Imagine beautiful hillslopes covered with a thick layer of snow and large pine trees. In between you spot beamlike wooden buildings in a stylish way set in nature. The suites of Arctic TreeHouse Hotel stand on stilts, are placed in pairs and all have window walls facing north for viewing the Northern Lights and the surrounding landscape. Magic day and night assured!
From the beginning of the project the entrepreneurs of SantaPark Arctic World, Ilkka Länkinen & Katja Ikäheimo-Länkinen, didn´t want to build just an accommodation, they also wanted to make the stay of their guests a special experience. With a strong vision of embracing nature and creating different emotional feelings whilst honoring the Lappish heritage, Ilkka & Katja built Arctic TreeHouse Hotel in close cooperation with Studio Puisto. The Helsinki-based studio co-founded by architect Emma Johansson focuses on sustainable accommodation design and conceiving buildings in tune with their surroundings. In August 2015, Studio Puisto got the assignment to design the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel. The next year in November, the unique luxury hotel with treetop views opened on the Arctic Circle.
© Arctic Treehouse Hotel
The inspiration for the accommodation concept – set on a steep natural slope in a coniferous forest in Rovaniemi – came from Nordic nature and culture as well as the magical world of SantaPark. The suites which stand on stilts draw inspiration from a classic Finnish toy, “käpylehmä,” meaning pine cone cow. Their spirit highlights characteristics of the area and creates an optimal setting for experiencing both nature and arctic mysticism.
Photo © Sarah De Gheselle
While we walk from the cosy hotel reception with its high ceiling and beautiful lamp cluster to the Rakas restaurant and the suites… we don’t know where to look first. This place just feels like magic.
A year after opening, the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel in Rovaniemi (Lapland) received international recognition for its design, as it was voted Best Innovation in Hotel Concept by 500 travel professionals at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards in Paris.
Photo © Sarah De Gheselle
A few minutes later we are more than happy to discover that our suite is situated in the first row of buildings. Yeah right, this means we probably get the best view. The nest-like feelings in the suites are intended. Materials like wood and wool let us feel the nature of Lapland.
We are immediately drawn to a beautiful nature through the huge window and are really looking forward to come back here tonight to enjoy the impressive spectacles of the forest and Arctic skies. We can already image us lying on our bed admiring the Northern Lights. It must be just wow.
But before that we will enjoy another wow experience. Arctic TreeHouse Hotel is more than just staying there, it is also about experiences; so for the afternoon we got a dog sledding tour with Siberian huskies scheduled.
In a minivan we are taken to Huskypoint Sinetta, where about fifteen sleds each of them individually pulled by six huskies are waiting for us. The huskies bark like crazy and try to pull the sleds regularly. It is clear they are ready to leave. We are also!
Far from civilization and the madding crowd, in the middle of nature surrounded by snowy slopes, pines and Siberian huskies we become one with nature.
One is very exposed to the elements and also to the boisterous dogs, but whatever happens (even dogs peeing while running), clothing is provided… Huskypoint Sinetta puts an overall, gloves and boots at your disposal.
My travel buddy and travel blogger Sarah De Gheselle and me.
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