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All reviews gielas wing santa's lapland toboggan run main building gala dinner drying cupboard private sauna whole experience northern lights small balcony in december half board arctic circle magical trip meatballs day trip ski bus
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Reviewed 2 January 2015

We booked the SantaDays experience through Colchester Travel from 17th to 21st of December.

The holiday was fantastic - so much so that our 7-year old son Henry cried on the last night because he didn't want to go home - in his own words " I miss Dusty and Scribbles (the elves) and have had too much fun!"

We stayed at the Gielas in Saariselka which was well located and well equipped and in fact despite the sub zero temperatures outside, the room itself was spacious and overly warm ...to turn the heating down other than open the door to the balcony !

Four days is about right - the more or less constant darkness becomes a bit of a drag. The days of departure and arrival are more or less written off by airport transfer, kitting out at Lapland Safari, checking in etc leaving you no more than a few hours for sledging, looking around Saariselka village.

By the way the sledging 5 minutes walk from the hotel is easily the most dangerous thing you will do all holiday - the slope itself is not too bad but sub zero intelligence of some parents/unsupervised children means collisions galore. Be vigilant!

In terms of our two full days we booked a three hour husky ride direct with Husky & Co. An absolute must.

We noted lots of comments on TA about how good the food was however we found breakfast at the Gielas to be just about acceptable and the dinners at the Tunturi borderline . At the end of the day you are several hundred miles inside the Arctic circle so ingredients cannot be the freshest or the best - you won't starve but don't expect haute cuisine.

Top tip is to bring a balaclava and a woolly hat - everything else was provided.

  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Scacciapensieri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2015 via mobile

We stayed in the Gielas wing in November as part of the Santa's Lapland trip. Room was excellent with everything you could need. Fantastic access to the toboggan run and rest of the town. A supermarket is a 15 minute walk away. The day at the arctic centre was superb - a truly wonderful experience. Would recommend both this hotel and Santa's Lapland

  • Stayed: November 2014
    • Value
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Thank Jozamani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2015

Just returned from a 3 night trip staying at the Tunturi Hotel in Saariselka. Hotel had everything we needed but was pretty basic. We were a family of four staying in the older part of the hotel and the room was very small. That said the restaurant served excellent food and the buffet breakfast was good. The price we paid reflected the facilities but as we were hardly in the room we really didn't feel it mattered. The whole trip was amazing from start to finish and one we will treasure forever.

  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Amb1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2014

We had a four night trip here on the 17th December to see Santa. We booked with Thomsons and it was all very organised. Room keys were handed to you on the transfer which saves the inevitable lines at reception and the organisation for getting the winter suits and the "talk" went smoothly. We stayed in the Gielas wing which was lovely. the rooms aren't huge but they were fine for what we needed and immaculate on check in. The drying cupboard and sauna in the room were very handy. The hot water was plentiful and water pressure good too.
The rooms were serviced daily but it was more a case of straightening the beds then any actual cleaning that took place but we didn't spend that much time in there during the day tbh.
We had breakfast in the Gielas wing and we found the choices on offer to be varied - there was something for all the family and its a buffet style and always seemed to be well stocked whenever we ate there.
Dinner takes place in the main Tunturi building and again is buffet style with a gala buffet in a different room on our last evening. the food was always delicious, the restaurant well staffed and there was a separate buffet for the children.
There were lots of sledges outside the hotel that you can borrow and we made plenty of use of them on the nearby toboggan slope. We also used them to tow the kids to the nearby supermarket and bring the shopping home :) The hotel was well situated in Saariselka as it is only a tiny town. The toboggan slop was a 5 min walk as was the angry birds activity centre. The cross country trails start atthe tipi at the hotel and the supermarket is 10 mins on foot away. Finally the ski bus dows regular stops at the hotel.
The trip to see Santa at the Arctic centre was amazing. The first activity we did was go find Santa so we had no waiting time really and it all went smoothly. I did hear from people that left it till later that they waited nearly 1 and a 1/2 hours so do beware that it can get busy waiting.
We also booked the snow adventure for our last day. The kids had a fabulous time but us adults felt it was overpriced for what it was even though it was fun.
Our Thomson rep was lovely (KoKo Keeley) and the Elves really helped to make the experience magical for the kids my 2 particularly likes the Sami story of the Northern lights we were told.
I would definitely stay in this hotel again and overall the experience was once in a lifetime amazing. Lapland was wonderful and is a beautiful part of the world.

Room Tip: Try to get in the Gielas wing (its newer)
  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank charliefarli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2014 via mobile

We had a great stay for 2 nights 21/22 Dec.

We were allocated a 1 bedroom apartment just across the road from main hotel & it was clean & functional, we were hardly in the room. The meals were plentiful & offered a good selection. Being in Finland it was good to be offered Finnish dishes.

The day at arctic Centre was amazing, our 7 year old daughter enjoyed all activities to the full. The provided thermal wear was adequate despite -20 degrees. The contrast between temperature took some getting used to, the hotel & rooms are very warm & you really don't want to be in the suit whilst inside.

There was some misleading details regarding the time at resort but we're addressing those separately with Espirit, nothing relating to the hotel itself.

Overall a great once in lifetime holiday, be prepared for darkness 23 hrs per day, it really does throw your body clock!

Stayed: December 2014
1  Thank Rog21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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