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Reviewed 13 March 2015 via mobile

We travelled as a family of 2 adults and 3 kids from Melb, Australia to Nellim, Finland and stayed 4 nights . It took us about 37 hours from leaving home to arriving at Nellim. Right from touchdown at Nellim, we experienced nothing but warm hospitality and fantastic service. The lodge is located in a breathtakingly beautiful area. The accommodation ( we stayed in 302) was beyond expectation- I loved the the decor , the apartment was very spacious even for 5 of us, and the kids just loved the jacuzzi bath and sauna ! We joined 4 activities - Husky safari, , aurora snow mobile, reindeer farm and aurora camp. Highly recommend all of them. Except for the first night when we crashed in bed from jet lag, we were very lucky to see the aurora on all the other nights we were there. We spent our last night in the Aurora Bubble- what a wonderful way to fall asleep- watching the stars and aurora while lying in bed.
All the staff in Nellim were very helpful and accommodating especially towards our kids. Excellent food , beautiful surroundings, friendly staff, great accommodation - we couldn't have asked for more. Special thanks
to Nina for looking out for us and the kids. And also to our guide Joonas who made the trips so fun for our kids ! If anyone wants to come to Finland to experience the Lapland activities- Nellim is the place to go. We are now in Rovaniemi spending our last few days of our Finland trip --- but we all wished we were back in Nellim!!!!!

  • Stayed: March 2015
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1  Thank HF L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2015

I was only there for 3 nights but was a very enjoyable 3 nights. Very good food Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, with friendly staff and great activities, snowmobile in the wood and on the lake, husky across the lake and aurora nights 1 by the lake, 1 at the aurora hide and the final out at the bridge.

  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank WinterLakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2015

Went on a trip here with the aurora zone, it's was fantastic, all the food and activities were paid prior to the visit.
The hotel staff and the guides were friendly and helpful and the recommendation would be the highest.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 4 where the shower was warm not hot but the other rooms were ok.
  • Stayed: February 2015, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank philwhite2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2015

Just back from 5 days at this great place booked with Aurora zone. Sadly it was cloudy every night so we didn't get to see the northern lights but we still had a wonderful time dog sledding, driving a snowmobile, tobogganing and trips out. All the activities were very well organised with friendly and professional guides. The food was plentiful and wholesome- help yourself from a buffet. There was coffee and tea to also help yourself to at any time. Wifi available in lobby and dining area.
Tips: you will need at least 4 layers under the snowsuit that they provide. I also wore 3 pairs of socks with the snow boots provided - you will need to go up 2 sizes for these. No need to dress up at anytime - jeans and jumpers or fleeces are the norm at mealtimes.
Extras that are useful - hand and feet warmers, head torch, hip flask with vodka to add to the excellent hot berry juice which is dished out every night when out on camp, sunglasses or ski goggles for when you do dog sledding as the snow can be quite bright and the wind can make your eyes run. I used their hat, outer socks and mittens which were great , there were plenty to choose from at no extra cost and don't worry they are washed!
We stayed in the new Romantic cabin which was a one minute walk to the main hotel - definitely worth the upgrade. It had a kitchen, dining area, incredibly comfortable double bed, very efficient log burner (although there was under floor heating which made it very warm anyway) and a private sauna which you could set to a timer so it was ready for when back from the activities. Kitchen had kettle, crockery, cutlery, a dishwasher and cooker. The cooker was a bit of a mystery as the hotel is full board and there are no shops to buy anything from! The one thing we could have done with was a fridge, which was missing so if you do stay in this cabin take a small thermos flask to take milk back to the cabin for drinks. Rooms are serviced on alternate days. You will need to take your own toiletries as none are provided.

