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Hotel Kieppi
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Reviewed April 25, 2012

Superb value (€80 per night for a suite with sauna for 2 people bed & breakfast). An ideal base for cross-county skiing well into April taking advantage of long days. The combination of the hotel, the cost, the village facilities, the ease of access and excellent skiing makes this a great value for money location.

We stayed in the he Hotel Kieppi in Saariselka in March 2011 and April 2012 whilst cross country skiing. We travelled via Helsinki by air to Ivalo where planes are met by a dedicated bus (€9 each) that distributes travellers to their various hotels in Saariselka.

The bedrooms are in 2 pairs of long log buildings, each with a central corridor off which are rooms on both sides. We had a suite (bed room and sitting room) with a toilet/shower/sauna. The two rooms were spacious, well insulated, well lit, with plenty of storage space and electric plug outlets, a refrigerator, kettle, hair dryer, and a CRT TV with local channels (none in English, although some subtitled English programmes). The walls could do with some pictures and wifi does not extend to the bedrooms. There is a good 3G reception for mobiles. It’s a pity that the ‘double bed’ is in fact two single beds, which easily separate owing to the wooden floors – two bungees however provided stability! Room cleaning was every other day.

The main building has the reception, dining room, bar and sitting area, sauna and ski room. The ski room is equipped with work benches and irons etc. The reception staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful and provided real time information on the condition of the tracks and the weather forecast. Reception however closes at 2000 hours, although as we were arriving late a Receptionist was on hand to receive us. The quality of food on the a la carte menus is very good as is the service, although a limited menu which does not vary. We were less impressed with the buffet. However, there are many eating places within 2 to 10 minutes walk to suit all pockets. The sitting area is comfortable, with a fire, and excellent wifi reception. Somewhat irritatingly the main building closes at 2200 and (unless you wish to sit in the cold on the open veranda) so does access to the wifi. However, the Pub, some 3 minutes walk up the road has free wifi. Also close at hand, across the road, is the Holiday Club with its sport facilities including an excellent leisure pool (wave machine, flume, jacuzzis etc). There is a supermarket and other shops 10 minutes walk away towards the main road, and several ski hire and safari shops 5 minutes walk down near the main start of the cross-country trails.

The cross country ski trails come right up to the back of the hotel and the tracks are well maintained. An excellent feature of the Finnish trails are the small unattended huts with fires, interspersed with manned hostelries. The ski bus (€5 per person per day) facilitates access to the more distant parts of the trail system. Many trails are ideal for skating and there are also a number of 'wilderness' trails that head out into (and up) the hills. There is also down-hill sking, though I doubt of sufficient quality to attract visitors from the UK. However, in April, the long days (light until well after 10 pm), the excellently maintained trails, and a great value for money hotel makes the place a very attractive location.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Louis L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2012

My wife and I ate here twice whilst staying in Saariselka. We found the food pretty good, the environment quite nice (though big, and hence not so cosy) and service fast and reasonably friendly. Both times I had steak and peppercorn sauce. The first was excellent; the 2nd was merely ok. It comes with potato wedges , but they’re happy to do it with fries. We shared a slice of chocolate cake for dessert; it was a small portion for sharing, but it was very good.

I’d recommend this place for a pleasant meal.

Has open wifi.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank thenighthawks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2012

Rooms are very basic. Small beds and not so comfortable. Sauna was very pleasant. The breakfast could much better, also to basic; some meat, some cheese, some cold boiled eggs.....
The reception staff was very kind and very helpfull, wireless network didn't work in the beginning after a while it was Ok in the lobby, doesn't work in the rooms!

  • Stayed: March 2012
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Thank Lucclaes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2012

We came here on a four-night Santa Winter Wonderland visit with First Choice - and it was absolutely magical. Hotel Kieppi was very pretty - not one of those horrible concrete blocks but a series of log cabins amidst tall trees and high snow. Beautiful. You can hire sledges from reception, and the staff are very helpful when it comes to organising extra activities - I took my five-year old cross-country skiing and they pointed us to the best place to get skis and which tracks to try first.
The rooms were basic but comfortable, warm and very clean. The hotel staff was incredibly helpful and friendly, and absolutely lovely with children. We had half-board, which I don't normally like as it's always more exciting to try different places for food. However, Lapland is rather pricey so this is a good option. Food was varied and I thought very good. There were people moaning about it - but I'm not quite sure why. Okay - so it wasn't a roast with two veg and potatoes. But who wants that when on holiday? It was traditional Scandinavian food - and there was plenty of it.
The main hotel building features a very comfortable lounge area with a roaring fire in the evenings and a well-stocked bar. There's also a children's play area with a computer corner with free internet access. Obviously, there's also a sauna, and they also have drying rooms and special storage lockers for skis and polar suits. Saariselka has a 1.6 km toboggan run which is only about ten minutes' walk from the hotel - brilliant fun, especially as parts of it are floodlit.
I can't fault this hotel at all. Yes, the Lapland holidays are very expensive when booked as packages, and, at those prices, you might expect more comfort. But it's a once-in-a-lifetime trip and should be embraced for everything it has to offer. We'd love to go back!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank ChristineHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2012

I am, by all accounts, somewhat cantankerous and prone to erring on the glum side however I was blown away by our Lapland holiday. We went with First Choice who ensured that everything was just right; the small touches (The pilot handing over control of the plane to the elf tractor beam, elves who not only had an engaging tale about their own name but could tell the kids the 'back story' of other elves) had many parents smiling.
Hotel Kieppi was clean, warm and very welcoming, our apartment was perfect for our needs. The food was great in my opinion and the staff could not have been more helpful.
The town of Saariselka was lovely and the people were friendly and welcoming. Yes the trips are expensive but this is a once in a lifetime experience and the local economy is reliant upon the tourist income. The chance to hear from a Lappish reindeer herder about his life was not to be missed.
The only downside was a number of people moaning at every opportunity who were intent on writing a strong letter of complaint - to them I would say - try some food that's different from your staple diet, embrace the experiences of living a very short time amongst the Sami people and be thankful for a wonderful experience.
Final note - do this trip before its too late.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Garry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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