smoothly and we really enjoyed our stay!

Room Tip: High floor
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Lipsytravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

We were in Rovaniemi with a 7 hour wait for a train. All the luggage lockers at the station were full, so we headed into Rovaniemi and the City Hotel. The staff here very kindly agreed to let us leave our enormous bags in their luggage room so we could go and explore, which was very kind of them. We came back later and had some lovely food in the Bull Bar and Grill. So although we didn't stay at this hotel I have to say a big thank you to the staff for helping us out and for the delicious food!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Alisoniponi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

The rooms are incredibly tiny - think of a small room and then halve the size! You couldn't walk straight around the bed without hitting the desk or the TV on the wall. The bathroom is even smaller - you can go to the loo, shower and brush your teeth in the sink all at the same time.
That is the con.

The are many more pros than cons! We spent so much time on various tours that we only slept and showered in the room and it was sufficient for that purpose - the bed was comfy and the bathroom was warm. Once you are in the bed, you don't really need much more room space!

The breakfast was amazing - I think my 3-year-old ate her weight in watermelon and my 7-year-old couldn't get enough of the nutella pancakes. In a land that serves mainly fish (which the kids don't eat), this was the one meal they enjoyed - and, as my eldest gasped, it's for free (well, sort of).

The staff were all amazing. I have never seen such efficiency - big smiles, happy to help out and always ready with a suggestion. I wanted to extend my stay by one night - not only did they accommodate me, but they allowed us to stay in the same room. When I needed a taxi, they called for one and it arrived with minutes. They even offered little sleds for the kids that we could use for taking them for rides.

The location is also terrific - across the road from a huge Christmas tree, really quaint little cottages selling home industry items, restaurants and shops and... the ice slide. My daughters spent hours on that ice slide and it was declared the best part of the trip (other than Santa, of course).

All in all, I would stay at the City Hotel again despite the size of the room. As the saying goes - it's not the size that counts - and the City Hotel makes up for the size with great quality service.

Thank you so much to all the staff who made our stay especially amazing, especially thanks to Alexi who is so professional and efficient!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Atheracm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014

We stayed one night at the City Hotel and we found it to be a great hotel. Friendly staff, great room and comfy bed. The location is fantastic as it across the road from the main shopping mall and within walking distance to most city sites.
The downstairs bar is also great for a cheap meal and drink after your Article adventures!
Breakfast buffet has all the normal options for a hearty breakfast but be warned, food starts to run out approaching the end of service and this is normally the busiest time.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank S T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2013

Stayed here three nights in December. Excellent breakfast buffet. Good food in restaurant at night but pricey. Free internet is unreliable - slow and frequent interruptions to connection. Faster internet is available for 5 euros per 24 hours but did not try it.
Staff friendly and helpful throughout hotel and stay.

Room Tip: Second floor rooms seemed to be a good size and quiet.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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Thank moraybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arctic City Hotel

Address: Pekankatu 9, Rovaniemi 96200, Finland (Formerly Top City Hotel Rovaniemi)
Location: Finland > Lapland > Rovaniemi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Rovaniemi
Price Range: $122 - $561 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Arctic City Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 88
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 
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Also Known As:
Top City Rovaniemi
Rovaniemi Top City Hotel
Arctic City Hotel Rovaniemi, Finland - Lapland

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