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“Holiday Club - Santas Lapland”

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Holiday Club Saariselka
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Saariselka
London
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Holiday Club - Santas Lapland”
Reviewed January 8, 2013

The hotel really is an ugly motel - carpets on the walls of the corridors, very basic but clean bedrooms, the food is very, very average and I recommend taking snacks with you. The bar area is tiny - the swimming pool quite nice but cold and be prepared for a lot of nakedness in the changing room - we are in Finland after all!! Ski Esprit staff were fantastic - I honestly don't know how they do it with 4 hours day light a day and it is cold, cold, cold and bleak, bleak, bleak - forget any romantic visions its a desolate place! The actual Santa day was very well done, the husky ride unforgettable - my 6 year old son particularly enjoyed the physical sports on offer, ice hockey, sledging, snow mobiles etc the actual Santa was a very surely Finnish man and my son came out saying 'that's definitely not the real one' - I would recommend it but not for really little children, its a gruelling trip which requires alot of stamina and an enormous budget!

Room Tip: Ask to be near reception
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank AnnieFSLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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508 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (89)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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liverpool
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

I travelled mid December 2013 with Esprit for a 3 night Santa Spectacular break. I am a single mum with a 6 year old. So there are 2 parts to the review.
Firstly the hotel itself. I emailed beforehand to ask for a room close to reception. . Although we asked to be close to reception it was quite a hike away, but at it was on the ground floor. We ended up with room 143, which had a dodgy lock – you had to lift the handle and the door to turn the key to open – not great with hands full of hats, gloves etc. The room was clean and had plenty of hanging space. TV was a bit strange to get onto normal television, trying to get you to buy a film or internet first, but got there in the end. No English channels at all - but sometimes there were English programmes which had Finnish or German subtitles. Under floor heating in the wet room, no bath and a curtain around the shower. All clean and liquid soap/shampoo provided, in addition to a really good hairdryer. The room temperature was quite warm, but no obvious way of reducing this.
The food was a bit hit and miss. Very canteen feel to it and definitely not hot. But hey, I didn’t go to Lapland for the food. Margarine in a tub on the end of the table by the bread section with a knife in it. There was tea and water available with the meals.
We used the pool, I thought it a little cold and the wave machine, which came on every hour, was more of a ripple than a wave. The shower area was awash with naked ladies, but they didn’t seem to worry, so I guess I shouldn’t.
The hotel was only 25 minutes from the airport. I would stay again as it was ideally placed between the toboggan run and the supermarket. Incidentally the supermarket had a café and the food was hot and plentiful. Reindeer burger, yum, yum.
Secondly, Espirit – who run the Santa Spectacular. Very well organised. Staff very professional. My daughter was ill on arrival – just travelling and lack of sleep and they came to the room to provide the welcome meeting information. Equally on the Santa Activity Day, very good with my little one. The snowsuit, boots and gloves provided were excellent as skiing clothes cannot cope with the extremely cold temperatures. You also need hats and scarves and at least 2 other layers including socks, ideally 3. On our free day, day 2, we booked before travelling 3 optional excursions. Although you can book excursions in resort. Husky Heaven, an absolute must! Fabulous for the driver- not a much fun for the passengers. Only drawback was the start time of 7.30 am. Sleigh ride at 2 pm, a bit boring to be honest, but the little one loved it. And then at 4.30 pm we had booked to see the Northern Lights on snow mobile. My daughter said NO, she couldn’t cope with another activity, so we missed that. Spoke to someone the next day, who said that the kids were dragged in a trailer behind and mostly cried all the way, they didn’t see the Northern Lights and so we hadn’t missed anything. I would definitely say 2 outside activities were enough, even for me. On day 3, we did the Santa Activity Day – which was magical. We did a mini Husky ride (boring compared to the previous day) and Reindeer sleigh ride, and met some naughty elves. We did ice hockey, more tobogganing and tandem skiing and ice fishing and of course, we went on the Magic Ride to meet Santa. Very special. I can only recommend it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Christine J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012

