Rovaniemi is a truly magical place for a winter holiday thanks to the Santa Claus Village, the stunning Lapland landscapes, exhilarating winter sports, and the amazing Arctic culture. As such, there are plenty of hotels and resorts around the city to make a holiday comfortable, warm, and even more magical. Be sure to book your places at these hotels early, as they are so popular they fill up incredibly quickly.
A central hotel located in the former town hall building, Arctic Light Hotel is within easy reach of all of Rovaniemi’s best restaurants, bars, cafes, and attractions, with the Santa Claus Village only a short bus ride away. It has several themed rooms and suites, including the Arctic Room, which combines contemporary style with Lappish artwork, the Aurora Loft with a separate lounge area, and the Christmas Cabin. You can also enjoy the accompanying Arctic Boulevard restaurant, one of the best restaurants in the city, and a classic Finnish sauna.
Part of the Santa Claus Village complex, the Snowman World Glass Resort is a particularly unique hotel built into real glass igloos designed after traditional Sami ‘kota’ huts. Each igloo forms a miniature holiday apartment with a bedroom, living room, kitchenette, a bathroom with a sauna, and an outdoor hot tub. As well as warming up in a private, comfortable room, you can watch the night sky or the northern lights from the glass ceiling. Nearby is the Ice Restaurant and Igloo Hotel, where you can dine or even sleep in buildings constructed from ice.
One of the oldest city hotels in Rovaniemi, Arctic City Hotel is located next to the main shopping centre and the travel bureau and is within easy reach of all the major attractions. There are three restaurants on-site, including the highly rated Arctic Boulevard, which serves quality Lappish food sourced from local ingredients, as well as a steakhouse and American diner-style restaurant. There is, of course, a sauna area in the hotel, with separate saunas for men and women and a lounge area for relaxing afterwards.
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Bridge to Hotel Vartiosaari | Courtesy of Hotel Vartiosaari
If you want to stay somewhere a little more intimate or further out into the countryside, Hotel Vartiosaari is ideal. It is located about 10km from Rovaniemi city centre on a private island (whose name means ‘Guard Island’) and has only 11 luxury, cabin-style rooms with river-side views, which also means the service is much more exclusive. The restaurant is designed after a kota hut with a cosy fireplace and each room has a private sauna. Not only is it more peaceful and secluded but the absence of light pollution improves your chances of spotting the aurora.
An agricultural research facility turned into a luxury hotel, Apukka Resort contains hotel rooms, holiday apartments, and aurora viewing cabins, so there are plenty of options to choose from. In the 2017 winter season, the resort also opened their ice cabins – hotel rooms made from ice blocks but designed to look like traditional log cabins, the first of their kind in Finland. Even being so close to the city centre and airport, the views of the northern lights are spectacular. An ‘Aurora Adventure’ guided tour is also offered from the resort for further experiences such as riding snowmobiles or feeding reindeer.