December 2017, Arctic Light Hotel
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.
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.
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.
FI: Hetki Kotona. Osoitteessa Hostel Café Koti, Valtakatu 21, 96200 Rovaniemi