We really enjoyed our stay at the Saaga hotel but it is important to remember this is a good ski lodge and not a 5 star hotel.
We stayed in a twin room in the main hotel. The room was nicely furnished with twin beds (no rooms have doubles), a 2 seater sofa, coffee table, flat screen TV with ca 9 channels (we didn’t use this but it looked like most were local plus some news channels e.g. BBC World). The room had a wooden and tiled floor which helped when dragging in snow from outside. There was plenty of storage space including a large cupboard.. All rooms have a balcony, ours over looked the car park & village (not as bad as it sounds) others looked out to the Piste. The bathroom had underfloor heating, a drying cupboard and an excellent shower with instant hot water 24x7, there was no bath. The hotel provided two good quality bath robes. A hairdryer was also provided.
There are two public areas, a downstairs reception/bar with a large open fire and upstairs bar next to the restaurants.
There is a pool etc but we didn’t try this.
The food was fine for us but you have to remember that this is a Finnish hotel with mainly Finnish guests and this is reflected in the menus. Breakfast was continental plus a hot buffet, so cold meats, muesli and other cereals, cheese, boiled eggs, toast, bread and porridge. Hot food varied but we had bacon, scrambled eggs and sausages (sometimes left over food from evening before was incorporated into breakfast).
Juices, teas and coffees were all help yourself with both breakfast and dinner.
The evening meal consisted of soup, a salad bar, main courses always had 3 options – meat, fish and something child friendly with fries (sausages, burger, chicken nuggets etc). There was no vegetarian option for mains and the mixed vegetables did seem to be from a frozen packet. Deserts tended to be cake plus some kind of moose. There was also a cheese board with 2 or 3 different cheeses. We were happy with the food as there was always something we liked.
The staff were friendly and helpful although during meals they were a bit slow clearing things away which meant that used plates did sometimes build up. All staff spoke English but appreciated an effort to to at least learn thank you in Finnish.
There is also a bistro plus an A La carte restaurant (10 Euro credit if half-boarders eat here instead of the buffet, we were told you need to tell them in the morning though).
Prices seemed reasonable, alcohol is a bit pricey (ca 6Eur for 500 ml – just under a pint) but this was similar to local bars and no worse than many southern European ski resorts, and better than many ! You can book drinks to your room but need to set-up an account at reception, something they don’t tell you on arrival.
There is wired internet in the rooms and wi-fi in the main reception but this doesn’t extend to the upstairs bar area.
If Skiing you should grab a ski locker on arrival as at busy times there is not enough to go around. They are in the basement and need either 0.50 or 1 Eur coin. There is enough room in each for 2 sets of skis and boots. They have a heating/ventilation system so in the morning your boots are dry and pre-warmed.
You can ski to the hotel bar from the piste but you must then walking through the bar and reception so most people ski to the side of the hotel and walk 50 metres to a side door by the lifts for easy access to basement ski lockers. On some days we skied up the road so didn’t have to walk at all. In the morning we walked 50 metres back then skied a couple of hundred to the ski school ! The closest lift is another 50 metres from the hotel and the gondola within a few hundred metres so the location is perfect for skiers.
Within a few minutes walk there are 3 or 4 bars which also do food plus a couple of coffee shops and a burger place. There are also a couple of ski shops and Yllas adventures for booking trips. There is a small shop at the hotel but you have to go 2-3 Km for a larger supermarket. The walk is on well cleared paths so wouldn’t take long but there is a bus which runs every couple of hours. However this only gives you 10 mins before the return.
However if you’re looking for night life out side the hotel this is not the place, maybe look at Akaslompolo if you want to be in the Yllas area or Levi is meant to be better for nightlife but not as good for skiing.
I’ve put a review of the general Yllas area on skiing etc but in summary it is great for beginners and intermediates but advanced skiers looking for challenging black runs will quickly run out of options.
We travelled from the UK with Inghams and it was 30 mins from the airport. The rep was helpful and arranged a couple of trips for us.
Checkout is noon but if your room isn’t booked out you can get until 2pm for free or pay 25Eur to 4pm. However it was easy to check out at noon and then spend the afternoon skiing before your trip back. There is a secure area for your luggage.
We were fortunate to see the Northern lights twice whilst out walking around midnight, neither was very colourful but it was still good to see them.
All in all we’d recommend the hotel for a weeks skiing and may be back next year.
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- Also Known As:
- Yllas Saaga Hotel Yllasjarvi
- Lapland Hotel Saaga Finland - Yllasjarvi