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“Hotel in the gloom”

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Lapland Hotel Saaga
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Yllasjarvi
Certificate of Excellence
Ramsbottom, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
174 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Hotel in the gloom”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

We visited at the end of January and first impressions were good. The room was lovely and spacious, typical Scandanavian feel, roomy bathroom and good sized shower. The dining room was the gloomiest ever, lit with what seemed like 2 watt orangey bulbs with gloomy music playing, no atmosphere for a nice meal - buffet 6pm till 9pm but lukewarm if you dined much after 6.45. Because it was low season, no al a carte menu, hotel bar closed at 10pm! There was absolutely nothing to do in the hotel at all and as there is no resort as such in Yllas, nothing to do in the evening (one of the two bars in the 'centre' shut at 9pm...). Things probably weren't helped by the fact that there was constant gloomy mist for the whole week meaning skiing in a dense grey whiteout, but at least there was a spa and pool...there are a couple of tiled areas in the pool with strong jacuzzi water jets for your back and feet, very nice except in one tiled area there was a long line of brown scum across the tiles on which some wag had scratched with their finger nail 'CLEAN ME'. Hmmm. You could not fault the people - staff in the hotel were very polite and helpful in fact everyone we met, ski hire staff, ski bus drivers, locals alike went above and beyond to be as accomodating and as helpful as they could. However would I stay here again? Not likely - don't go in low season and if you want activity and entertainment you would best avoid Yllas. Highlights of the week, husky safari and the flight home.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank C_Sutty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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441 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
Date | Rating
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English first
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

Stayed in the Yllas Saaga at half term, just got back from a lovely week. We opted for a two bedroomed apartment on half board and couldn't really fault the apartment or the food. The apartment was spacious, had all mod cons including it's own sauna and a lovely view over Yllasjatvi (would have preferred a view over the slopes but you can't have everything). It's the first time I've ever done most of my washing and ironing (had some time to kill between a bit of skiing and the apres-ski) before I go home due to having a washing machine, dryer, iron and ironing board in the apartment. I noted before we went that some people were a little disappointed in the food and although in some respects I agree (dessert being a case in point), my picky 16yr old ate quite well every evening as there was usually a past dish, a meat dish a fish dish and something for kids. The breakfast was the usual continental with some warm dishes every day - scrambled egg, beans, boiled eggs and occasionally some meatballs. Sunday's was good as we got bacon for a treat. As a family we had never skied before so we booked 5 days of ski school and that was well worth it - Malcolm and Jere were lovely and very patient. We did two trips - husky dog sledding and the ice hotel. If I'm truthful I think they were both a little expensive for what they were but the husky dogs were definitely worth seeing. Unfortunately I didn't manage to see the Northern lights but my husband and son got a short glimpse on the plane as we arrived and my husband caught another glimpse on our last night. It seemed like they would try and start but the conditions were just not good enough whilst we were there. All in all a brilliant trip and if I were to consider skiing again I would definitely go back and stay in this hotel.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Debbie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holt, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

We stayed at this hotel in January, and although our appartment was very nice (and appeared clean), after the first night I began itching. (I have a lower immune system than most people so things didn't affect my husband). I woke up to lots of bites and over the course of the week I became covered....on return to the UK I was diagnosed with Scabies, probably caused by unclean bedding! I have been very very poorly as a result, and although the hotel were aware of this problem, we initially thought it was the lesser problem of bed bugs, so didn't make a huge fuss. We also found the Ingams rep not overly helpfull, ie, she left it to us to try and explain to the hotel! (we are long term customers, usually skiing in Austria). We also found that we'd gone out of season (!) (January???) so nearly everything was closed....infact on our arrival, we had to have cuppa soups, as the hotel retaurant was closed, and nothing was open in the village (it was 7.30pm!). In the morning we paid for a hotel breakfast 11 euro each, and it was terrible...plus our friends son and his mate were charged more!!
We are seasoned skiers, and love all that is "snow", but my advice would be stick to Lapland for the Santa stuff, but somewhere else for skiing!
ps, the hotel also charged 11.50 euro for a pint of lager probably because they had a captive audience! Oh dear! Certainly not the "luxury" hotel as advertised.

The scenery, huskie safari and snow-mobile trip were fantastic though.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank loopief
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bolton
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2013 via mobile

The Saaga is right on the ski slopes of yllas sport resort and this completely spoils you! Over the last few years more accommodation has appeared in Yllasjarvi, but it is still a very quiet place to stay with the hotel bar and 2 others counting as the après ski.
We stayed in a two bed apt which was great for 4 but may have been a squash for 6. Food is very Finnish but fresh and really enjoyable.
Skiing is great. It was the week before Finnish half term and we were often alone on the slopes. No queues for any lifts and pristine slopes were amazing. We briefly saw the northern lights but vertical rainbows in sparkly air and Brockens spectre were more amazing. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets all added to the wow factor.
I hope we will return - a fabulous place for skiing and relaxing but not a party resort!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank snowprincessBolton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