Room Tip: Try for the new Romantic cabin - only very short walk from main building. Spacious, fantastically comfortable double bed, under floor heating plus very efficient log burner, private sauna that works on a timer, kitchen and dining area. Very quiet. We loved it!
  • Stayed: March 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank 447Sammy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2015

This was our second visit to this hotel. Each time we booked directly with the hotel and arranged our own flights. Last year a travel agent wanted £400 more than I paid passing off the hotel’s package as its own.
We chose airport transfers as part of the package. Ivalo airport is small and the bags were off the plane in just a few minutes and we were straight onto the waiting minibus. It takes 45 minutes to get to the hotel.
We arrived around 7pm at reception. Check in, off to our room and back for dinner. Dining is very informal. Find some space at a table and then it’s self-service. The hotel was full this time and there was plenty of space in the dining room. The food is plentiful and tasty and we always ate well. WiFi is available in the dining room and this being Finland cell reception everywhere.
First night we spent in an aurora bubble. There are five or six of these pods. They consist of a bed in a circular main room, a short corridor to the outer door and a compost toilet. They are very warm with lots of controllable heaters. The dome over the bed has a clear view of the sky with the tops of some trees in places. We got lucky and saw the lights. Last year we didn’t see any aurora in the three nights we stayed due to the amount of cloud. They are a natural phenomenon and while they are there pretty much every night if there are clouds then you won’t see a thing. Photographs exaggerate the intensity of them. They shimmer and move quite quickly. That night the skies were totally clear and after a few drinks in the bar we were heading back to our bubble at about 10:30. We could see what looked like a streak of white cloud right across the sky and as we watched it took on a green tinge. Then it just went crazy with curtains of pale green twisting around edged with pinks and purples. We stayed awake as long as we could with my wife reporting things still going at 2am and 4am.
Day one we were off for a snowshoeing trek. Our guides were Matthijs & Ivo. This was a 4km walk in the surrounding area. At about halfway (roughly lunchtime) we stopped and a fire was lit. Frankfurters were skewered on sticks freshly cut and warmed. Cheese sandwiches toasted by the fire. Fruit juice and coffee made from kettles boiled over the fire. The guides are very knowledgeable and can explain all the animal signs that you see. There were loads of animal tracks and droppings. The only animals we actually saw were the Siberian Tits that appeared when we ate.
Day two dog sledding. In my opinion the best activity you can do while waiting for night-time to bring another chance to see the lights. The guide Matti trains the dogs and leads the trips. It starts with a little instruction on how to drive a sled and then off to meet the dogs. When you arrive the dogs are already harnessed and when they see you the noise level goes right up. This can also be the coldest activity especially for the person sitting in the sled. The hotel provides some cold weather clothing including an outer layer and boots but you will need thermals and some other layers of your own. The temperature can vary quite a bit. The coldest I have experienced is -20C and have seen -39C reported. I have also seen temperatures above zero in March so being able to remove a layer when you are active and add a layer when you stop is sensible. The dog sledding trip is about 20km and the dogs sometimes do that twice a day. When you return to the kennels you can give the dogs a cuddle as they are extremely friendly but some of them will try to “mark” you.
Day three reindeer farm. This is done on snowmobiles with two adults per machine and children under 14 in a sledge towed by the guide, which was Ben on this occasion. The reindeer are basically wild but they are all owned. The trip takes you to a farm where there are a few in a compound that you feed by hand. You will learn about the ownership marks and have a go at the method they use to catch them (not on a live reindeer). We then went to see a traditional method of fishing under the ice and then another campfire is lit. Lunch is reindeer soup/stew, cheese toasties and juice or coffee. After lunch it was off to see one of the corrals used in the reindeer roundup. We then visited the very pretty hand built, using traditional methods, Orthodox Church which is just round the corner from the hotel. Sometimes the trip goes out to the Russian border depending on the weather conditions.
After dinner the skies were clear and the aurora started around 6:30 unfortunately by 8:30 when our snowmobile aurora hunt started it had clouded over. So our guide Joonas took us across the frozen lakes on our snowmobiles to one of the many huts dotted all around where he made a fire and we had toasted marshmallows. Joonas is a local boy and skilled at carving. Ask him to tell the story about mushrooms and reindeer. The guides come from many places including the UK and Holland.
Finally back to Ivalo airport and if it’s snowing you can watch from the departure lounge how they keep the runway open.

  • Stayed: February 2015, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank NinthEagle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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