Glass cabins and igloos
Perhaps the most famous special accommodation in Finland are the glass cabins and igloos. In a cabin with a glass ceiling, you can – if you’re lucky! – literally doze off under the Northern Lights on a clear winter night. For lovers of light, the cabins offer an unforgettable experience also in the summer to soak up the midnight sun.
Lapland has a wide variety of glass-inspired accommodation to choose from. Here’s a look at some of them.
Those looking for special places to stay in the Levi and Saariselkä regions, the sleek and modern wooden glass cabins at Northern Lights Ranch or the glass-roofed villas at Northern Lights Village are great options. In addition to gazing up at the sky, you can spend a holiday skiing your heart out. Did you know that Saariselkä is actually the northernmost ski resort in all of Europe? From Saariselkä, head south to Pyhä-Luosto area where you’ll find one of the most beautiful national parks in Finland – there’s even an amethyst mine! – as well as unique accommodation, like at Pyhä Igloos. How about spending the night in a snow igloo? At Pyhä’s Lucky Ranch, you can.
Love Christmas and can’t get enough of Santa? At Rovaniemi’s premium glass igloos at Santa Claus Village you can literally stay at the Arctic Circle. In addition to all things Christmas, the Rovaniemi area offers a lot of other activities from huskies to reindeer and beyond.
For a waterside view, try the glass villas in Kemi in Western Lapland or Arctic Fox Igloos in Ranua, south of Rovaniemi. While in Ranua, don’t miss the Wildlife Park where you can spot many arctic animals from a lynx to a polar bear. The park is committed to protecting animals – in fact, anyone who finds a lost and hurt wild animal in the nature can bring it to the Wildlife Park for care and nursing.
In the very north of Finland, in the heart of the Sámi culture near Lake Inari, a great choice for a truly extraordinary and ecological stay is Nellim’s Lake Inari Aurora Hut. Near Inari in the town of Ivalo, you can find Aurora Village with peaceful panoramic views Northern Lappish nature. If you are looking to go even further up and northwest, try the Arctic Land Adventure Glass Igloos in Kilpisjärvi near the border point of Finland, Sweden and Norway. It is also known as The Three-Country Cairn.
If you can’t quite make it up to Lapland but would like to stay in a glass cabin, you can. You’ll find these iconic cabins for example also at Iisakki Glass Village in Kuusamo, Magical Pond in Ruka, Sky Cabins in Ukkohalla and Kalle’s Inn in the Gulf of Bothnia. Further south in the Lakeland area, book a stay at the Scenery Suites at Järvisydän resort in Rantasalmi or at Revontuli Resort in Hankasalmi. Lakeland is the perfect getaway for those looking to relax and unwind, sweat it out in a sauna, stroll in the forest and take dip in a refreshing Finnish lake.
If you are looking for something exclusive and one-of-a-kind, Octola Lodge in Lapland might be for you. This internationally awarded and private wooden chalet has 10 luxurious rooms surrounded by the vast Lappish wilderness. Built to meet the high standards of frequent, global travelers accustomed to five-star hotels, Octola provides its guests with wilderness guides, a chef and even a butler to ensure an unforgettable stay. Octola also has its own private wilderness area with wildlife ja security control. The lodge is located on the Arctic Circle just 20 minutes away from the Rovaniemi Airport.
Snow and ice
The weather is something most people associate with Finland and it usually has something to do with winter, snow and ice. Thus, it is only natural that we also have hotels made of – well, snow and ice.
Lapland Hotels SnowVillage, near ski resorts Ylläs and Levi, is a place like no other and it changes every winter. Each year, around 20 million kilos of snow and 350 000 kilos of crystal clear natural ice are used to build the spectacular village which changes in shape, size and design. At SnowVillage, you’ll find ice sculptures, decorated snow suites, an ice restaurant, an ice bar and even an ice chapel. If you plan to stay the night, it is good to bring warm layers of clothing as the temperature in the igloo rooms stays between 0 and -5 Celsius degrees. But don’t worry, the sleeping bags will keep you warm!
For a daytime visit to a snow castle in Western Lapland, head to Kemi where you can find SnowCastle. Purchase an entrance ticket and stroll into the fairytale-like sceneries filled with illuminated snow sculptures. For an overnight stay, book a room in the internationally awarded SnowHotel located inside the castle. The castle opens during the end of the year and typically stays open until April.
If you are in the Rovaniemi region, try Apukka’s Ice Hotel Cabins. They are cozy cabins made of actual ice blocks. In Apukka’s own words, you’ll feel “like you’re in the middle of the movie Frozen by spending the night in one of our Ice Cabins.” Apukka also offers other kind of unique accommodation, like Aurora Wagons and the Komsio Suite – a luxury suite offering a 360-degree view of Lappish nature with a name referring to a traditional Sámi cradle.
For those who love the Moomins (and ice!), the small town of Leppävirta in Lakeland is the place to go. Moomin Ice Cave is the home to the world’s only ice sculpture cave that exhibits these lovable furry characters. Moomin Ice Cave is a day-trip destination. If you’d like to spend the night in the area, the cave is located next to a spa-hotel.
Out to sea
Have you ever dreamed of staying on a lighthouse island? In Finland, you can. Most Finnish lighthouses have been automated but luckily not abandoned, with many now serving as tourist attractions. The distant locations guarantee visitors peace and quiet, with the sounds of the sea as the only soundtrack.
