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“Lovely people, fantastic location but perhaps too big too soon”

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Nellim Wilderness Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Nellim
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
30 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Lovely people, fantastic location but perhaps too big too soon”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2012

Stayed for 4 nights. Room small but functional. Meals okay - not great for vegetarians. Staff very helpful. Northern lights amazing. Don't expect 5 star hotel servIce, accommodation and a clear itinerary when you check in. This is a lodge run by nice people in the middle of nowhere and the scenery is beautiful.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AJIG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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474 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (134)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2012

Our group of 6 have just returned from a really superb week at the Wilderness Hotel in Nellim. Having avidly read the other reports before we left, I can confirm that they are all very accurate and tell it like it is. We took all the advice offered from booking direct with the hotel to the packing list and we are grateful to all the other contributors for this helpful info. Armed with our good selection of duty free's on the way out, the only addition to our bill were the mixers (there is NO supermarket or shop of any kind for miles), nothing else to pay whatsoever so dont bother to take too many Euros. The hotel offers 3 excellent meals per day and we were amazed by the variety given their limited resources. Reindeer meat was served a couple of evenings and lunch times and other evenings included chicken, pork and salmon and always with good vegetarian choices. You have a set menu with a buffet style soup and salad bar with the main course served to you. We originally booked 3 rooms in the hotel but were subsequently offered a cottage by the lake because there were 6 in our party. We jumped at the chance as it gave us more room and a lovely living room with views over the beautiful frozen lake. It was a 15 minute walk up to the hotel but we could have arranged a pick up by mini bus as often as we liked and at whatever time we wanted. We used it a few times but who would want to miss out on such a beautiful walk! All of the staff we fantastic - you meet a different guide for each activity you are doing - and the young owners, Joukko and Mari are always on hand to help make your stay very special. I would particularly like to thank Lotta who took us out a couple of days and shared our sense of humour, and Matte who is great at sorting out your camera settings for aurora shots. Which brings me on nicely to the reason most of us go to Nellim - the Northern Lights. We arrived at about 20.30 on our first evening and sat down to dinner straight away, No sooner we'd had the starter when the cry went out that the aurora had kicked off. We watched a fabulous display right over the hotel. What a start to our holiday. The next night we walked out of our cabin onto the lake wrapped up in plenty of thermal underlayers and the thermal suits provided in anticipation of another show. Sure enough, come 21.30 another fantastic show began and lasted a couple of hours. This was pretty much the pattern for every night and we clocked up 7 out of 7 nights of awesome lights. We were so lucky. Nellim really is a beautiful place and very special if you want to experience the real wilderness away from mass tourism. I do hope we will return one day. Thank you Joukko for your excellent correspondence with our online booking.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank jess22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2012

My husband and I got married at Nellim Wilderness Hotel in March and had the most wonderful time there. We travelled as a group of 7 and stayed at the hotel for 4 nights. My husband and I stayed in a log cabin, and the rest of the party stayed in the apartments. The log cabin was small as expected but very comfortable and clean, with a kitchen area and sauna. There was a log fire which we didn’t use as the cabin was lovely and warm (and the temperature outside wasn’t overly cold, we probably would have used it if we had stayed in the colder winter months). The cabin was a short walk from the main hotel building, but far enough away to feel a little more remote, especially as it was surrounded by trees. The apartments varied - one couple in our group had an apartment in the older block which looked more worn and dated, but they had a wonderful view of the lake and sky and could watch the Northern lights through the window at night!
The food was very tasty and plentiful. There was usually a starter of soup, breads and salad to help yourself to, and the main courses were hearty and flavoursome. Desert was berry based. The restaurant was very cosy and comfortable, and the décor really set the scene for the location (reindeer antler lights, a wolf skin on the wall etc).
The activities were great fun. We did snowmobiling and snowshoeing while there. We arrived a day late due to a flight delay and missed the first activity of snowshoeing, but the staff were very accommodating and allowed us to do it on another day instead. The activities were well organised and the guides very knowledgeable. My favourite was the snowshoeing (although hard work) as we got close to nature – the guides had to build a fire in the forest to cook our lunch on, for which we had to find fire wood as a group, and we got to see some reindeers herds in the forest too. The only complaint I would have about the activities is that the guide at the back of the group on the snowmobiling trip left before the end of the activity meaning there was only one guide at the front, which was a problem when one of the group had some difficulties at the back.
For anyone who is considering getting married here, we would highly recommend it! We married at an ice alter outside with a view of the forest and lake. Mari was incredibly helpful throughout and ensured it all went smoothly. The scenery made for the perfect backdrop on our photos. After the ceremony we had a short husky ride on the lake which was fun and again has given us some lovely pictures. We had our wedding meal in the Kota which we would highly recommend as it provides a cosy and private location to spend the evening. The wedding meal was absolutely delicious and very well presented, and the chef wore traditional clothing which added a nice touch. We had the perfect wedding day!
Throughout the whole trip the staff were incredibly helpful and friendly and couldn’t do enough for us. Overall, we can’t recommend this enough.

