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All reviews santa safari great fun reindeer camp northern lights the main hotel frozen river snow suits and boots across the bridge petrol station husky ride transun reps ice hotel fantastic holiday icing on the cake once in a lifetime whole experience recommend this trip
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Reviewed 5 January 2015

We have just returned from a four night stay at this hotel. This is the second time we have stayed at this hotel. The rooms are basic but very warm and comfortable. The food was excellent. There is plenty of it and it is always hot. Meat is cooked really well, very tender to eat. There are usually a couple of different options so you will find something to you choice. Don't go expecting five star hotel choices, you are in the wilderness and it is in the Artic Circle. There are a couple of good walks, one is up the hill at the side of the hotel (where you can see the Northern Lights if the sky is clear) and the other is down the hill to a couple of small shops. You can walk across the bridge into Sweden. The hotel staff (I emphasise hotel staff as the same can't be said of the Transun reps this time) were very helpful and always friendly.

Room Tip: If you are not taking children ask for a room on floor 2 (same as reception area).
  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Thank WorldTravellers8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantaSafariManager, General Manager at Davvi Arctic Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 12 January 2015

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are pleased to read that your return trip to our hotel was as enjoyable as your first! The unique location of our hotel not only means you can visit two countries during your stay, but the Swedish/Finnish border village of Karesuando is located on the Official Northern Lights route, and our spectacular vantage points surrounding the hotel means it is the ideal location to witness the Aurora Borealis during your stay.

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Reviewed 4 January 2015 via mobile

Well, what a surprise the Davvi turned out to be. We travelled with low expectations given the reviews before we left. The hotel and staff are great. The food was lovely - buffet style for all 3 meals and all of us including the children always found something we liked. For new year's eve the hotel did a three course table served meal with a children's option which was a lovely touch. Unfortunately Transun told us about that quite late so it threw out our plans a little but more about them at the end... Another lovely extra from the hotel was a firework display as new year arrived.

The rooms at the Davvi were comfortable and warm. The sofa-bed mattress is very thin as others have mentioned - it was ok for young kids but would have been horrible for adults to use. The big choice is whether to stay in the hotel itself or in one of the cabins. The cabins are bigger and have their own saunas but you need to kit up in your cold weather gear for the short walk to the hotel building. If you stay in the hotel you can access the restaurant, lounge, bar and reception in normal lightweight clothes. The big problem is that kids use the corridors to play in so sleep can be a bit difficult sometimes.

All of the hotel staff were friendly and helpful.

Then on to Transun. The head rep Katy was astoundingly disorganised. Given that it is so far into the season it cannot be put down to anything other than Transun's problem. Information was difficult to get for the first couple of days and you never knew when she might appear. When she did show up she might deign to allow you to book a trip, you just felt like a nuisance to her. The other reps were good with kids, friendly and interested - especially the tall slim blonde guy and smiley woman with straight dark hair.

The key to having a blast was to hide your frustration at the lack of organisation from your kids and throw yourself into everything with childish enthusiasm.

Thank you Davvi for a great stay but Transun you really need to get your act together.

Stayed: January 2015, travelled with family
3  Thank 227helenan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantaSafariManager, General Manager at Davvi Arctic Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2015

Thank you taking the time to leave a review. We are pleased to read that you found your stay at the Davvi Arctic Lodge comfortable and our staff were friendly and accommodating. We are also pleased to read that you enjoyed our New Year festivities, from the dinner to the firework display under the Arctic sky, a fantastic way to celebrate the New Year!

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Reviewed 4 January 2015

I feel compelled to write this review, having seen the bad reviews not long before our visit and wondering what we were letting ourselves in for. We went for a three night Transun break and had an excellent holiday and the hotel was more than adequate for all our needs.

Remember where you are: approx. 150 miles North of the Arctic Circle!! Don't expect lots of luxurious extras, but rest assured that you will find friendly, attentive staff, clean and wonderfully warm rooms and a truly magical location that both children and adults alike will find awe inspiring.

The hotel is part way up a hill, surrounded by trees and with a lovely view over to Sweden (don't miss walking from the hotel over the bridge into Sweden to see the little church; at certain times they do a carol service there which is a lovely experience). Behind the hotel the track goes further uphill from where you can get a wonderful view of the night sky without any lights getting in the way. We saw the Northern Lights one evening which is by no means guaranteed, but really adds to the magic if you are lucky enough to see them. There is deep snow all around (in December at least!) and sledges are provided for children to enjoy within the grounds when not on the organised excursions: a very nice feature.

