It’s a LONG way from New Zealand to Lapland in Finland, so we wanted to stay somewhere during our recent adventures that was really special and unique to anything we’d done before. The kind of place that you look back on in the coming years with great memories, and vow to always return one day.
When researching luxury Lapland holidays, we came across the amazing looking Arctic Treehouse Hotel in Rovaniemi, Finland. The treehouse style accommodation allows you to lie in bed watching either the Northern Lights or the Midnight Sun. That definitely sounded like a bit of us!
Here’s a review of our stay in an Arctic Glasshouse chalet at the Arctic Treehouse Hotel – did it live up to our high expectations for a luxury family stay?
About Arctic Treehouse Hotel
The Arctic Treehouse Hotel is located around 5 minutes from the city of Roveniemi in Lapland, Finland. It opened in 2016 and the inspiration for the design of the hotel was closeness to nature and childhood play in the forest with pine cone cows! The cute little pine cone cow is the symbol of Arctic Treehouse Hotel and you can definitely see the resemblance in the design of the treehouses on stilts.
The hotel has two accommodation options – the Arctic Treehouses – 32 luxury suites with sleeping two that are designed to best enjoy the views while lying down from your bed, an Executive Suite option, and five Arctic Glasshouses – two bedroom chalets with ensuite and main bathroom, sauna, fireplace, kitchenette and a panoramic view out over the stunning Lapland forests.
Since its inception, the hotel has received a number of awards including Luxury Small Hotel of the Year in the 2017 Luxury Hotel Awards and a Best Innovation In Hotel Concept award at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards. The hotel has been featured in publications including Paris Vogue, Daily Telegraph and Lonely Planet.
It’s also located right next-door to Santa Park Arctic World (with the same owners), and the Santa Claus Village so is an ideal place to stay if you’re taking your kids to experience the year-round magic of Christmas.
A few days before our stay we were emailed to enquire about our check-in time to ensure the hotel would be ready to greet us and giving us some last minute instructions on how to get to the hotel.
We arrived around 5pm and were given a welcome drink of delicious blackcurrent juice (this area of Finland is well known for it’s incredible berries with high levels of antioxidants) and given a map and instructions on how to get up to our glasshouse, along with the keys. We were also asked to fill out our breakfast order and return back to the staff by midnight.
Because the accommodation is situated away from the restaurant and reception, you’re given instructions on how to phone or can use WhatsApp if you require any assistance.
The Arctic Glasshouse
We stayed in unit A1 in a two-bedroom chalet. It was immaculately presented and it was immediately obvious that much care and attention had gone into designing the interiors, with plenty of luxury touches.
The two bedrooms have great king-sized bed complete with beautiful linens and Unikulma pillows and duvet which were super cosy. Three fluffy pillows were provided which was fantastic, as our previous stays in Finnish accommodation only had one rather flat pillow that took a bit of getting used to!
There’s ample closet space provided and thick heavy blackout drapes that are a must-have if you’re visiting during the summer months of the Midnight Sun when the sky is constantly light. Conversely, during the winter months, the drapes could pull right back so you could view the Northern Lights while lying in bed if you wanted.
The bathrooms were luxuriously appointed with tiles and underfloor heating, and nice toiletries. The towels were large and fluffy – exactly what you expect from luxury accommodation.
Our kids were particularly taken with the gold flowing soap!
The main bathroom had a gorgeous sauna unit with full instructions on how to use it. We’d already had a rather intense sauna experience in Helsinki in a public sauna – where the old guys sat right by the furnace pouring great ladles of water onto it and cranking the temperature to an unbearable 100 plus degrees! So it was nice to be able to experience one in the privacy of our own place and being able to control the temperature to a more enjoyable 80 degrees.
The main living space had lovely furnishings – a cosy sofa, two lush leather armchairs, reindeer fur rugs and stylish artwork.
Our Glasshouse had a wonderful looking fireplace – unfortunately at 31 degrees celsius outside it was just too hot for us to use! Normally however it would be wonderful to light the fire and relax – locals informed us the temperature this time of year is 15-20 degrees.
A Nespresso machine and audio system were also provided.
The small kitchenette had a double ring hob, kettle, extractor fan and some cooking utensils. It would be adequate for cooking a light meal.
