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“Nice apartment in great location”

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Lapland Hotel Saaga
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Yllasjarvi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 27, 2013

We visited the Yllas Saaga hotel for the second time in two years. This year we opted for a one bedroom apartment on a self catering basis whereas last year we stayed in the hotel (see my review on Yllas for info on geography of the area).

The apartment was lovely, there was a small kitchen with fridge, dishwasher, oven, microwave, hob and even a filter coffee machine, all in good order. There was plenty of cutlery and plates for the two of us plus pans etc. There is a table big enough for 4 plus a sofa and chairs. The apartment also had a TV and DVD player plus wired internet access (no wifi but this is available in the lobby and bar areas). There were plenty of towels and they even offered to clean the room each day which is unusual for self catering.

We had a balcony and overlooked the piste. This meant we were north facing and we were fortunate enough to see the northern lights from the room a couple of times. Once sighting was quite faint but another was very good.

The bedroom was two single beds but they were pushed together for us to make a good sized double. There is a separate WC and hand basin plus a bathroom/utility area with shower, washing machine and your own private sauna ! This has a timer so you can set it to come on when you are due back from the slopes.

Each apartment has a locker which you can get a key for by leaving a deposit on your card at reception, the lockers are on the ground floor of your apartment wing and can take some finding first time but worth persevering as they have plenty of room for all your ski equipment.

There is a small shop which sells essentials such as milk, bread, cheese, juices etc but the nearest supermarket is 45 mins walk away. Note that the shop isn’t open when the Inghams flight comes in from the UK and doesn’t open until ca 10.00 am so if coming on this flight you need to be prepared for breakfast on the first day. We ate out each evening but used the small shop for lunches so didn’t go to the supermarket.

This time we visited in late March and were there for the Easter weekend when it got quite busy with Finnish visitors. It was noticeably warmer than our visit in late Feb 2012 but the ski conditions were still very good. You can ski into the hotel but need to walk ca 50 metres to the piste to get out.

The hotel is located a few hundred metres from the main chair lift, ski school and ski rental shop so all very convenient. There are a couple of bars and places to eat in the same area but not a great amount of choice. We ate at Millis a few times and it was very good, they also did a small buffet lunch at 10Eur pp which was popular. Pizza at the Gondola Pizza was very good as were the burgers at the Bistro within the hotel.

Hints and tips
The small log cabin at the top of the fell is a nice place to stop for a snack, lots of character.
The fell has skiing on 3 sides so if it’s windy move around to a different side and it may be more sheltered.
To see the Northern lights request a north facing / piste room, on a clear night turn the lights off and be patient, you just might see them. Also, do as many trips as possible after dark.
Beer at the small shop is about a third of the price than in the bars.
We enjoyed the night time snowmobile safari, snow shoeing and the husky sledging.
Everyone speaks English but as usual learn to say hi and thanks.

Summary
If you’re looking for a quiet laid back family friendly resort with good snow conditions and lots of options for other activities Yllas is recommended.

If you want high adrenalin black runs, lots of Apres ski and a vast ski area then it’s probably not the right resort.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank RichBeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 - 153 of 452 reviews

Reviewed May 19, 2013

Stayed for a week on ski holiday. Overall it's good. The hotel is well appointed and the spa is nice. The reception areas is pleasant, particular if they light the fire, which they didn't always do. The location is great, with a spot of effort you can ski to/from the door and it's handy for everywhere in Yllas, but then Yllas is not very large.

The food was OK, sometimes good. Although it is a self service buffet, those reviewers who have likened it to school dinners obviously didn’t go to the same school as me. Occasionally things ran out and could be slow to be replaced (see comments on staff below), but the quality of meals was decent enough.

The main problem was staff, not that they didn’t try to be helpful, but there didn't seem to be enough of them. We often saw one, or maybe two, receptionists doing their best to serve a long queue of customers. Housekeeping was erratic. Twice our room was never made up and once they turned up only after we had returned from skiing.

The rooms were well equipped though (if you stay in one, that big white thing in your bathroom that looks like a central heating boiler is in fact your drying cupboard).

Despite the problems we enjoyed our stay, but then we're skiers and the skiing is the most important thing. We would be happy stay there again.

Tip: the price of drinks, always on the high side in Finland, tended to be lower in the bar by reception than in the one upstairs, although both seemed to vary rather randomly.

Room Tip: As for a room at the back (view over the mountain) on one of the upper floors (views and balcony)
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Badelynge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2013

We stayed in a hotelroom on the east-wing, hill-facing room. The room itself was ok, quite basic. But.. It was not properly cleaned, scrumbs and tomato on the bedside table, the cattle was dirty etc. When I tried to call the reception, I noticed that the phone did not work. And soon we noticed, that the remote control to the tv did not work either. When we mentioned these things at the reception they just shrugged their shoulders.

