Arctic Treehouse Hotel, Rovaniemi, Finland
A few miles from Rovaniemi, and very close to the Arctic Circle, the Arctic Treehouse Hotel is a mix of luxury wooden lodges on stilts and larger Glass House cabins, all beautifully situated in a forest setting.
After a wonderful, friendly welcome, we were shown to our cabin – which was ready and waiting for us despite our early-morning arrival on the train from Helsinki.
We stayed in a two-bedroom Glass House – so named because of the huge floor to ceiling windows that run the length of the living room and offer stunning, sweeping views across the forest. A large decked terrace shares these views and is a wonderful place to relax with a glass of wine and breathe in the clean, pine-scented air.
This beautiful wooden cabin is decorated in earthy, natural tones with chocolate-coloured leather furniture, soft grey blankets and reindeer skin rugs. Wooden panelling and tree and reindeer motifs add to the forest ambience.
Featuring two bedrooms with pale and calming décor, a spacious living room and small kitchen area with hob and fridge for preparing basic meals, the Glass Houses are perfect for families. We were also pleased to find there were two bathrooms – and delighted when we discovered that one of the bathrooms contained our own private sauna!
The Glass Houses are designed to be cosy and warm, even in the sub-zero temperatures of winter, with underfloor heating and a wood burning stove.
As well as the five Glass Houses there are also 32 Treehouse suites at the hotel, which are perfect for couples. Blending with the surrounding forest, these cabins are held high up in the trees by wooden stilts, creating a nest-like atmosphere.
All the buildings at the Arctic Treehouse Hotel are made of Finnish wood and other sustainable and renewable materials. The green roofs add to the eco-friendliness – and light levels are kept to a minimum so that visitors in winter have the optimal view of the stars and the Northern Lights.
The main building – where the Reception and breakfast areas are found – is eco-friendly too, with an energy-efficient geo-thermal heating system. Recycling is encouraged throughout the hotel, with special recycling bins in each accommodation.
Throughout the hotel we kept finding pinecone piggies – little pigs made out of pinecones. The hotel's owners used to collect such cones from the forest to make these little ornaments when they were children – and now the pinecone piggies adorn the breakfast tables.
Local food features strongly in the hotel restaurant – and this includes the food served at breakfast. Freshly baked pastries include Karelian pies – a local delicacy of buttery pastry with a creamy rice filling. There's also a selection of fresh juices, including blueberry – sourced from the surrounding forests.
If you visit during late summer you can forage for some of these berries for yourself. Forest trails lead directly from the cabin doors, through woodland that's carpeted with heather and bilberry bushes. A nearby viewing tower offers extensive forest views – there are a lot of trees in Lapland, and these views go on for miles!
The Arctic Treehouse Hotel is just a two-minute walk from SantaPark – a Christmas theme park that is open year-round. Here you will find ice sculptures, a magic train, a bakery producing gingerbread, acrobatic elves – and of course Father Christmas himself.
Visiting in summer gives you a chance to explore this magical region of Finland without the crowds, and a stay at the Arctic Treehouse Hotel is a wonderful experience that is highly recommended.