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“Lovely People - But Not Quite...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Korpikartano

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Hotel Korpikartano
Ranked #1 of 1 Inari B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Lovely People - But Not Quite...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2014

This is a tough one. We have to differ from so many people writing here. Perhaps our expectations were different. It sells itself as a destination for the adventures of Lapland and a charming, atmospheric family hotel. It does the first brilliantly. The second – not so much.
Most people coming here will be hunting the outdoors; the thrill, beauty and adventure of a Lapland winter. Positioned on the lake shore, some 30 minutes from the nearest small town, this is a brilliant location. Peaceful, deeply rural, beautiful. The guiding staff – there to walk you on snow shoes round the forest, teach you cross-country skiing or lead you a ski mobile safari – are brilliant. They are hugely knowledgeable charming and passionate. The owner and one of the guides, Toni, are excellent photographers in their own right and will teach you how to capture the Northern Lights. We came home thrilled with our adventures. The highlight - driving a husky sled across a frozen lake.
BUT – the hotel itself was a great disappointment. Converted in 2008, it used to be a school, and still reeks of institution: strip lights, tiled walls and a regime to match. There is a warm welcome, but don't try and change your plans or ask for clean mugs in which to make a cup of tea! You need to conform to your package and don’t expect much flexibility. The restaurant is not nearly as lovely as the pictures. There is a choice of one dish at any meal, from a self service counter, and late-comers will go hungry. Breakfast is paltry. There is almost nowhere to sit and chill later in the day. The hotel houses 50, and there are seats for just a handful in an uncomfortable, fluorescent -lit lounge and a corridor. In the latter, the manageress arrives regularly to ‘shush’ you. And God forbid you want a drink after 9.30! The bar is unmanned. That staff have gone to bed.
The rooms are clean, quiet and pleasant - but basic. Our ‘Family Room’ was tiny. The bathroom was literally a metre square, the shower ran over the toilet. The mattresses are horribly uncomfortable.
So much could be brilliant here. The staff are golden. The location world class. But the overall feel is less ‘charming family hotel’, more ‘youth hostel plus’. If some money and work are spent on warming the communal spaces, extending the catering and adding a few 'house' staff, this will be very, very special. Til then, it is OK, but no cigar.

Room Tip: If you are travelling as a family, go for an apartment in an outer block, not a 'family room'...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank FilmTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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130 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2014 via mobile

This family owned and run hotel inside the Arctic Circle on the shore of Lake Menesjärvi provided us with the perfect base for aurora watching. The hotel was warm and cosy and provided us with three hearty meals each day. Our hosts Anne and Timo were friendly and informative and our guide Toni was endlessly patient, helping us with our winter clothing and equipment and leading us on ice fishing, snowmobiling and aurora watching outings. As an added bonus from our perspective, Toni was also able to provide us with lots of useful tips about aurora photography. Another guide, Lynda, did a great job of teaching us how to cross-country ski ... in the dark. The pristine silence of the location is simply outstanding. It is the perfect place to get away from it all and reconnect with nature. And we saw the Aurora Borealis twice during our seven day stay!! Highly recommended.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank trabern88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2013

Just returned from spending Christmas at the Korpikitarno. Booked through Activities Abroad but run by the hotel owners Timo and Annie. We were truly made to feel part of the family.
Split into smaller groups for the many activities which were all well run with safety always the prime consideration.
All the guides were very patient and made the whole experience great fun.
This is an excellent holiday for families with teens and adults who don't need a man in a red suit to make Christmas great- just friendly staff and other guests and a willingness to take part.
We shall never forget it.
.

