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“Amazing, Magical, Winter Wonderland!”
Review of Davvi Arctic Lodge

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Davvi Arctic Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Karesuvanto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 5, 2013

We went in Nov 2012 for 4 nights! We stayed in one of the log cabins in the grounds of the Davvi Lodge! Myself, husband and two children aged 4 and 7. The cabins are lovely and warm (so much so we had to turn the radiator off at night!). Lovely little sauna out the back where we stored our clothes! The bathroom is small but adequate. The main living area is where you sleep and its ok for a family with young children but quite small! We were only there for four days so it didn't matter. The cabins have a little porch which is ideal for storing and changing into your thermal suits! These suits are BRILLIANT! Really really warm!
The food at the hotel is absolutely fine! Not a lot of choice but to be honest, just made meal times a nice simple affair with no wasting time picking or having to make choices! Just a massive lack of tomato ketchup!!!
We didn't see the northern lights which I was gutted about! I was out every night (on my own) trying to get a glimpse but we were staying during a cloudy week!
The trips laid on by Santa Safari were extremely good and well organised! The day we did snowmobiling and our private meeting with Father Christmas was VIP all the way! Outstanding!!
The husky trip was exhilarating and a truely fantastic experience!

Tips!-- take a travel kettle for your room and some supplies!! We did and enjoyed a nice warm cuppa in our cabin!
There was no tv in the cabin so we brought along our portable car DVD player and a selection of DVDs for the kids to watch before bed! Not to mention travel plugs!,
Make sure you take a walk over the bridge (also the border) into the Swedish village of Karesuando! No passport necessary! A small close knit village with a population of 350! We spent most of the day there just walking around and doing a bit of shopping in the spar! Also had a burger and chips lunch at the Arctic Grill!
All in all, the best Week of my life!!!

Room Tip: All good cabins!
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank EmmaB1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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359 - 365 of 724 reviews

Reviewed April 18, 2013

Our 7 night inclusive holiday with Transun to this hotel was fantastic value for money. If you read the brochure beforehand you will know what to expect. Let's get the negatives away first. The hotel is "budget", so the rooms are not 5 star. The food at breakfast and dinner was always buffet, quite basic "school dinner-style" and unexciting (the chef walked out on the second night!!) but it was wholesome and filling, which was what was needed in such a cold climate.
Now for the positives. Our room in the main hotel building was large, light and ultra-warm. Very comfortable bed, and quiet at night, even though close to the Reception. Plenty of hot water in the wet-room style shower-room. Adequate hanging space for provided thermal suits and snow boots as well as our own clothing.
The included activities were all very enjoyable, and well within our capabilities as active 69 year olds. In the UK we live on the S. coast, so rarely see snow and were like children with all the snow available, made so much more fun by the Activities staff, and we would not have missed out any of them, but the most fun was on the snow-shoe trip.
All the hotel and activities staff are British (one sweet Polish waitress who spoke perfect English), and were all friendly and helpful and there was no pressure to buy extra activities - they were there if you asked for them (and had the energy!!).
There is a garage shop/café just 5 mins walk to the main road which sells groceries, fruit and lovely coffee and meals. A short walk further over the river bridge/border into Sweden, the Tourist Information has a small café (nice coffee & cakes) and free internet (if you must check your e-mails). The church in the village is worth a visit, and also a walk right through the village (a few small shops). Don't bother with Sw.Kr. as Euros are widely accepted.
YES - we saw the Aurora on 3 nights. Waiting up on the top of the hill in minus 20C tests the thermal suits, but it was an experience not to be missed.
Expect to spend a lot of time getting into and out of thermal suits and snow boots!!!
We strongly recommend the Transun/Davvi Hotel holiday package for a chance to experience life above the Arctic Circle, understand a little of the culture, and for great value for money... and for loads of snow!!!!

Room Tip: As well as rooms in the main hotel there are semi-detached log cabins in the grounds with their own...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank eaglesclan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

We booked this trip as a 4 night "Arctic Adventurer" , flying from London Gatwick direct to Kiruna on EnterAir. We went in the second to last week of the season (24 - 28 March 2013) so there was limited ground staff, but this did not affect the experience of the trip.

