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All reviews winter wonderland ice fishing log cabin northern lights snowmobile safari husky farm a la carte menu ski slopes private sauna mountain top great fun self catering the main hotel tea and coffee beautiful scenery whole week the cottages
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Reviewed 6 March 2010

Like the last reviewer we stayed in Kelo Cottage 4A! Couldn't fault it at all.
Likewise, the hotel was very welcoming and we found the buffet food to be of a high standard for all meals. We didn't try the A-La-Carte menu.
The scenery was magical - snow-laden trees, blue skies (along with well below zero temperatures) and loads of things to see and do. We did the snowmobile safaris including the night time one to see the Northern Lights (we didn't see them), Reindeer safari, snowshoe hiking, Husky safari and booked an extra trip to Ranua wildlife park and Rovaniemi Christmas village (yes, we met Santa Claus!) which was well worth the extra money.
We did see the Northern Lights from the hotel the night after we travelled to see them which was the icing on the cake for us (I'm an amateur astronomer!).
The cabin was very homely and the addition of a log fire made the evenings just right. I agree - the TV reception wasn't brilliant but we weren't there for that. Beds were really comfortable and we slept like logs each night.
Temperatures. Well, be prepared as you've never experienced anything like this in the UK! We arrived to minus 18 degC, generally temps were between minus 20 and minus 24 degC but the night-time snowmobiling experienced minus 33 degC. BRING THERMALS! The survival suits and boots you get given are a Godsend but bring your own insulated gloves and good headwear.
In short - did we enjoy ourselves? You bet we did! A winter wonderland holiday never to be forgotten. Look for TWastro on Flickr to see some of our photos.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TWASTRO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2010

I booked this holiday to Iso Syote with The Mighty Fine Company hoping to see the Northern Lights. Unfortunately we didn’t see them but still had a fantastic holiday! The staff were very friendly and helpful and the food in the restaurant was delicious. We stayed in a Kelo Cottage number 4A. The cottage is 5 minutes away from the hotel. It consists of a kitchen/dining/living area, 1 double bedroom, wet room and sauna. The kitchen has fridge, microwave, kettle, coffee maker, oven & hobs. The double bedroom has two twin beds pushed together. Shower and hand towels are supplied as well as hairdryer in the wet room and the sauna is very easy to work. The dining/living area has a 4 person dining table with chairs and sofa bed. A TV is in the living room but the reception isn’t great. Whilst there we did a snowmobile safari (drivers licence required), husky safari, traditional reindeer caravan, snowshoe hiking, ice fishing and snowmobile safari in search of the northern lights. All excursions were magical and the guides were very knowledgeable and interesting. I didn’t ski myself, but other visitors told me it has great slopes to learn on. It really is a winter wonderland but I would love to visit in the summer as the activities available look great (quad biking, canoeing). I would love to return another year and maybe see the Northern Lights!

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Amulet13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2009

I'd always fancied going to Finland and this year finally decided to give it a try. We booked with Thomson and stayed for a week in the hotel. Both my partner and I have skied before, but decided to book the ski school anyway, as I am quite nervous! The ski school was the best I've been to and was really encouraging and helpful - braved the reds by the end of the week, which is not like me!! The scenery was magical and the hotel was in a great position on top of the fell - ski straight out onto the top of a nice blue run. I sometimes have trouble with food at hotels as I am veggie and have allergies, but no problems at all here and ate well every night. Only slight moan about the hotel was the lack of cleanliness in the rooms - ours was not touched all week even with the 'please clean me' sign left on the door. That said, I would not hesitate to go back there. Biggest problem with the holiday was the cost - prob largely down the the current financial climate, but we seemed to spend a fortune. e.g. glass of cider was £6, glass of wine £8 and the cost of the trips (reindeers, husky's etc) were extreme, but the two trips we did go on were excellent fun and had really friendly guides. In all, if I could afford to I would love to go back, but Finland is certainly not a budget place to go - great for a relaxing time, but also can be fun/exciting if you want it to be. Go to the reindeer farm and see if you can stay on board the naughty one - I hit the deck on the 2nd corner!!!