Room Tip: This is a former school- no two rooms are the same but I would try to get in the main house if you c...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Paul O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plano, Texas
Level Contributor
191 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2013

We made reservations with the Hotel Korpikartano quite easily with them via the internet. When we arrived, the place was surrounded with a beautiful lake, woods, and nature. We met Sylvia at the reception who showed us our room. It was very nice with a nice lakeside view. We got the room with the kitchenette, so we were able to make ourselves right at home. However, we did still eat in their dining room every night, and the meals were homemade and delicious. It was during the berry season, so Anna made us a cloudberry dessert....and that was after their reindeer meatballs....YUM!! She also picked some fresh mushrooms and made us a soup one night. Her husband, Timo, runs the place with her, and he is such a friendly person. He shared his photos and his passion for birdwatching. So we want to go back in May at some point and go on one of his bird watching tours. This place is the real deal, and they have an indoor aurora viewing hut where you can have an indoor fire, along with the clear roof. It is lots of fun. They also have a nice sauna. Their hotel, which seems more like a nice lodge, is right next to the biggest national park in Finland, so there is a lot of beauty. We went during the Ruska time of year, and there was a lot of beautiful foliage and not too many tourists, so we enjoyed the peace and quite. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND this place and will definitely come back should we visit northern Finland again.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are nice. Some have forest views and others have lakeside views. A few may have k...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank George M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2013

Wow!! This was such an amazing experience – standing on a frozen lake wowed by the northern lights and the stars, breath-taking snow covered scenery and a self-drive husky safari!!!

Hotel Korpikartano is located beside Lake Menesjarvi. We chose this hotel as it is isolated – there’s minimal light pollution, maximising our chances of seeing the northern lights. We saw the lights 2 out of 3 nights.

Eight of us visited in early December 2012. Anne and Timo were our hosts for our 4 day adventure. Anne organised our selected optional activities - husky safari, snowmobiling, snow shoeing on to the lake to hunt for the northern lights, a visit to a Sami reindeer farm with sleigh ride and a visit to the Sami/Aurora Borealis museum. The snow equipment can be used free of charge – toboggans, kick sledges, snow shoes. As the daylight hours are limited in the winter, Anne would round us up promptly after breakfast for our activities for the day. As it starts to get dark from about 2 pm, we spent any free time before dinner in the sauna and the living room beside reception enjoying hot drinks or something stronger. After dinner, we would be out on the frozen lake trying to catch a view of the northern lights – we simply walked 150 or so metres from the cabin on to part of the lake and were dazzled by all the beautiful stars and on a clear night, the northern lights. There’s a wooden hut located a few metres from the lake with an open wood fire which was fun and a nice place to warm up (we walked back and forth from the lake to the hut when the clouds were blocking the lights).

Timo is most knowledgeable about the northern lights and is an avid photographer. He was on hand with camera tips and checked the aurora forecast nightly. There was a desktop computer beside reception for those who wanted to check the weather forecast and the aurora activity for themselves.

We flew into Ivalo airport, transiting in Helsinki from London. The hotel organised our airport transfers and on both occasions, Timo was our driver.

The hotel itself is a converted boarding school and it is a cosy and welcoming family run hotel. We stayed in the main building where the eating hall is located in the lake side rooms. We opted for full board but there are cooking facilities in the rooms. Meals were hearty, home-made dishes using local produce. There is only one dish/main served at dinner but our group found it to be tasty and satisfying. Our larger eaters were just satisfied but by no means hungry afterwards. We were the majority of the guests visiting at the time so we didn’t have to reserve the sauna beforehand.

Everything was booked via email with Anne. She answered all our questions (we had many) promptly and with detail. We paid 30% deposit for the accommodation.

Anne and Timo were such gracious hosts which made the trip even more fantastic. On my birthday, Anne had organised a homemade birthday cake. Thank you!! This trip is one of our most treasured memories.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KC_kaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2013