The breakfast was a true disappointment, very poor selection and poor quality. No fruits, nothing tasty. Will not stay there again. Next time we will stay at the Äkäslompolo-side.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Plejad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

A moderate hotel, in every sense. Nothing is truly missing, but then again there were no 'wow' experiences of any kind from the hotel itself. No doubt, the downhill skiing location is just great, probably best in Finland, but hotel itself is passable.

Breakfast tended to run out of supplies several times during breakfast.

I'd not call this **** hotel, but probably **+ or something similar. Anyhow, the location close to skiing resort is big plus if you are in to downhill skiing.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Multis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We stayed in a one-bedroom apartment on a half board basis at the Yllas Saaga Hotel. There's a covered walkway to the main hotel where the reception area and bar/restaurant is.

We travelled with Inghams and the organisation of the holiday was excellent. Yllas is a ski resort but it is possible to enjoy oneself without skiing and we had a very relaxing time reading Finnish novels (in English!), knitting Scandinavian mittens, walking, going on some fun excursions (huskies, reindeeer, snowmobiles, Lainio snow hotel) and, of course, Northern Lights watch!

Breakfast was buffet-style and the food was OK - lots of cold meats/cheese, make-your-own-waffles, cereals, fresh breads (nice touch), plus mixed berries and yoghurt and fruit salad (the latter looked as though it had been left out in a tin for several days before being served – not very nice). There were always three choices for dinner, another self-serve experience. The food was average but edible and there was always fresh salad and bread if it became too much to bear. The dessert was usually berries or a traditional Finnish blueberry cake and that was fine.

The restaurant does look a bit 70s but it just added to the charm. It was, as someone earlier mentioned, a bit dusty in places but the tables were cleared regularly and the plates and cutlery were clean.

Our apartment was very spacious and very clean. We made a few lunches there but otherwise ate in the restaurant. The bathroom had a drying cupboard (very useful) and a sauna and we had a balcony from which we could observe the world and his wife.

We didn't visit the pool/spa but people seemed to be enjoying themselves.

There’s not much to do in Yllas other than ski but we walked in the snowy forest, took a bus to Akislompolo, did a few excursions (organised through Inghams with partner companies including Yllas Adventures) and looked for the Northern Lights at night – we were lucky enough to see them four times! You don’t have to go far from the hotel to get a good view over the ski slope, where the lights seem to appear. The best display we saw was as we were walking back to the hotel. The lights suddenly appeared above us, and all around, as we were standing in the car park. We were very lucky.

Highly recommend a holiday with Inghams – really good value, the reps were very helpful and the organisation of the whole holiday was excellent. OK, so the food wasn't brilliant but at that price we really can't complain!

Room Tip: A room with a view of the slopes may offer a view of the Northern Lights (if they're out) but if...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jillinhamptonhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013

I have recently spent a week in this hotel. The staff is very helpful in all areas.
I was on half board and the food in the evening was terrible. I felt like being in the worst school canteen. We did go several times to ala carte restaurant, which was ok, but very expensive (120 euros for 3 soft drinks, 2 glasses of cheap wine, 3 mains and one cheese plate to share). I still would only rate this as 31/2. I had a venison, a raindeer and wild boar on different nights, but never got any decent piece of meat, just tiny pieces(the size of large nail) put together.
The dining room is very dated (60ties) and there was a lot of thick dust on the surfaces with candles and ornaments near the food. One could write on them. They have not been dusted for at least a week.
The cleaners never came or made the beds like one would have expected unless you hang the red sticker on the door handle "Please clean my room".
Big disappointment.

Room Tip: Good rooms with balconies are facing the hill
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank 116Renata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2013

The hotel room is what you can expect from a Nordic 3-star hotel, good shower and clean sheets but that's it. Bed was uncomfortable and duvets/pillows were not down but artificial. The hotel has not been maintained very well. It was not exactly dirty but very dusty, especially room and the breakfast restaurant. Breakfast was nothing special just to fill your stomach. Some of the veggies were overnight (I think we even spottel mould) and juices horrible. Filtered coffee was good though.

On the first dinner (Saaga a la Carte) we had an extremely rude and unattentive waiter but after escalating to the restaurant manager service was smooth. Fish buffet was good and some main courses ok but not really value for the money.

The location is beautiful and great you can almost ski in and out (50m push to slope). I feed sad because they could do so much better. I think the management should really focus on developing this into something unique as Ylläs is the best resort in Finland for skiing and Saaga could be the best place to stay by upgrading maintenance, service and some facitilites.

Despite the average hotel Ylläs was a great experience for our family with five days of sunshine and best slopes in the country.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank krdn-ctlr
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: $137 - $353 (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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