Stayed at the Saaga Hotel the first week in February 2013. Have been to Yllas twice before but had never stayed at this hotel.
Room on the third floor was a large twin room with balcony. Plenty of space, plenty of storage space, good sized bathroom with great shower. Rooms have a fridge, which was good as it was too cold to leave stuff out on the balcony. Ski storage lockers are available in the basement.
Hotel is virtually ski-in ski-out with a short run down to the Gondola or tow and some enterprising person had cut a track along the front of the hotel which meant you could ski nearly to the front door for the lift down to the locker room.
We had half board with self service breakfast and dinner. Breakfast was the usual continental fare with cooked option available and was more than adequate. Dinner not quite so good. This is the 5th time we have been to Finland and are well aware what the food in ski resorts is like but the Saaga came close to being inedible on a couple of nights but then on the next night there would be a beautiful salmon dish, a bit hit and miss with the food. The pudding dish offered was exactly the same for 7 nights in a row! That’s just lazy.
The Saaga has a fantastic pool complex which is always welcome after a day on the piste. Saunas, steam rooms, a couple of Jacuzzis and quite a large pool. The pool has several of those areas where you press a button and get pummelled by jets of water from above, below and the sides, great. I did notice that a couple of areas had a tide mark though, not so good.
There is a small shop under the Saaga apartments block but if you are self catering the large supermarket is about 2 miles away. There is a good bar next to the Gondola but other than that and a pizza shop there isn’t really much else in the area.
As March flights to Finland from Manchester stopped a couple of years ago this is the first time we have been in February and I would think seriously before going back again at this time of year. The Yllas ski area had large areas that were not open, the one and only chair lift on the Akaslompolo side was not working and large areas had not been pisted, although you could ski down there was no way to get back up as several of the tows on that side were not working either. On a couple of days the visibility was very poor but when the sun finally came out on day 4 it was fantastic. Temperatures averaged around -16’C and on the day we left for the airport it was -30. Beware.
Finland is still a fantastic place but I doubt I would go back in February and I think that Levi has better hotels. The Saaga is a good hotel but it needs to sort out its food and give the pool a clean.

Room Tip: 3rd floor rooms have a balcony.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bladerunner88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
67 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2013

Stayed in the hotel as part of a large group.Initial impression was good with hotel in a good position especially if you are a skier although we didn't bother.
Room position very good facing ski slopes behind the hotel.Beds comfortable and storage also good and eventually warm when we finally persuaded someone to fix the cold radiator as reception kept insisting that the rad valves were covered by the curtains.(They weren't!)
However this let down by the standard of food.Yes there choices of meal but they are limited and repetitive and generally bland and tasteless except for 2 nights when we had salmon!
Replenishment was sporadic so sometimes you had to stand and wait until your choice was replenished.The chef didn't seem to like enquiries as to when it might happen.
Lunch in the same restaurant was essential to make up for disinteresting dinner but was only a chicken burger BUT 10 times more tasty than dinner but coast 11 euros and a glass of wine is also 11 Euros.
Lights did not make an appearance despite standing in minus 22 C several nights till midnight but skies were clear.
Trips.
Went to Levi which convinced I prefer the atmosphere of Yllas despite the food shortfall.
Did snowmobiles which was good as provided by Yllas Adventures staff patient despite one of our party getting a snowmobile flying through trees!
Also did dog sledding which was minus 24 C and ok but staff less interested in communicating.Unfortunately had to go around the ride standing on the brake as preceding team very slow and our 5 dog team amazingly fast.They need to manage this better than they do.
HIGHLIGHT surprisingly for me as I thought it would be too sedate was the Reindeers at the Sami farm as the owners were amazingly warm to the whole party and less focussed on the money side and extremely welcoming and friendly with traditional dress and a lovely souveneir shop which they only showed us when we asked and many people bought reindeer rugs.
I also found that reindeers gallop of their own accord and they can move well.At least ours did.
Snow shoeing also good with the spectacular snow covered trees bathed in moonlight good experience but need reasonable fitness to enjoy it was quite warm at minus 14 C.
Tried Spa once and found it too cold.
Didn't do the Snow Hotel but many of group did but were disappointed as the staff closed the bar early and left the premises leaving an emergency number to call.
Overall OK but spoiled by dining experience in a sombre dining room with poor food and indifferent service.Focus on the could make it a 4 star as location is great but for now is 2 star which maybe just the way Finland is!
Try Millies for lunch her Reindeer burger is sometimes good.

Room Tip: Rooms at back best preferably 3rd or 4th floors.Note there no safes in the bedroom as there is "...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Duaneengland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wales
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2013

It was our second time staying at Saaga - stayed in the 2 bedroom apartments with half board option. Family of 4 - 2 adults, 2 children. The apartment was on the 5th floor, great views, comfy beds, warm rooms and a fab sauna in the apartment, (except could have had a dvd player!) and is ski in / ski out. Hotel has a lovely swimming pool ( all be it a bit cold), you can easily walk to the ski school (which is right next to the hotel) and if you need a creche (which we used the first time) it is right next to the ski school - so in all easy! The resort is ideal for families, we all had tuition and our children ended up with one to one as it was so quiet! A great resort for families.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JJonesy
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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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