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank crazypoppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2009

My husband and I travelled to Iso-Syote on the 22nd Feb for 1 week, we took a 2.40pm flight from Gatwick to Kuusamo airport which took 3 hrs and 15min.
When we arrived it was night time but we boarded the coach to our resort and took in all the scenery which was amazing, it was snowing when we arrived and it looked wonderful, even though it was dark you could still see where you were going. The transfer took 1hr 30 mins and we stopped at a supermarket to get some supplies.
We were given our key by the rep (verity) and taken to our cabin.
Our cabin was clean and tidy and had most things you would need for self catering although basic, but we had already upgraded to halfboard.
I must admit I didn’t like the 2 single beds put together as we couldn’t cuddle up to each other properly and we had to make up the beds ourselves which was a little annoying as we were so tired but they had plenty of sheets and duvets and covers.
The bathroom had a shower and sauna and floor heating which I found nice and you can quickly dry any wet clothes in the bathroom.
The TV is not so good with only a couple of English channels and no DVD player, I recommend you take one, the TV is not good!
We had 2 bags of wood which was plenty for the week.
We were very lucky that we managed to get an internet connection while we were there and as we took our laptop we were able to keep in touch with family and pass the time, we even listened to the football when we were in the cabin. So anyone staying in cabin H7B or around there, you might get lucky too!
No dishwasher or washing machine but it did have microwave, kettle and coffeemaker and cooker.
Breakfast is 8am till 10am is excellent for price and there was quite a range of foods, cereal, bacon, eggs, sausages cheese, ham, salads, toast and lots of rolls, fruit and yogurt. The hot chocolate is also good.
Dinner is buffet style again you can choose hot or cold and is from 5pm till 10pm anyone who doesn’t go halfboard it is 20 euro’s for the buffet and a different selection every night including a choice for kids. They do a good lunch selection and a pizza is about 9 euro’s.
The hotel has a swimming pool but we didn’t use it. I cannot comment on the hotel rooms as we stayed in a cabin.
Most of the cabins are in a short proximity to the hotel and easy to walk in 5 minutes.
The snow conditions are fantastic with beautiful scenery and very deep snow.
I recommend you take thermals, layers and decent boots. I would not recommend moon boots as mine leaked and i had to borrow some from the hotel.
The walk from the cabins and hotel down to the bottom of the resort is about 3km and a stunning walk on the tracks it takes about 30 to 40 minutes to get to the bottom. If you are fit you can walk back up but some parts are steep. We took the bus back up to the hotel each day which is free, you just collect tickets from the hotel in the morning as they are dated. The bus also leaves the hotel in the morning at 10.20am to take you to the bottom if you don’t want to walk. The bus collects at the bottom by the Syote shop at 12 .45pm and you can also request a bus at 2.45pm at the hotel in the morning. The ski bus also collects again at 4.45pm.
At the bottom of the resort there is a nice bar/cafe that sells lovely hot chocolate for 2.50 euro’s.
There is also a fast food restaurant which we ate in a few times and the burgers and fries are lovely. Toilets are also in the store.
The Syote shop sells gifts and clothing. The food store is also here and they sell the basics.
I wouldn’t recommend you drink Finnish tea or coffee, I would advise you to take your own!
As regards to trips, we booked 2 before we left the snowmobile safari and the snowmobile trip to reindeer farm. When we got to the resort we booked another 2 trips, the snowmobile northern lights trip and the trip to Ranua zoo.
Unfortunately the trip to the northern lights was a disaster, before we even left we came across some issues firstly do not do this trip first if you have never driven a snowmobile before and there were some health and safety issues. So we were unable to do the trip. Thankfully, Verity gave us a refund. For personal reasons I won’t go into, we were unable to do the other trips apart from the zoo. The zoo was ok, we saw polar bears ect, but the conditions they were kept in may upset you!
7 of us went on the trip at a cost of 65 euro’s per person, this trip does not include entry to the zoo, and we were not told this when we booked it. So add 65 euro’s for 7 people together plus 10.50 euro’s entry and you come up with a total rip off trip. It seems an hour to the zoo and back in a mini bus costs 455 euro’s! As you can tell we were not happy and have asked crystal for a full refund on the trips apart from the zoo where we have asked for a 50% refund!
I am sure most people will be ok on the trips, but a lot of people moaning about the huskies being whippet like and reindeer not looking very well. There were a few accidents too.
I am afraid I cannot comment too much on the skiing but it looked good and lots of people enjoying themselves. There seemed to be a lot of Finnish people there too on holiday, it outweighed the amount of English visitors. We made some friends at the resort with an English couple, but i found Finnish people quite miserable.
On the Sunday we left we had hours of waiting around as our flight wasn’t until 9.25pm, you have to vacate the cabin by 12pm and then the coach doesn’t pick you up till 6pm
Finally, we did enjoy our holiday and we got out of the time we spent there some great memories pictures and video. It truly is a magical place. The advice I would give you would be to work out exactly what you want from a holiday like this and plan carefully. If I was able to get more info on this resort it would have helped us plan our holiday better, so any questions please feel free to email me.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank emjay1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2009