Room Tip: We recommend staying in the log cabin
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Claire P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amstelveen
Level Contributor
71 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2012

In general the hotel is a nice place to stay but keep in mind it is really in the middle of nowhere, nearest supermarket is 30 miles away. Keeping that in mind the drinks are quite expensive, koffie and thee are free all day.
We had one of the bigger rooms in the building opposite the main building, room was nice but not really cleaned during the week we were there. Bathroom was a jumble of pipes and the drain was in the middle of the bathroom which meant wet feet. The finish of the room was a bit poor, it was done but quickly.
The staff is friendly and helpfull with basic knowledge of English, exception was the hotel affiliated French dog musher who was an absolute nightmare for the two days we spend with him (you just dont scream at your paying clients!).
The meals are what you can expect form "all inclusive", but there was a nice spread of salad and bread and the breakfast was very complete.
Keep in mind there is not much to do besides the activities, you can take a walk but bring a book and/or laptop. There is WIFI in the lobby.
All in all we had a nice stay but the whole hotel gives a feeling of having grown too big too quickly and the staff struggles sometimes to cope.

Room Tip: The rooms in the buildings opposit and next to the main building are bigger, rooms in main building...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
5 Thank mkrijntjes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loughborough, Leicestershire, England
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2012

With my husband went here for a week at end of Feb 2012. Everything with the holiday worked very well. Taking a tip from other reviews here - we booked direct with the hotel and in so doing got an extra day/night and still paid less compared to other travellers booked on for the same activities.

The hotel has been going 8 years in the buildings of the former village school. Nellim has a population of about 200 and is 45minutes drive to any other place. There is nothing to do but explore the immediate beautiful surrounds on foot, snowshoe, ski or by snow mobile. The hotel provides excellent additional clothing and boots and all equipment for activities is of good quality. Staff are very friendly, the locals pop in for a pint and everyone rubs shoulders together. We liked the style- the place seemed connected to its immediate enviroment, managed by a young couple who have grown up locally.

During the activities mid day meals were an experience. Usually reindeer meat served in one form or another, cooked on a wood fire. Be expected to help collect the wood, help melt the bread rolls etc.

We learnt a lot from the guides about the local culture- how to fish, herd the deer, listen for different noises (birds/reindeer in the distance etc), distinguish animal tracks in the snow etc. Also a bit of local history, what life is like living so close to the Russian border etc.

Driving the snowmobiles was great fun. As with the cross country skiing, a basic lesson is first given on the small lake immediately behind the hotel. Having asked for suggestions and being shown the map - on our last 'free' day we went off for a walk following a way marked trail up to the local viewpoint over the forests. If you do this remember to take your mobile and the hotel phone number in case you get lost.

Our room was great - had everything we needed, food was simple home cooking but plentiful, atmosphere friendly. Collection from airport went smoothly and we were lucky to see a good showing of lights on several nights. But this is NOT guarenteed and I would imagine could be a genuine disappointment. The huskey ride was fun but many of the dogs were ill so those working were getting tired at having to go out twice a day. Rather than racing, our dogs took things at a genteel pace! All the more time to take photos and watch a great sunset.

For us it was not a cheap holiday but worth every penny. Free tea and coffee were avaiable all day in the bar so we NEVER spent any additional money all week.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Anne523
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2012

We stayed at the Nellim Wilderness Hotel for a week during Feb half term with our children aged 12 and 14. We had the most amazing time and saw the Northern Lights. Our trip was arranged by Activities Abroad who were very knowledgeable about the location and facilities. We had 2 rooms in the main building of the hotel they were very clean and warm. The temperature outside ranged from minus 4 to minus 30 degrees during our stay. The hotel staff and guides were very helpful. The food was much better than expected (buffet style) and certainly there was plenty of it. On our first night for dinner we filled up with soup and salad not realising that there was a main course and then dessert to follow.I would advise anyone with teenagers to take some snacks with you as there are no shops nearby and you can only buy a limited selection of snacks (pringles and chocolate bars) at the hotel. The thermal suits and boots provided by the hotel kept us very warm while we were outside. We bought merino wool thermal underwear, 100% wool socks and 100% wool glove liners all of which we wore every day. You do not need to take too much in the way of clothes as most of what you wear is worn every day. There is no nightlife and there is no need to dress up. The atmosphere is very relaxed. The activities were great fun. The only oversight was when we went on the snow mobile safari there was one guide at the front but the second guide was not in the last snowmobile. The advantage of staying somewhere like Nellim is that all the activities are on your doorstep you do not need to be transported anywhere. The only negative regarding the hotel is that the sitting room area is not very big which if you are staying in an apartment will not be an issue as the apartments are more spacious than the rooms. The scenery around the hotel is beautiful but the location is very isolated and Finnish TV is incomprehensible! Everybody guests and staff alike were very friendly and made for a great atmosphere. We are already planning our next trip to Finland next year.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank AlexDLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
86 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2012

We had a great time. Beautiful location and we got to see the lights on our last night. The organisation of the events was a little chaotic you feel that there could be some improvements made. Would definitely recommend but remember to be patient. Also take a balaclava as it gets real cold at night.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JEM069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nellim Wilderness Hotel

Property: Nellim Wilderness Hotel
Address: Nellimintie 4230, Nellim 99860, Finland
Location: Finland > Lapland > Nellim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Nellim
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Nellim Wilderness Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 26
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