• BLOG
  • Sauna

    Tiina Kivelä

    Finnish sauna. Almost everyone in this country has one and even though the nuances are varied, the basic concept could almost be found in our constitution.  Tiina Kivelä

    It’s a funny concept — you warm it hot (80°C is about right), get naked, go in, sit (or lay) and sweat there for some time (15mins is about right), silent. And throw some water to the stones constantly. Then you scrub your skin with something, or beat yourself with a birch whisk (don’t ask), and sit silent for some more minutes. Further on, you go out, jump into an ice cold water or if the season is right, snow, and curl there for some seconds, get back in, sweat some more, and shower.

    Then you take your bathrobe and an ice cold beer, go out to cool down for few minutes and take another set of silent moments. Finally, you come to the conclusion that life isn’t so bad after all. With perfect skin.

    That’s Finnish sauna, my favorite, almost daily, wellness ritual. And a very good excuse to close off rest of the world for a moment.

    Tiina Kivelä

    For Finnish sauna, you don’t have to stay in or come to Finland though. When traveling, it’s always interesting, and rewarding, to find sauna, especially if it’s labeled “Finnish”, and test enjoy it. To see what the prefix Finnish means with each case; if it’s hot, humid and minimalistic as the best ones, or if it’s just good enough. And then I just sit there quiet for a while, letting the body and mind relax.

    I’ll add few good sauna finds below, around Europe. And if you know a nice one, which you think I should definitely try, please tell me or invite me over. If it’s close snowy mountains, or in the middle of busy city, the better.

    Recently, I’ve even started to browse and dream of spa holidays or at least travels including as much spa’s and sauna’s as possible.  Steam sauna’s and hammams, Korean saunas and so on. Traveling with a tight budget, as I normally do, creates stress for which spas and saunas offer nice remedy. Almost as good as a long sleep in comfy king size hotel bed.

    In Finland, finding sauna for the everyday stress relief is pretty easy, and one of the best perks of Finland is definitely the saunas even in the smallest urban flats. In few weeks, when finally moving to a new flat after months of homelessness, I’ll even get a tiny home sauna myself. And for that personal “spa”, and since my skin is screaming “woman why did you bring me back to this hell called dry Finnish winter air!”, and hair is screaming “come on woman, you can’t run with me from the -20°C directly to the +80°C sauna without consequences“, I’m also updating my wellness self-help kit, starting with Aésop in pictures (they came wrapped in that cute paper, ordered from their own webshop). It’s high-end, a bit expensive, and not as eco as I’d really like, but oh boy it will look nice in my shelves, next to sauna.

    And hopefully they make my skin scream less.


    Where

    Spa’s with sauna(s):

    Bödelibad, Interlaken, Switzerland

    Seebad Enge, Zürich, Switzerland

    Finnish Rooftop Sauna, London, Great Britain

    Hotel saunas:

    Züri by Fassbind, Zürich, Switzerland

    Arctic Light Hotel, Rovaniemi, Finland

     

     

     

     

  • 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
  • Good Place To Work Helsinki – Café Tarina

    Tiina Kivelä Tarina

    Lately, I’ve worked a lot from cafés and other places while ”on the road”. And I thought it would be good idea to start sharing my good finds in here too. No matter how trendy “sport” this is, finding a good remote work place isn’t easy, especially when in need for good WiFi, power outlets and reasonable prices. There are few listings up around the internet, but I thought I could add my own comments and reviews of places I can recommend for working, meetings and similar.

    First up is Helsinki, capital of Finland. And in there, a place bit far from the city centre, nevertheless good. It’s a café with a hint of bistro, called Café Tarina. It comes with excellent service, relaxed, cool and quiet atmosphere, fast Wifi (ask for the password) and excellent cinnamon rolls. On the minus side, it’s far from city centre (appr. 20mins with public transport) , it’s crowded and a bit noisy during lunch rush hour, Helsinki priced, and it has no power outlets easily available. So remember extra power and some more cash for a good and productive work day.

    I might make it a Monday tradition to add more places like this here, so stay tuned if and when you also like your workdays with cinnamon rolls and good coffee. They’ll come with a tag “good place to work”. Until that, let’s keep on typing and surviving another work week the best we can.


    Where: Café Tarina, Laajalahdentie 20, 00330 Helsinki / two espresso cups out of three


    FI: Sarjassamme hyvä etätyö/freelancer paikka Helsingissä. Café Tarina.