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“Great place for a weeks winter wonderland”

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Lapland Hotel Saaga
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Yllasjarvi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 5, 2012

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.

Room Tip: ask for piste facing and grab a ski locker on arrival.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank RichBeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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200 - 206 of 452 reviews

Reviewed March 4, 2012

Stayed here in January and our 2nd visit to Lapland!!! I dont ski and neither does my 4 yo(3minutes doesnt count, but in his eyes he's ready to take on the world!!) Daughter learnt to ski and other half does...

Its much cheaper to book week long holidays rather then paying silly amounts for these short breaks, Inghams do great deals and Lorna the rep who we have had both times at different locations is very good!!!

At welcome meeting were amazed to discover we could go to the Ice Hotel in Sweden on a day trip, expensive, but well worth it, what an amazing place that was!!! Also, got to see Levi while picking up other passengers and must say that Saariselka(spelt wrong!!!!) is definatley the true spirit of Lapalnd, Yllas is a good combination of a bit of commercialism and a bit of proper magic and Levi definately looked very very touristy!!!

Saw Nprthern Lights from hotel room, they were that amazing that my 3/4 year old remembers the "green lights dancing in the sky" and no one can take that from him!!! Did chuckle listening to people saying theyd booked to see the Northern Lights on snowmobile safari...unfortunately you cant book nature...but you can stand on the hotel balcony!!!!

Food was much better that expected, the swimming pool was not as big as its looks, didnt use the spa so cannot comment!!

Would highly suggest everyone goes to Lapland and if you book a SKI holiday its alot cheaper than you think!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank snowy121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2012

This is the 5th time we have returned to the Saaga. The resort was quiet and the snow fantastic. Both sides of the fell are accessible and there are fantastic places to grab a coffee. The log cabin at the bottom of jokeri lift was open for the first time in 3 years - the freshly baked cakes are amazing.
The Saaga was as clean as ever, and the food delicious in the buffet. It is very Finnish with fish dishes like salmon in pink grapefruit sauce, elk meatballs and so on. There is plenty of choice and if you try the new things they are often delicious.
I look forward to returning again to yllas. The quiet resort, where you can ski runs over 1 km long and only see one other skier, with no queues for lifts, and the closeness of the Saaga to the slopes really spoil you!

  • Stayed: February 2012
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1  Thank snowprincessBolton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2012

It was our 3rd stay at this hotel so we knew what to expect. Possibly even we had the same room as last time. The weather was excellent-cold and plenty of flurries . Back to hotel always warm nice and ready to charge your batteries with spa and sauna. Even after skiing we still enjoyed the beautiful view of Yllas hilltop from our room and Aurora borealis especially. We ate of course too much because we liked the Finnish style menu. Just one thing. Saga has changed its name to Holiday Club. Will it change something else? We will see next season.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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1  Thank Sonofmyparents
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2012

We've just returned from our second stay at the Yllas Saaga and have yet again had a fantastic time. We travelled with our 2 boys, age 10 and 8, and opted for an apartment with half-board which was a great choice - space to relax, DVD player, kitchen for making lunch, private sauna, huge drying cabinet and a washing machine! Lovely hotel - food absolutely fine, and the pool complex is lovely, and extremely clean. Although we are intermediates, we all did three days ski school which I found very useful, and the whole family had skied the black run by the end of the week. I could confidently now set off down any of the runs and know I'd get down safely, although my children might need more of a challenge in the future. Lots of excursions on offer - enjoyed the Lainio snow village even if it is a bit cheesy, but the highlight for me was something I organised myself in the resort - went Icelandic pony trekking. There's a flyer up in the hotel, or google it- the owner Anu was so helpful, speaks excellent English, and riding a 'toelt' through the Arctic forest is an amazing experience. All in all, a top family holiday!

  • Stayed: February 2012
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1  Thank thefourhowards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2012

I have stayed at this hotel with my family (husband and 2 sons - 13 and 7 now) and friends (2 adults and 2 boys) three times now. We find it just what we want for our needs. We stay in the self catering apartments - but usually go half board. The apartments are clean and spacious and the saunas in each apartment are wonderful. The hotel is also well equipped and the food good - a wide that caters for the needs of my kids even It is also very close to the ski lifts and schools - so one can pop in and out as required. There is also a good pool and spa in the hotel - great for a wind down after skiing. The slopes are usually quite - which is good as it means very little queuing. It is also safe - free from alpine adrenalin junkies - so our older kids feel confident enough to go it alone. A great place for a family to go and teach the kids to ski. I look forward to it every year.

Room Tip: some rooms look over the slopes and others over the car park. Ask for the ones that look over the s...
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank rachael14_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2012

We stayed in chalet- which are not a chalets but apartments with its own living room, kitchenette, small bedroom, obviously bathroom, sauna and balcony. The apartment was very clean and very functional with gorgeous views of the slopes. We liked the location- 200 m from the slopes, if you don't want to eat in the hotel, there are a few restaurants just opposite with a nice atmosphere and open fire. There is a very well equipped rental shop.
The bits which we didn't like that much was the gondola not running- although on our way back to the airport (08/02) it started running again. It was a great shame as I really wanted to go up to the top to see the views. Also, I found, as one of the previous reviews mentioned, the information given was very limited and not forthcoming- if you ask the question you most likely will get an answer (but one at the time) but do not expect to be told in advance. I am not sure if it is because they just try to get the last penny out of you even if there are cheaper options or it's just the way it is in Finland. I actually found this in my dealings with all the other places around the area as well. It wasn't clear how to get the sauna in our apartment going- there was no mention about that in the brochure. When we got to the reception the lady at the reception had already prepared diagram of how to get it working- most likely other guests ask the same question many times- why not to include it in the brochure from the start? The same applies to the information about the ski bus- it is not clear where the bus actually stops and different leaflets give different information, and as it was -30 outside and we didn't know whether the bus will run on time we were waiting for the bus inside the hotel foyer so when the bus came, it stopped only for a few seconds and left when we were coming out with our bags- again the receptionist knew we were waiting for it- why not to say 'go outside as it comes on time and leaves if it does not see anyone waiting outside', or why not to contact the bus company and say that the hotel has particular number of guests to be picked up? If it stops in front of the hotel it means it's there for the convenience of the hotel guests. Eventually, we ended up taking a taxi and paying extra 20 Euro.

So all in all I am not sure if we ever return, maybe now knowing how things work it would be easier and less frustrating.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank lonka5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lapland Hotel Saaga

Address: Iso-Yllaeksentie 42, Yllasjarvi 95980, Finland (Formerly Yllas Saaga)
Location: Finland > Lapland > Yllasjarvi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Yllasjarvi
Price Range: $128 - $337 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Lapland Hotel Saaga 4*
Number of rooms: 84
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Also Known As:
Yllas Saaga Hotel Yllasjarvi
Lapland Hotel Saaga Finland - Yllasjarvi

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