• BLOG
  • Good Place To Sleep in Rovaniemi – Arctic Light Hotel

    Tiina Kivelä

    The title of one of my favorite songs, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, could describe this hotel quite well. However, Arctic Light hotel is not my style. I’m not luxury like it. Almost the opposite. Normally, my go-to option is everything nordic cool, or hipster, as my friends would say. But the older I get the more I like posh, or rather I would say I like taking care of me. In other words, I’ve now found myself liking the 5* hotels, expensive smelly candles and even spa’s. More adventure but even more comfort.  Or, as this sentence from here sums it: play hard, rest hard.

    In places like Arctic Light hotel I like especially the 5* service and design with an Arctic twist. Oh boy it’s nice and I love it. Why wouldn’t I? As the title suggest, the beds are especially good for sleep. Breakfast is famous and delicious (worth waking up early) and the most important thing in Finland, sauna, both the in-room and the separate hotel sauna (which you can reserve for yourself only from the reception) is excellent as well. The sauna works extra well when paired with the hotel toiletries by Rituals (with whom I have a long complicated history by now) and if you are lucky, you may also share your bath with a polar bear (but please note that polar bear isn’t native in Lapland really). And for the interested (and enough earning ones), hotel is one of the few in Finland offering Concierge service.

    I wish I’d have more money to stay here more often. It’s not my style but I love it enough still. And if you can, check it out. Go have a good sleep or stop by for a breakfast, after work drinks, or dinner.

     


    Where: Arctic Light Hotel, Valtakatu 18, 96200 Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

    ~

    Ps. An insider tip: I just looked flights for December (I just can’t keep myself away from the best Christmas markets) and noticed it’s time to hurry up, if you plan to visit Lapland in December, especially during the holiday season. The flights are pretty expensive already, and some days fully booked even.

    I’ve been myself quite devastated that Germania didn’t continue their direct seasoned flights between Lapland and Switzerland after last winter. Those flights were kind of a selling point for me when I was thinking is it worth to move back north this winter and now I do feel a bit trapped in here (or should earn a bit more to afford the Finnair flights). However that’s just my personal catastrophe, and there are other flights still for you and me even – fewer and more expensive, but still. Just make sure you are on time when booking your trips to and from Lapland – it’s busy up here around Christmas.


    FI: Sarjassamme hyvä paikka nukkua Rovaniemellä: Arctic Light Hotel

     

  • BLOG
  • Lapland Weekends: Riisitunturi

    Tiina Kivelä

    In Finnish we call these kind of things ruskaretki; loosely translated “autumn colors trip”. If you’re from Southern Finland or abroad, you first take the long journey by car, train or airplane to Lapland. Eventually, from your chosen transport hub, you continue further to the wilderness, in example to Riisitunturi National Park.

    When in destination, you experience the amazing colors and enjoy a little break. Apparently, only in the higher latitudes almost all of the vegetation changes colors at the same time and that’s why it’s so great in here. Some years, you may even experience the first snow. Moreover, you drink a lot “pannukahvi” ( coffee made outdoors above open fire), pick up some berries and mushrooms, and fish. And spent many hours in sauna. Yes, this time of the year there’s not so many crazy extreme activities available, except by bike maybe, and therefore it’s kind of a granny season. For slow travel and unplugging.

    In Lapland however, we can skip the long journey and do a little ruskaretki almost every day in September, between and after work. You may not get the colors the whole month sine the intensity depends on the year and whatever reason. But you never know if you’ll experience your first snow of the season, or an indian summer during this month. Or both. And this is many times the best time for Northern Lights too – you’re not freezing to death when jumping out in your pyjamas to see them, like I did few nights ago.

    This year, there’s been great autumn colors but oh so cloudy and grey skies, and foggy days. Like this. Though I kind of like the spooky atmosphere; and it makes great pics with the colors. Nevertheless, I would like to kindly request a few sunny and clear autumn days, and especially nights for the Northern Lights. Thanks, or I book last minute tickets to my southern home.

    One of my favorite day hike destinations close to my hometown (1h drive) is Riisitunturi National Park; the hills aren’t high “down” here (I say down because everything below Arctic Circle is south) but what they lack in altitude they substitute in other wonders, thorough the year. This time we hiked (and tested a bit after the marathon feet) and brought our own coffee. Nevertheless, the place is awesome for a skitour in winter, trailrunning and almost any activity the national park rules allow. Unfortunately, it’s only reachable by car, but if and when you have one, I’d also recommend visiting nearby Korpihilla Café, which is basically the only food&beverages establishment in the region. And there’s Pentik art and everyday design centre in nearby Posio too, for local design & interior enthusiastics.

    And there’s never nothing wrong for stopping by just for the nature. Like this.

