They’re all at it, the Finns. Following the recent spate of new and innovative hotels opening up in and around Rovaniemi – the Arctic Treehouse Hotel and Arctic Snowhotel & Glass Igloos to name a couple – there’s another new kid on the block. Apukka Resort opens its doors on 1 December, hoping to make the most of the region’s ever-growing popularity with an offering that pairs superb Northern Lights viewing with a full spread of unique and unusual accommodation options. There’s a whole programme of never-seen-before activities, too, from Aurora tours in a luxury wagon to a sauna on skis.
Ice Log Buildings
Apukka's ice cabins take the traditions of Finnish log-cabin construction and apply them to ice. And, as with Scandinavia’s other ice and snow hotels, there’s the chance to hunker down for the night on a frozen bed, kept warm by Arctic-standard sleeping bags and thick reindeer hides. The resort’s owners have even applied their ten years of ice-building knowhow to create everything from furniture and slides to full-size cottages and ice saunas. It’s all showcased at the resort’s World of Ice, open to guests throughout the winter season.
Set away from the main resort in a forest clearing free from artificial light, these heated, glass-roofed cabins are loosely based on the already popular glass-igloo concept. Stepping inside, guests will be treated, with luck, to private views of the Northern Lights, all from the luxurious comforts of a cosseting double bed.
Perhaps the most unusual of all of Apukka’s accommodation options, their heated Aurora Wagons can be transported out to unique and beautiful spots in the wilderness, from snow-laden hilltops to frozen lakes. There’s a comfy bed on board and even a small kitchenette while the glass roof panels look up to the inky black of the Arctic night and, hopefully, private view of nature’s greatest light show. Trips depart at 8:30pm and last for 12 hours.
Rooms, suites and apartments
While the above options are perfect for a night of adventure, if you want to linger then look to Apukka’s ever-so-stylish rooms, suites and apartments. All newly kitted out and designed with typical Finnish flair, they come with either a kitchen or kitchenette, private en-suite bathroom and views out to the lake or forest. All have flat-screen TVs and complimentary WiFi for a little extra home-from-home comfort.
There’s much to do in Finland’s Arctic north, but there are few resorts with such an eclectic mix of activities and excursions as Apukka. Perhaps swap an overnight stay in one of the aforementioned Aurora Wagons for a daytime adventure, taking your far out into the remote wilderness. Or, enjoy an ice sauna at World of Ice before setting off on a visit to a reindeer farm. There are also also horse-drawn sleigh rides, Arctic Circle snowshoe adventures and, returning to the sauna theme, the resort’s very own Sauna on Skis. This unique innovation allows guests to experience that most Finnish of pastimes in remote countryside locations. And, if you decide to visit in summer, it comes on wheels instead.