Tailor-made Santa Visit to Finland review including Kakslauttanen

February 19th 2019

Review by John and Family,

"Helsinki was quite lovely at Xmas. It snowed overnight when we arrived so we woke to a white city and the kids had snowball fights for the first time. We went to the Xmas market in the Capital Square which was lovely and we went to the Fazer Chocolate Cafe which as you might expect did a splendid hot choccie.

The hotel in Helsinki was excellent. The room was great although we found it a bit too warm. Transfers to and from the airport were also excellent.

In Ivalo we first stayed at Kakkslautenan and the Kelo cabin was amazing. Lovely wooden buiding with the igloo part stuck on the end with a double bed in there too. The room was warm and cosy. Meals at the resort (half board) were excellent and we didn’t feel it was too crowded. I had read the staff had a reputation for being a bit underwhelming but I don’t agree. They were all lovely and helpful.

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Despite the fact there were a lot of people there it felt really remote and special.

We did the Santa experience which was a lot of fun - An elf takes you on a walk through the snow to see a variety of things before you get to Santa house.

We also did a snowmobile tour which was great fun. Our boys fell asleep in the sled behind the lead driver!

It was a bit sad when we left for Saariselka as we really loved the resort and wanted too stay longer but we soon got over it as Saariselka was ace too. It is a lovely little town and everything is easily accessible.

It was slightly jarring when we arrived as the reception of the hotel was jam packed with British tourists getting picked up for excursions with the major tour groups and we didn’t really enjoy the feral experience of breakfast at the hotel. We were in a self catering apartment down the road but administered by the hotel. They didn’t help us get our bags to the apartment which was a bit off but we all pulled them along together. The apartment was great with a laundry, good bathroom and sauna as well as cooking facilities.DSC 2070

There were lots of places to eat. We often used the restaurant attached to the hotel as it was good for food for our boys.

Other places we liked were Cafe Porotupa which is a tiny shack just next to the hotel. Only opened a few hours a day and did great soups and drinks as well as lovely cakes and crepes.

The whole thing was amazing and we all had a great time. Nothing that you and 50deg North organised stuffed up and we were very impressed with the quality of the tours, transfers and accommodation.

No complaints at all Tony. Thanks for helping us do it.