Feature: Quirky luxury hotels – Sleep in an igloo in Finland

Tuesday, October 04, 2013 10:57 AM glass igloo at Hotel Kakslauttanen

Set high up in the wild and stunning landscapes of the Arctic Circle, in Finnish Lapland, lies the Hotel Kakslauttanen, a perfect winter escape of sparkling snow and frozen fancies. Here you can delight in the snow and choose from a number of traditional Lappish accommodations, including cosy log cabins, snow or even glass igloos.

Each log cabin is decked out with hand carved wooden furniture, including a traditional Finnish rocking chair and features a large fire place, perfect for snuggling up on those cold winter nights. They also feature en suite bathrooms, kitchenettes and your own private sauna. Queen suite log cabins offer additional extras of a four-poster bed and an outdoor hot tub, so you can stay warm while gazing at the stars.

Or you can choose to go native Sami style by sleeping in a real snow igloo. Made entirely from blocks of snow and ice, the temperatures in the igloo stay a cool -3°C – -6°C, which is in fact a lot warmer than the outside temperature of -32°C. You will sleep on a bed covered in reindeer hide and be provided with down sleeping bags, woollen socks and a hood so that you’ll still stay toasty warm.

If you want all the adventure of sleeping in an igloo, with an added touch of elegance and without the cold, then you can choose to stay in a glass igloo, built from special thermal glass, which never frosts up. Glass igloos come complete with luxurious beds and en suite bathrooms and provide an air of romance. Imagine lying in bed watching a snow storm whirl and eddy around you or if you’re lucky, getting a glimpse of the ghostly Northern Lights prance across the night sky.

There is plenty at Kakslauttenan to keep you entertained too, relax and rejuvenate in the world’s largest smoke sauna, regarded as a sacred healing place by ancient Finns. The sauna provides space for 100 people in three separate areas and includes an open fire place, showers and a nearby ice hole.

Attached to the smoke sauna is a traditional Lappish restaurant, which serves delicacies of smoked salmon or reindeer, cooked in front of guests on a large open fire. There are also three other unique restaurants to choose from, including the Snow Restaurant, built every year entirely from blocks of snow and ice; the Kota Restaurant, where you will dine in large Sami hut and learn about the Sami culture and traditions and the Main Restaurant set in a cosy log cabin.

Winter provides even more activities here than in summer, where you can go cross country or downhill skiing, ice fishing or swimming, ice carving and snow shoeing. You can also enjoy reindeer safaris, learn to drive your own husky team or zip through the snow-laden forests on a snowmobile.

Kakslauttenan is also home to a special Santa’s resort, open in the winter, where kids can meet and talk to Santa and go on gold hunting trails with his elves. Adults can enjoy a romantic honeymoon suite or even choose to get married at the resort’s own ice chapel.

Kakslauttenan truly is a magical winter wonderland.

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