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Holiday Club Saariselka
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Reviewed February 22, 2013

I stayed in the hotel club as part of a Lapland package in February 2013. The hotel is located in the centre of Saariselka which is a small resort in Northern Finland but the major tourist centre in the area. In February the Christmas rush has ended but the Fins have not yet started their holidays there so although not completely dead, the resort was pleasantly quiet which added to the remote polar feeling of the area.

The hotel was spotlessly clean in all areas I visted. The rooms were comfortable albeit someshat dated in areas but I did spy some rooms that had been recently removated in a more contemporary style which were a bit nicer. This aside, they were more than adequate and in my opinion could only have been improved by having baths as after a long day in the cold, it would have been nice to have a soak.

The food was consistently good, buffet breakfast and evening meal and had a wide range of choices. Breakfast had the usualy rolls, cereal, yoghurt, cold meats and cheese (and sometimes herring), scrambled and colied egg, small sausages and meatballs or bacon and a waffle maker. All were in large quantities and constantly being refreshed as they were eaten. They also had the local Kereilian pasties which I became somewhat addicted to. Evening meal was a soup, salad bar and a meat and fish choice with potatoes and/or wedges, vegetables and a dessert. The meat dish was reindeer, casserole, chicken etc and the fish was usually a white fish in a sauce. The dessert was either a fruit pie and cream or a mousse/quark type affair. All of the food tasted home made and there was little evidence of processed food except for the potatoe wedges. I did not have one bad meal there.

The hotel also had a small bar/lounge area with free wifi and a leisure pool and sauna/steam. The pool was also very clean, had a life guard on duty and was very enjoyable. The saunas were good after the cold but bear in mind you are not allowed to wear swimsuits (a towel is ok) and the family saunas are mixed.

I enjoyed several excursions from Saariselka, reindeer farm, husky sledding, snowmobililing etc but did not see the northern lights from the resort as it was too cloudy. We did meet some people who had the previous week and to do this it has to be clear and you have to move away from the areas where the street lamps are. I did see the lights at the glass igloos out of town as it was much darker there.

All in all, good value for money with respect the the package, clean, convenient and good food. If you have difficulty walking, it may be wise to ring ahead and ask for a room near the entrance as it was very far to my room on the second floor and there was no lift.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the refurbished new rooms near reception.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank johnnyboy129
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We travelled from Australia to the UK for Christmas to see family and given that this was only a 3 hour trip from London, we took the plunge and decided to visit Santa in Lapland.
We booked the 3 day trip from Australia with Espirit and got a really good deal. Obviously the closer to the travel date the cheaper the price became.
We had the most wonderful time, this truly was a magical experience. The kids loved it, and I have to admit my husband and I did as well.
We stayed at Holiday Club. The staff were lovely, very laid back and relaxed , the place was clean and tidy, comfortable. Good location, the food was very nice and my kids are a bit fussy, drinks were a little bit expensive from the bar. Our package was all inclusive which was good.
This was a trip of a life time and we will talk about it for years to come.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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10  Thank Kym M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

After umming and aaahhhing for an age, we finally took the plunge and decided to take the kids to Lapland to see Santa in his natural environment.
We had saved for a few years, expecting it to be expensive, but by booking at the last minute, (week before) we managed to get a very reasonable deal.
We travelled to Saariselka with Esprit Holidays and stayed at the Holiday Club accommodation.
I would thoroughly recommend Esprit Holidays, from start to finish we were very well looked after.
I won't go into too much detail, suffice to say that the primary reason for the trip was to see Santa at his home in "The North Pole", and my kids aged eight and six were totally mesmerised by the whole trip...they were entertained by Santa's cheeky elves in an igloo, went on a reindeer sleigh ride, drove a skidoo, went on a husky sled ride and then got too see the big man himself who even had their letters which they had written and posted weeks before the trip...(magical)!

The clothing supplied, including the suits, boots, and gloves were very good quality and kept us warm in the -20 temperatures, both during the Santa adventure day and the spare afternoon/morning we had tobogganing in the village.

There are plenty of reviews on this forum complaining about the hotel, about the food, about the fact that they didn't see the Northern Lights, etc...fact is,

If you want five star luxury, fine dining and amazing spa facilities, this hotel and resort are not for you, however, if you want a fantastic fun filled family trip to Lapland to see the man in red, and amazing memories which will last a lifetime, you won't go far wrong with this hotel, resort or with Esprit.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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18  Thank Marc S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

This hotel must have been nice some years ago, but now looks basic/oldfashioned inside. At the reception, we had a mixed experience. The day before our arrival, a lady was very kind to let us use the luggage room for our daily tour in Saariselka, which we appreciated. When leaving the hotel, there was only one lady at the reception, busy on the phone for at least 10 minutes while 6 people were waiting to check-out, and take their bus. She did not seem annoyed with this... At our arrival, they informed us that because we booked via booking.com, the use of the swimming pool had to be paid an extra 10€ per person. This is the first time in our travels that the way you book an hotel has an influence on the use of basic facilities of the hotel - I can't accept this.
Breakast buffet was nice. Price paid (98€ per night) is not worth it.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Vince-Maud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Upon our arrival we tried to book services at the spa, only to be informed that the spa was fully booked for the entire duration of our stay. The primary reason for choosing this hotel was for the convenient spa services, which were unavailable. Furthermore, the pool and sauna were not included in the already high room costs.

Our room was located near the end of the corridor, a 300m walk from the lobby which involved going through numerous fire-doors, highly inconvenient with luggage. In the end, it was faster and easier to walk outside around the hotel in the -20C cold than through the corridor.

The breakfast buffet was sub-par: the fruit was soggy, the eggs mushy and clearly from a bag, the pastries stale, and the meat grey-green. Prior to Saariselkä, we had been staying in a tiny hotel much further from any cities, and yet they provided multiple varieties of local fresh fish with breakfast, something the Holiday Club did not. Additionally, the hotel advertises a restaurant in addition to the buffet. However, the restaurant is closed much of the year, information which is not provided on their website.

Room Tip: Ask for a room closer to the lobby to avoid a long journey and increase the odds of having in-room wireless internet access.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank muon1183
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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