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THE LAPLAND SERIES, DAY 4

HELSINKI – IVALO

The truth about Kakslauttanen Arctic resort. There were so many highlights coming up in this trip, too many to decide on what I was most looking out for. However the accommodation at Saariselka was right up there.

NOT SURE I HAVE EVER BEEN THIS DISAPPOINTED

I had seen photos of this place over Instagram for years and for that reason I was absolutely sold on staying here. Apart from being proper Lapland and well inside the Arctic Circle, these glass igloos were the main reason we decided to visit! Experience should have told me better.

WHERE IS KAKSLAUTTANEN ARCTIC RESORT?

Kakslauttanen Arctic resort

After a short flight from Helsinki, we collected the car from the airport and made our way to Kakslauttanen. We got the impression that things might not be as good as we expected as soon as we arrived. The reception was crowded and trying to find someone to check us in was difficult. Then we were shown on a map where our room was – it was a drive away and for most people a fairly hard walk while dragging their suitcases – luckily we had a car! From there things just got worst.

The truth about Kakslauttanen Arctic resort

DAILY INFO….

  • FLIGHTS – Helsinki – Ivalo
  • HOTEL – Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort 3/10
  • ATTRACTIONS – Northern Lights Snowmobile tour
  • MILES COVERED – 693.3 miles
  • STEPS – 9,500

AFTERWORD

I write this paragraph after coming home and having gave myself more than enough time to settle down and reflect if things were not as bad as they were. Unfortunately it turns out being on holiday mode might have even clouded my judgement and things were in fact a lot worse than I felt at the time
I could cover everything that we were disappointed with, not to mention the price of 500EUR per night! However some of the main points were as follows;

The truth about Kakslauttanen Arctic resort

FOOD

Utterly disappointing and the level I would expect a prison to have. Each night we had a self service buffet and we ate, people like us just don’t go hungry. But our last night was the tipping point as we were served spaghetti and tomato sauce. Tomato sauce you say? Well they called it tomato sauce but it came in the form of a massive bottle of Tomato Ketchup! The drinks machine rarely worked and the waitresses done everything in their power to avoid any drink orders.

The truth about Kakslauttanen Arctic resort

ROOMS

This is what we came for but the rooms were more akin to a 1980’s caravan with little to no fixtures and fittings. There were no drawers for you clothes, no hooks for your coats and jackets and not to mention the décor. Even my granny would have been embarrassed to have the zebra duvet cover.

The showers were in a separate building which isn’t a problem as the idea is to have the rooms as small as possible. But the showers themselves were like something I have seen in public bathroom at a local football pitch.

Should it annoy me that my room wasn’t even looked at, let alone a bed made for the 3 nights we stayed there? Only the price made me reflect that this wasn’t right.

The truth about Kakslauttanen Arctic resort

FESTIVE

We visited during Christmas to get the biggest festive experience we could. But I was left shocked at the complete lack of effort. Apart from 4 flaccid pieces of tinsel there was no Christmas decorations and zero atmosphere. No Christmas tree and no music on the 22nd of December in Lapland!! I don’t expect the red carpet but at least a subtle reminder that it’s Christmas. Even the travel lodge, one of the most basic hotel chains in the UK would have this!

ACTIVITIES

I will touch on this over the next few posts but these were organised as well as everything else. In the morning of our ice pool experience I had a letter put under my door to say the time had changed from 5pm to 3pm. This cut short out tobogganing and had to cancel our lunch in Sariselka. The after waiting an hour at reception for our transfer we were told to make our own way. I wonder what would have happened had w not had a car. Our experience then only lasted 1 hour as the following group was to come at 5pm – the time we had arranged several months ago. I hate to sound like a Karen but I could go on.

WORST HOTELS IN THE WORLD

According to Trip Advisor

  • Hotel Printania Porte de Versailles, Paris
  • Berkeley Court, London
  • Polynesian Oceanfront Hotel, Myrtle Beach, SC
  • The Merchants Hotel, Manchester

NORTHERN LIGHTS

Anyway that’s enough of me ranting. Believe it or not I’ve tried to keep it short in fear of sounding like one of those people.

Getting away from the disaster of the accommodation, it was time to get out and enjoy the landscape. We knew there was little to no chance of seeing the Northern Lights but driving the snow mobiles more than makes up for it, a lot of fun out in the Wilderness.

However, and I utterly hate to be a complainer but the entire point of this blog is to share my experience. It felt a little unprepared. As we stopped half way for some drinks and biscuits in a tepee/Kota there appeared to be no supplies. So for the 10 minutes it took the guide to drive back we were left in the cold (-20) and pitch dark of the Kota. Deary me 😩

SUMMED UP….

  • MVP – The girl at check in
  • LVP – The waitresses
  • HIGHLIGHT – The landscape
  • LOWLIGHT – Everything about the resort

FINAL THOUGHTS

Oh what a day it was meant to be, I’m not sure there could have been a bigger contrast.

I understand they do not need to market to repeat customers and can easily sell this fairy tale destination 3 times over but there are so many little things that could be done to make this experience satisfactory at the very least. What was meant to be not only a special trip but a special experience staying at a unique accommodation turned into such utter disappointment!

NEXT UP

Lets get out of this place and go ice karting!! Click to read.

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
159/229

This post was part of The Lapland Series. To view my Instagram highlights click here.
If you would rather read the rest of the series from the blog just click here.

Question Time

  • Have you ever been disappointed by your hotel/accom?
  • What was wrong with your experience?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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DAY TRIP TO MAGICAL TALLINN
FROZEN KARTING & HUSKY RIDES

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