We opted for a cabin within the grounds and I thoroughly recommend this. They give you more space and a very useful heated porch area for leaving your snow suits and boots without getting snow/wet in the room itself. They are then dry very quickly for the next time you go out. Our cabin had a log fire which added to the lovely relaxing atmosphere. There is no wifi (we couldn't find any even in the communal areas), but somehow this forced us to relax more than we would have done; we just enjoyed being 'cut off' from the wider world. The rooms are basic, but clean, comfortable and warm. There is no TV in the room, so recommend bringing things for the children, e.g. games, sticker books, DVD players etc. But that said, you aren't in your room very much!

We had one issue with the room door lock that the staff couldn't resolve that evening but promised it would be sorted out the next day and it was, even though it was a Sunday. Very impressed with the staff.

The food takes the form of a buffet each meal and is more than adequate. Choices are limited but we all managed to find food that we liked every time. You won't find fresh fruit and only certain vegetables, but they do their best and given the location, the result is pretty good. Tea, coffee, hot and cold milk and hot chocolate are all available most of the time and there is a bar selling beer, wine and soft drinks in the corner of the dining room. There are nice views from the dining room, at least during the short hours of 'half-daylight' (approx 11am till 3pm in late December).

Although this is a review of the hotel, I would like to mention a few things about the whole Transun 'Sleigh Bells Ringing' experience. The staff at Transun's UK office were very helpful and knowledgable. The Reps at the airport and on the trips were also friendly but at times organisation was a little bit lacking. Also, some experiences are shorter than we expected, especially the husky dog ride which only lasted 10 minutes at the most. They said this was due to the exceptional cold that day (-25C), but they could have allowed two short runs after a break while others had their turn, so that two people could have a turn 'driving'. The snowmobile ride was excellent and lasted a genuine 30 minutes, with a pause half way through to allow drivers to swap. The reindeer ride to find Santa's cabin was quite short but truly wonderful. The children were so excited and any doubts they may have had beforehand have disappeared since this experience and they now firmly believe in Father Christmas again!

Overall this was a wonderful experience and we would love to return.

Room Tip: Opt for a cabin and ideally for 2 adults and 2/3 children take two adjoining cabin rooms (accessed via a central porch which can be locked giving open internal access to the two rooms but safe external closure at the same time); this gives the best combination for family accommodation.
  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
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2  Thank Duncountin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantaSafariManager, General Manager at Davvi Arctic Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2015

Thank you for your review. We are pleased to read that you enjoyed all aspects of your stay, from the traditional timber built cabins, to the remote wilderness location, to the warm and welcoming staff and food on offer. As the village of Karesunado is on the official Northern Lights route, the hotel is in a fantastic location to witness the Aurora Borealis.

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Reviewed 2 January 2015

The staff are lovely and food very generous, plus room warm and clean. Efficient transfer and beautiful forest surroundings. However, we were given rooms here rather than the other hotel and it was overrun with children making it noisy and wild if your room was anywhere near the lounge area. Trips were wonderful though information about when and where needed to be provided with more clarity. Do not come to this hotel if you do not have a young family! Or make sure you get a lodge.

Room Tip: Away from lounge area
  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank barrdeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantaSafariManager, General Manager at Davvi Arctic Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2015

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We are pleased to read that you enjoyed the remote, wilderness location of the hotel, 160km north of the Arctic Circle. Our hotel accommodates all guests, however if clients are after a more private and quiet accommodation, the traditional timber built cabins located in the hotel grounds are an ideal option, complete with their own private sauna.

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Reviewed 31 December 2014

Forget the frankly ridiculous reviews which state how terrible the accommodation is, or how bad the food is as quite simply, if you are looking for good food and accommodation visit the Lake District! This holiday is all about the magic of Christmas and it has it in abundance. A sleigh ride to Santa's with real reindeer, driving snow mobiles, driving huskie pulled sleighs, tobogganing, these are just some of the activities on offer in a beautiful part of the world. If you cannot focus on anything except on whether the towels are changed everyday then you shouldn't be looking to go on a holiday like this. Try Butlins instead......

  • Stayed: December 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank C5clive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantaSafariManager, General Manager at Davvi Arctic Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2015

Thank you for leaving a review. We are pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay at the Davvi Arctic Lodge. If guests would like clean towels we ask clients to please speak to reception, who will be more than happy to help organise fresh towels for your room.

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