We were initially apprehensive about travelling on a charter airline, as we had not done so before, but apart from standard delays at the airport, there were no problems. The 2 hour coach transfer from Kiruna airport to Karesuvanto was well organised, and the relevant information as to snow suits / dinner plans was given to us in advance on the coach. You are given the chance to book additional excursions on the coach journey, but it is probably better to wait until arrival at the hotel, as further options become available.

Once we arrived at the Davvi, we were split into groups to suit up (snow suits and boots were provided, but if you have your own winter boots they may be more comfortable or have more grip), have dinner and the welcome meeting. The rooms in the hotel were basic but clean - and very warm. Recommend taking light clothing for inside the hotel - T-shirts and jeans - as the base layers and snowsuits are too warm for wandering around / spending time in the room. We took the advice of other travellers and took a thermos flask, travel kettle, tea. Hotel staff are very obliging in providing milk. If we were to do it again, would take snacks or crisps etc as dinner is very early and sometimes you are up late to see the Lights.

Our included activities were the forest walk (which, if not included in your package, is not worth paying to have as an extra - as this is something which is very easy to do alone and for free! The lookout which is the end point of the walk is very close to the hotel, and most people go up to the lookout every night to see the Lights in any event). We also had snowshoeing included, which was fun but tiring! We also paid for an overnight excursion to a cabin in the middle of the Finnish forest - with snowmobile rides to and from the cabin. This was the highlight of our trip but only "advertised" in the welcome meeting on the first night. You leave on one late afternoon and return the next day. The total time away from the hotel is about 9 - 10 hours and is well worth it to have a more "authentic" forest experience. The intention is a better and clearer view of the Lights, but unfortunately we did not see them that night - we had to wait until the next day to see them come out and play.

The Lights themselves are stunning but they only came out on the last night. Well worth it though! If you have access to an SLR or hybrid camera, this is worth bringing as the photos are so much better than with a standard camera. If not, don't worry as people share photos on the way home and swap details so you can get good snaps to keep.

Clothes - we wore four base layers each and three pairs of socks which was absolutely fine under snowsuits. Take hand warmers as these come in handy on snowmobiles, and balaclavas for your face.

Staff were courteous and friendly, but young. The standouts were Gavin (Santa Safari) on the overnight excursion, and Mandy, the Transun rep. Carina was also very entertaining.

Overall, a very unique adventure, made all the better when the Northern Lights came out to play. Be prepared to be outdoors, active and up for something a bit different. A fantastic trip!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Sun_Seeker368
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

This was my first trip abroad, and went with no preconceptions as did not research before leaving for the airport. Glad I had not been swayed by the negative comments other guests have posted as it was a superb holiday.
You go to a venue like this for one thing - experience what you cannot get at home. The Northern Lights made several appearances, one of which was a breathtaking show - how can you not give this five stars!
Being from the hospitality industry I, by nature, pick fault with every restaurant and venue I encounter, what you need after a day of snow shoeing is not a nouvelle cuisine style dinner, what we got was exactly what we needed good wholesome food, and a variety at that!
We had pre-booked all activities which were organised with precision, husky sledging, reindeer sledging, snow shoeing, visits to the local interests, ice fishing, snow mobiling - we took part and enjoyed every second.
May be not one for the guests who want to have a relaxing holiday but certainly one for those of us who want to experience what this world has to offer!

Room Tip: We stayed in the fell house which also had a TV and DVD player so if you take your own DVD's it...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank EJE_1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

This is not just a review of the hotel but the whole Transun experience. We booked for a 7 night break early in March 2013 & also booked extra activities

Good points:

Staff - With just one exception very cheerful and helpful.

Accomodation - our party of four had adjoining semi-detached cabins. Warm, clean, large, with excellent sauna and about 50 metres walk from main hotel. Worth the extra money. TAKE A KETTLE!

Food - we had read previous reviews so expectations were not high. Plenty to eat buffet style but hardly a gourmet experience. Always a vegetarian choice. Bar prices average, not much choice - I had expected them to be higher.

Activities

Husky sledging - A fantastic experience. Don't start as we did by going on a night time safari when it's below -30. Do the day time one to get your hand in. Going over rutted tracks with little in the way of instruction when the instructor has not fitted your light on properly which resulted in it coming off taking my hat with it is not a pleasant experience.