Outside each chalet is a spacious deck with two deckchairs that look out over the stunning view below of the stunning Lapland forest. The view in summer was breathtaking enough, but I can only imagine how incredible it would look in winter covered in snow with the Northern Lights overhead.
WiFi is available in the chalet and was fast and reliable.
There’s not much in the way of extra facilities at Arctic Treehouse Hotel – because everything you need is located inside your treehouse or glasshouse. It’s clearly a place you go to relax and surround yourself in nature, rather than extra add-ons (believe me you don’t miss a gym or shops in this place as you’re so drawn in by your surroundings!)
If you do want to get out and about, bicycles are provided – including kids bikes which is great to see – and there are cycle trails all around the hotel.
Nature provides the other facilities as there are lots of trails surrounding the hotel where you can head into the pristine forest and explore. There’s a small shelter hut with a fireplace and another open fireplace that we came across that presumably are used in winter.
We absolutely loved exploring out the back of our chalet – mid-summer meant it was light until midnight and our kids had great fun running around and playing games. The forest floor was covered in a sublime green carpet of wild bilberry plants and moss. It was truly beautiful.
The other main facility at the hotel is Rakas Restaurant, which offers Lapland classics with a modern twist. We decided to have dinner here and it was a beautiful evening so we sat out on the summer terrace.
The menu comprised a terrace menu with salads, light snacks and seasonal produce, and a more substantial main menu.
We started with an aperitif of a Cloudberry Mojito, made with real cloudberries (a Lapland speciality) and cloudberry flavoured Finlandia vodka – it was absolutely delicious. We then enjoyed some German Riesling wine which was also lovely, and overall the wine list was small but with a variety of different offerings from around the world.
After ordering our food we sat back and enjoyed the surroundings, and waited…and waited. After around 40 minutes our waiter advised that there were some ‘technical problems’ but our meal wasn’t far away. Finally after around an hour our food arrived – by this stage the kids were getting a bit cranky and hungry. I’m still not sure what the issue was, there were only two other parties dining as it was low season so possibly they were short-staffed. Anyway it was just a little too long to wait for a restaurant that’s at the higher end of the market.
When the food arrived it was very good. We enjoyed a reindeer carpaccio salad – lots of fresh leafy greens, smoked beetroot and divine raspberries,
the chicken milanesa with anchovies, capers and horseradish,
and the kids split a Rakas house burger and fries. We shared a couple of desserts, a fresh strawberry and ice-cream nest and salted caramel chocolate tart with more berries – both desserts were divine.
We arrived at Rakas at our indicated time for breakfast expecting to have our order individually served, however it turned out to be a buffet style breakfast on offer (so I’m not sure why we had to fill out the breakfast cards and return them each with our individual order on!)
Breakfast provided a large selection of continental style items – a selection of cereals, yoghurt, fruit, jams, pastries, bread, cold cuts, beautiful looking salmon and other fish specialities. The hot selection included scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomato, beans, sausages.
A selection of juices was available as was tea and coffee. A small disappointment was that the only coffee available was pre-made from a big plastic urn – it seemed a shame that Nespresso machines were provided in the rooms but one wasn’t available at breakfast, or that coffee from an espresso machine didn’t seem to be available to order.
Rakas Restaurant is extremely stylish, with a fireplace and sumptuous furnishings that would be fabulous to sit around in winter. It’s full of great design aspects – like the handmade pine cone style lighting and plush rugs and throws adorning the comfy sofas.
Check out time is 11am and was very straightforward. A lovely touch was a small gift of some pine cone seeds to take a little piece of Lapland home with us, very cute.
The hotel is conveniently only a few minutes from Rovaniemi Airport (but we were never disturbed by any noise), so it was very easy to get there for our departing flight.
We loved our stay at the Arctic Treehouse Hotel, and highly recommend it to families and couples looking for luxury accommodation in magical Lapland, where you can just get away from it all and relax in pristine nature. One night just simply wasn’t long enough and we would love to go back and stay for longer – particularly during the winter months when it would be simply magical.
But Lapland is also a great summer destination and we had our own magic moments exploring the forest at twilight and watching the Midnight Sun set (as much as it does at that time of year anyway!)
We were all absolutely enchanted with the setting and loved the luxury and extra touches that the Arctic Glasshouse provided. It’s a perfect place to get away from it all and spend some quality time together with loved ones.
Disclaimer: We were sponsored by Arctic Treehouse Hotel for our stay, however as always our opinions are our own.