Bengtskär is one of the most well-known lighthouses in the country. This ruggedly beautiful island is located 30 kilometers southwest of Hanko in the southern coast of Finland. Take a day trip to Bengtskär or stay overnight in one of the six rooms at the island’s hotel. All of the rooms were previously part of the lighthouse keepers’ homes and have views of the sea.
Kylmäpihlaja lighthouse is located near the town of Rauma on the west coast of Finland. At the Kylmäpihlaja hotel, all rooms are located in the tower of the lighthouse and have a sea view. The hotel has 15 rooms that are decorated in a nautical style – simple but comfortable.
If you’re in the Oulu region, a great option for a lighthouse-inspired stay is Arctic Lighthouse Hotel at Hailuoto in the Gulf of Bothnia. The hotel is nestled at the foot of a still-functioning lighthouse. Enjoy the endless rays of the summer sun on the sunny terrace, have a tasty dinner at the hotel’s restaurant or go to the sauna – you’re in Finland, after all.
If you love the sea, history and fishing, head to the island of Klobben in the Åland archipelago. At Klobben, you can stay in a sleek but basic wooden cabin (called a shed) where the sea is literally your closest neighbor. The sheds were previously used by the fishermen for overnight stays during the strenuous fishing of Baltic herring in the outer archipelago. The timber used to build the sheds comes from 500 year-old pines in the forest of Saltvik. Over time the color of the timber changes to a beautiful shade of grey. Another great sea-inspired accommodation at the Åland Islands is Havsvidden that offers luxurious stays in wooden villas built on majestic red, Baltic Sea granitcliffs clad by pine trees.
Special locations in and around Helsinki
Did you know that Helsinki’s iconic art nouveau district Katajanokka is also the home of a once notorious prison that was remodeled into a modern hotel? Hotel Katajanokka has a history like no other. Originally opened as the Helsinki County Prison, the main building of the hotel dates back to 1888. Following extensive renovations, the prison was reborn into a modern hotel. However, the building has not lost its vintage character and prison-esque details, protected by the Finnish National Board of Antiquities. While in Katajanokka, don’t forget to take a leisurely stroll around this unique and historic neighborhood. The colors and designs of the buildings inspired by the Finnish national epic Kalevala often leave visitors in awe. Enjoy a cup of coffee and a korvapuusti (traditional cinnamon pastry) – that’s the Finnish way.
If digital detox and nature are your cups of tea, look no further than Nuuksio National Park and Hawkhill Cottages less than an hour away from the Helsinki city center. You’ll find cozy lakeside cottages, a private sauna, great hiking grounds and even a beach. If you truly want to immerse yourself in nature, try a tentsile experience – a luxurious combination of a tent and a hammock. At the Tentsile Experience EcoCamps in Vallisaari island and Nuuksio, you can literally try sleeping in a tree!
Into the wild
Almost everything in Finland is inspired by and close to nature – art, architecture, food and even special accommodation. Some hotels immerse you into the Finnish nature even more strongly than others. Here are a few unique picks of nature-inspired stays in Finland.
Arctic TreeHouse Hotel in Rovaniemi offers visitors cozy, nest-like suites that sit in their own tranquil location on a steep wooded hill slope. In the modern Scandinavian-style suites, with the bed located right under a large window, you quite literally feel like you are sleeping among the trees. The more luxurious Arctic GlassHouses also have their own private sauna.
For a bird’s eye view, plan a stay at Arctic Giant Birdhouse Hotel in Paltamo. Located on the high Kivesvaara hill, the location is ideal for slowing down, taking a deep breath and admiring the ever-changing views of the Kainuu region and the surrounding lakes. In the summer, you’ll see endless rays of sunshine and in the winter starry skies. Book a stay in either the Birdhouse Hotel, Panoramic House or Luxury Birdhouse. The eastern regions of northern Lakeland are popular also for animal watching excursions, especially bear watching. For a more high-end experience, rent a private cabin where you can immerse yourself into nature and observe the wildlife. The bear watching cabins at Bear Centre in Lentiira are available from spring to autumn.
Aurora domes and bubbles are truly bucket-list destinations when it comes to special accommodation in Finland. Nellim, a little village in the wilderness of eastern Lapland, is the home of the Aurora Bubbles. The bubbles are small cozy cabins with round, see-through ceilings for stargazing.
Harriniva in Muonio gives visitors a touch of Nordic glamping with the Aurora Dome luxury tents. The white domes located in Torassieppi are surrounded by the breathtaking Lappish nature. The views from the tents literally change with the seasons going from the bright yellows of the midsummer to the deep reds of the autumn ‘ruska’ all the way to the magical darkness and Northern Lights of winter. Make sure not to miss the local reindeer farm that dates back to 1847.
If you’re a fan of lakes, consider Finland as your no. 1. destination in the world. We are the land of a thousand lakes – over a 100 000 to be exact. To enjoy a true lakeside experience, we suggest spending your holiday at Anttolanhovi in Mikkeli on the shores of the iconic Lake Saimaa. At Anttolanhovi, you can choose the wooden Lakeside or Hillside Villas for a stay not only inspiring because of the surrounding nature, but the villas themselves. The villas are a great showcase of modern Finnish wooden architecture where nature meets great design.