Reindeer camp - Much more sedate than the huskies but very nice.

Snowmobiles - Great by both day and night. Try to organize an extra ride ( we had a half day as a group of 4)- well worth the extra money. If you're competent & have good instructors you can get to amazing places that larger groups restricted to the pace of the slowest just cannot do.

Snow shoes and Nordic skiing - You need to be fit but both are great fun and you can always take them out again after the initial instruction is over.

Hetta - Sami Museum. About an hours trip but well worth the visit. The ice castle was closed on our visit.

Room for improvement.

Information before holiday.

Very little in the way of information before the holiday - we had to ask for everything. - particularly concerns clothing when it's going to be below -30.

Scheduling of activities - Poor.

We had to request rearrangement to avoid coming in at midnight and then being out again before 8am - and also having some days back to back with activities & nothing on other days. It was all rearranged but we shouldn't have had to ask for it.

Northern Lights - Pointless to have a sheet saying you will be notified if the lights appear & to find next day you've missed them because no one has told you. Happened twice - very disappointing. We did see them but no thanks to Transun.

Staff - Staff did not seem to have any loyalty to Trasun - amazing they looked after us so well with such a seeming rift between management and workers

Summary - A great experience which we were determined to enjoy - but it could have been better

Room Tip: If you don't mind the walk to the hotel go for the cabins which have a built in sauna
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank chromeorange
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

To contradict myself let's start with the good bits:

All the excursions booked were well organised and enjoyable, particularity the huskies. As Karesaundo is miles from anywhere you would soon run out of local walks.
We saw the Lights!
transun reps very helpful

But the hotel is very tired,(no plug in bathroom in bathroom sink, metal knob on inside of sauna(!), all restaurant staff seemed to be UK students with little experience on short term contracts and looking forward to going home. I understand that the reason for UK staff is that the minimum wage in Finland is high and so can be avoided by not employing locals, and the food.......

Awful, porridge that was solid, meat that could not be cut, heaps of dry cake for dessert and more. To sum up, a journalist who had amazingly been invited by Transun to write a review for a UK newspaper said after one dinner that he had never eaten a worse meal. My response was 'you should have been here on Tuesday'. We did not expect fine dining but there's a considerable difference between simple food and the abysmal offerings served at the Davvi.

But the excursions made the holiday and we enjoyed ourselves.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Geoffrey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

We have just returned from the last Transun, Arctic Adventure of the 2013/13 season. I have to report that the trip was excellent. There were a few things that could be improved, such as the food was only basic and the accommodation is a bit tired. But apart from these two things every thing else was great.

The activities and items included in the package were excellent. We did not know what to expect when told we were going on a Husky Safari, but it was well organised and we really enjoyed it. Likewise the Reindeer ride, Snowmobiles, and Snow Shoe trek were all really good. I personally enjoyed the fact that everything was on-time, all the buses left on-time and when the activity finished there was a warm bus ready to take you back to the hotel. Also the drivers of the buses drove very well on the snow and ice covered roads.

Accommodation, we stayed in a Cabin this was basic but clean, quite large and very warm. The first thing we did on arrival was to turn-down the heating it was so hot. Also the Sauna in the cabin was very much appreciated after a day out in the snow.

The Snow Suits and Boots provided by the hotel were very good quality and seemed almost new. This clothing was essential for completing the outdoor activities and the nights looking at the sky.

The hotel and activity staff were friendly and helpful. Surprisingly they were mainly British or Irish. However they did seem to be exhausted as they were coming to the end of a long hard season

The only worry about give this holiday my whole hearted recommendation was that the staff seemed to have a big issue with their Senior management. None of the staff I spoke to were returning to work there next season.

If you go, ( as everybody else recommends’ ) take a kettle, cup-a-soup, coffee and a bottle of brandy.I am sure you would enjoy it.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank SpindlesCotswolds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Davvi Arctic Lodge

Address: Kaesivarrentie 3771, Karesuvanto 99470, Finland
Location: Finland > Lapland > Karesuvanto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Karesuvanto
Hotel Class:3 star — Davvi Arctic Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 40
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Also Known As:
Davvi Arctic Hotel Karesuvanto
Davvi Hotel Karesuvanto
Davvi Arctic Lodge Karesuvanto, Finland - Lapland

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