I heartily agree with all previous reviews that this destination is a gem, and that we are likely to return.

The reps Verity and Gavin gave us all the information we needed.
The location, relaxed atmosphere, ski-ing lessons, beginners ski-ing and trips that we took were fantastic.

I thought however that I would write to give a bit more detail on the cabins for 4 people (the older ones). Whilst these are situated a little way from the hotel (ours was 10 minutes walk - from the middle of the grouping) this allowed us to benefit from the children playing in the snow and the tremendous views out over the valley.

The Type C cabins are built of logs (romantic in image) and whilst compact are perfectly adequate. We were however a little suprised by the choice of sofa bed in the lounge which would not convert into a double bed (and one half only being wide enough for a child) making it difficult to put the children to bed in the bedroom and have some adult time in the lounge. We have suggested that a sofa bed is supplied that will convert into a double bed.

As our children are only 5 and 7 years old, we moved the wheelable half of the sofa bed into the bedroom and the children shared it head to toe. It actually worked out fine, although with all the fresh air and exercise even the adults were tired.

We self catered, partly to avoid walking the children to the hotel to eat in the evenings. We pre-ordered a welcome pack (teabags, filter coffee, sugar cubes, finesse cereal, loaf of bread, jar of jam, ham, cheese, tube of margarine), although the bus briefly stopped at a supermarket on the journey from the airport. We initially supplemented this with a couple of packets brought from home (that the kids would definately eat) and then used the supermarket carrying items each day in a back-pack up on the ski bus and later in the week on the T bar ski-lift. The supermarket is very close to the slope and had a reasonable range for a small local shop and was adequate. For lunch we generally treated ourselves to the fast food at "Rolls".

Regarding trips our 2 hour trip to meet Santa was wonderful (booked over the internet) but not detailed on the on resort details. A couple of log cabins in the middle of the snow covered countryside - the guide left us whilst he went to see if Santa was home returning 5 minutes later to walk us down a snowy track through the trees then into a cabin to talk to Santa for as long as we wished. Then we walked back to the mini-bus and played snowballs until the guide joined us. We did not see another person (although at a distance a line of snow-mobiles drove away- presumably they had heard Santa was at home too). Totally magical !

You might want to take a pre-wrapped gift to give to reception at the hotel the day before the trip!

Similarly the half day reindeer trip totally magical, although glad the kids wore ski suits and then the safari suits on top.

We had a wonderful time and I would love to return soon.

Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
4  Thank Aliceb1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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