    Lapland

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Riisitunturi National Park, Lapland, Finland


    FI:

    Ruskaretkikohde: Riisitunturi

    Terveisiä ruskaretkeltä! Tällä kertaa Tiinan epävirallisen virallisessa matkaoppaassa Riisitunturin kansallispuisto, jonne teimme pienen retken viime lauantaina (eräänlaista korvikehoitoa vuoriviikonlopuille). Oikeastaan keskellä ei mitään, hyvin vaikeasti määriteltävällä alueella eteläisessä Lapissa, sijaitseva kansallispuisto on pieni ja söpö paikka kevyeen retkeilyyn; säällä kuin säällä, vuoden ympäri.

    Parhaiten loivaprofiiliset reitit soveltuvat mielestäni polkujuoksuun (minun pitää vielä joskus kirjoittaa siitä miten tyhmältä tuo sana polkujuoksu suomeksi kuulostaa – eikö voisi käyttää vaikka sanaa maastojuoksu?) ja talvella hiihtovaelluksille, mutta eivät hieman rauhallisemmastakaan menosta nauttivat alueella varmasti kyllästy. Ainakaan kovin helposti, jos vain ulkoilu ja luonto vähääkään kiinnostaa. Osa reiteistä on sorastettu ja pitkospuitakin löytyy, joten kevyillä varusteilla pärjää; en silti kuitenkaan lähtisi tännekään kävelemään juoksulenkkareissa, vaan valitsisin kevyet hyväpohjaiset vaelluskengät. Kuraa on nimittäin tarjolla, varsinkin tällaisella säällä. Päälle on myös hyvä pukea merinovillaa ja gore-texiä, vaikka kuinka Instagram julkkikset, varsinkin naiset. poseeraisivatkin tuulisilla vaaranrinteillä paljain selin (jep, minusta on tullut tällainen täti ja tästäkin aiheesta ja esimerkistä olisi ehkä hyvä kirjoittaa enemmänkin).

    Kulkemamme pidempi ympyräreitti, n. 11km, on näemmä vaihtanut hieman reittiä sitten viime kerran – välillä joissain risteyksissä oli suomalaiseen tapaan vaikea tietää minne pitäisi oikeastaan olla menossa, mutta onneksi vaelluskaverillani toimi GPS ja paikallistuntemus. Aloitimme päivän retken normaalia myöhemmin ja otimme omat kahvit mukaan, mutta mikäli paikalle sattuu aukioloaikoina ja ilman omia eväitä, on lähistön Korpihilla käymisen arvoinen tankkauspaikka. Tai no oikeastaan ainut sellainen, sillä läheltä ei löydy edes ABC:tä. Omat eväät mukaan siis, kaiken varalta. Lisäksi kohtuullisen ajomatkan päästä löytyy Pentik mäki tehtaanmyymälöineen sisustusfriikeille. Kyllä, tämä on oikein erinomainen kohde tyypillistäkin tyypillisemmälle ruskaretkelle, eli hieman vanhempien aktiivisten naisten hemmottelumatkalle, jossa retkeillään ja käydään vähän ostoksilla.

    Edelleen väittäisin, että tässä on kyllä sellainen asiakaskunta, jolle voisi tarjota ja myydä enemmänkin, sekä palveluita että tuotteita. Eikä vain pinkkiä.


     

  • BLOG
  • WELCOME HOME – TERVETULOA KOTIIN

    Tiina Kivelä

    *sponsored content

    This week I was Home for two nights. In other words, I stayed few nights at Hostel Cafe Koti in Rovaniemi. Fun fact: almost exactly 9 years ago I moved into a house just 50m from here. Back then, this Hostel building was a bank, and on the other side of the street, where’s now an construction site for a new apartment complex, was the coolest rock club in town, “Tivoli”. During those 9 years we’ve all gone through some major transformations indeed and except Tivoli (RIP) I think we’ve all changed to better.

    Nowadays, in Koti, a sign behind the bar says “welcome home” and I have to say I really felt like home in here. For me, it’s not just the familiarity of the town I’ve lived in for 5 years. It’s also the mix of languages, other travelers, the stylish contemporary design which still has something left of the good old days. Moreover, the staff is awesome and entrepreneurs young and innovative, so why not to love this and feel home? I chose the private twin room, since it was a work stop for me (and since I still haven’t found a flat from this town) but for the more social travelers  on tighter budget I can also recommend the dormitories, which offer both mixed and only women/men rooms.

    THERE’S SAUNA TOO

    When in Lapland, of course a hostel has Sauna too.  Koti’s sauna is warm every evening and open for every guest without extra charges (times: women 19-20, men 20-21).  From the top floor you may also find a roof terrace called Mökki (Cabin) with wooden hot tub, bar and special events like dance lessons, live music, outdoor cinema, yoga and flea markets.

    Hostel is stylish and has a very young contemporary, even a bit hipster feeling, but don’t let it scare you, older guests like the place too and the café and terrace attracts both locals and tourists. I’d give five starts for the whole experience and if you are interested, click here for details and book your stay directly (direct booking saves you some money). I got some discount for this mention, but let me tell you I’d pay the full price anytime. So much I like feeling home away from home.

    Tiina Kivelä

     

    Tiina Kivelä


    FI: Hetki Kotona. Osoitteessa Hostel Café Koti, Valtakatu 21, 96200 Rovaniemi