We travelled with Thomsons and stayed at the Holiday Club from 12 - 16 December 2012. Having viewed the hotel on the internet, we were a little suprised when we arrived there as the reception and bar area was smaller than anticipated. On arrival we checked in and we were given keys to our rooms which were next to each other. The room we stayed in was definitely cramped with 3 single beds in it and the cases piled on top of each other. It was however, clean, warm and adequate for sleeping in. I would have slept better in the rooms had other parents stopped their children from running up and down the corridors on an evening. The hotel had underfloor heating and in the rooms, this was lovely in the bathroom. The bathroom only had a shower, no bath, we were notified of this one month after booking. There was a hairdryer in the bathroom and towels. In the room there was bathrobes for adults but not for our child, a kettle with tea and coffee and paper cups. We had paid extra to be upgraded to bed, breakfast and evening meal. Once again I would consider the food to be adequate, not really to our taste. However the cost of food and drink in Saariselka, overall, is definitely more expensive than the UK. Tea / Coffee/ Hot Chocolate €3; Beer €6; Gin €6; tonic / water €1.5; small tube pringles €3. We went to the restaurant attached to the hotel on our last day as this was the Gala Dinner night and we wouldn't be eating until late, we had two pizza's and tap water which came to €30 approx. Having said that it was the nicest food we'd had! We went to the Gala Dinner which was nice and did consider buying a bottle of wine, however the cheapest one was €39 and a beer was priced at €7.5. There was only one cash machine in Saariselka, although I think the supermarket also exchanged money, the exchange they gave wasn't that good. The hotel has a pool and spa, but we only used the pool which was great fun. All the staff at the hotel were really helpful. We would definitely go back - but with a lot more money!

Room Tip: Book well in advance and try to get a suite. We booked a year in advance and all the suite's ha...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Cindy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

Amazing, magical and beautiful. Food was fantastic and everything what you would want and expect from a typical Finland holiday. If you want England stsy in England. I intend t go back for a third time

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank rachel s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
east sussex
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

We travelled on 4th dec for a 3 day 2 night trip with Esprit and have to say we all had an amazing time, yes the food is basic but think you have to remember where you are, our boys of 5 and 9 always managed to find something to eat. The activity day is wonderful from start to finish and the reps are the best we have ever had on a holiday. Hotel is clean and the staff are very friendly, pool is fab with a real child safe slide. If there is one negative point it would have to be that some people were very selfish and did not put the sledges back for other people to use but rather choose to hide them in their rooms.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jamjarEastSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2012

The flight with Easyjet was very good. Cabin staff were friendly and helpful.
At the airport it was quick through to the coaches. The airport is tiny!

The Reps were really good. Friendly and informative. We stayed for 3 days and went to meet Santa and spent a day at the activity day doing a husky sledge ride, skidooing, skiing, tobogganing etc. The activity day was very good.

The food at the hotel is rubbish. Nothing was named, so you didnt know what you were actually eating. It was a free for all and you need to have your elbows sharpened to get through the crowds! The choice was very limited. The hotel itself was a 3 star max. Very tired looking. On a positive it has a pool and this was a massive hit with the kids.

The gala dinner is held next door and I guess is nothing to do with the hotel, and is organised by outside caterers. The food is very good for the Gala evening.

I would recommend the santa trip with out hesitation, the accommodation and food, I wouldn't.

Room Tip: Some of the rooms are a long way from the reception...annoying when you have kids dressed in all the...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SarahL1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2012

2 day trip with my 4 and 6 year old girls with esprit.

Hotel, very basic but clean. However food dreadful. We opted to pay to eat in the a la carte restaurant which was great. the food in the hotel Restaurant was cold and indelible. At best canteen dinners.

Swimming pool , great.

In hindsight would have waited a couple more years for my girls to really enjoy this trip. At -25 degrees too cold for my 4 year old to cope.

Santa and the elves a highlight.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank juliepow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Club Saariselka

Property: Holiday Club Saariselka
Address: Saariselaentie 7, Saariselka 99830, Finland
Location: Finland > Lapland > Saariselka
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Saariselka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Club Saariselka 3*
Number of rooms: 139
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Also Known As:
Holiday Club Saariselka Hotel Saariselka
Holiday Hotel Saariselka
Saariselka Holiday Hotel
Holiday Club Saariselka Finland

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