Me and my partner stayed at this hotel for 4 nights on a northern lights break. It is was you would expect as a 3 star - the pictures on the website were spot on. This hotel is in the middle of nowhere and so the night sky has very little light pollution so good to see the northern lights. The lake near the hotel was frozen over so we did drive snowmobiles over it. They let us borrow their skis/snowboards/sledges for free - although it was quite flat so not the best for skiing. The property could do with a little updating but was warm and clean. Sauna was great but you had to book your time slot well in advance as it did get busy. There was only wifi in the main building not in the outer building where we were. They were well equipped for the weather, provided excellent outer clothes & boots. Timo was lovely and took a keen interest in everyones break there. He was a keen photographer himself and was at hand to give tips on how to catch the northern lights on your camera and let us borrow his tripod. We were on a full board basis - the food was home cooked, wholesome and quite nice tasting considering it is in the middle of nowhere. It wasnt fine dining but it never claimed to be. I am a vegetarian and they had no problem in catering for me.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MindyKaur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Netherlands
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2013

I've just returned from a fantastic trip here and felt I had to share how special this hotel is.

This hotel is set in a beautiful, natural surrounding of a lake (currently frozen) 30km from the town of Inari. It simply is outstanding, deep snow blanketing the hotel, the lake and the surrounds. This is a place to relax and admire the beauty....no light pollution here. At night the sky is filled with only stars and maybe the aurora borealis if you're lucky!

The hotel itself is cosy, family run and offers a wide selection of high quality excursions. I booked my trip with them through Aurora Zone and I couldn't recommend them enough. Flights, transfers, activities, food and hotel are all included.

The hotel offers snowmobile lessons, ice fishing, snow shoe treks, cross country skiiing and tobogganing. Toni was a fantastic guide throughout our trip (and he gives good photo advice too). 13 people were on our trip, yet we were split into smaller groups, mine 7 the other 6, which meant a smaller, more intimate group. All of the activities were long enough for you to have a proper go and independent so you really got to do them yourself! The equipment all looked fairly new, and was high quality too.

We also went reindeer herding and husky sledging which the hotel can also organise. Again outstanding activities!

The room I stayed in had two single beds and was a lovely and cosy, typically Finnish - wooden style. I stayed across (5 metres) away from the main building. Each building has an individual sauna (1 for men and 1 for women) that you can book. There are fridges and microwaves in each building too. You head over to the main building for meals.
I cannot speak highly enough of the meals. To think we were so far north and to eat so well. All of our group seemed to love the meals we had, hearty, warming and high quality. There was a good range of food at breakfast, lunch of dinner. There was one main choice (except for vegetarians) so if you are a picky I suggest you contact the hotel in advance to let them know the foods you don't like. I didn't see anyone going hungry or leaving any food whilst I was there so I don't understand some of the comments about food on here.

On our last night we had a meal in the Kota that was extra special with the lovely fire in the middle providing a great atmosphere. Anne had even gone to the effort of giving us a special Finnish Easter pudding to try. Two people in our group had birthdays and the hotel had given them bottles of wine too!

As the area is understandably remote, it might be a good idea to pack some snacks like chocolate or cereal bars....although you can buy them from the bar too.

If I had one criticism it would be this.... you had to go over to the main building to make a hot drink. Hot drinks (tea) is really important to me so I would have loved those facilities in my part of building/room. But it wasn't exactly far .....!

I didn't need to spend a single penny until near the end of our trip when we visited Inari for the afternoon. (I recommend the silversmith for high quality gifts and the Sami museum for unsual artic-gifts)

I didn't see Timo but Anne the owner was very lovely and you just got the feeling they really cared for their guests.

We were lucky and saw the Northern Lights for two nights. Stunning is the word.

Such high quality activities and excursions, northern lights, great hotel = fantastic trip! Very, very worthwhile.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Cathyduk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Korpikartano

Property: Hotel Korpikartano
Address: Meneskartanontie 71, Inari 99870, Finland
Region: Finland > Lapland > Inari
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Inari
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Korpikartano 3*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
You are warmly Welcome to enjoy the Luxury of Silence in the Hotel Korpikartano situated by the shore of the beautiful wilderness Lake Menesjarvi, Inari, Lapland, just next to Lemmenjoki National Park. Let yourself relax in the beautiful surroundings of wilderness nature combined with nice activities, good food and friendly service. ... more   less 
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