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“Gielas Wing”

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Santa's Hotel Tunturi
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Saariselka
Reviewed 6 March 2014

I stayed in the Gielas wing for a week having journeyed there from Heathrow - Helsinki - Ivalo and then a 30 minute bus transfer (10 euros). It took 8 hours (inc 2 hr time difference) so it was pretty easy and the flight cost about £300 return. The hotel was pretty good value with single occupancy for a double room at half board for £740.

The room was spacious with twin beds that could be pushed together and an L shaped sofa. The room had a decent amount of shelf & hanging space as well as an electric safe. A kettle with coffee, tea or hot chocolate that was replenished every day & small mini bar fridge. The room had a brilliant drying cupboard which was really good at trying off wet clothes. The bathroom had a good sized bathtub, nice marble sink surround with lots of shelf space for toiletries, a hair dryer and a sauna (that I never used). And they supplied relatively good sized towels which made a nice change! The flat screen TV had CNN and BBC World. There was a small balcony looking out towards the ski lopes and Kaunispafell (the top of the toboggan run). The room was quiet and I wasn't disturbed by other occupants (the doors closed quietly but be warned you should push them closed or they don't always lock). The room was plainly decorated and it would have been more cosy if there had been some photos or paintings to adorn the room but that's obviously a minor criticism!

Breakfast was buffet style with croissants, nice freshly baked breads (+toaster), cereals, yoghourt, a pile of mostly cold 5 minute and 10 minute boiled egg that were effectively very hard boiled most of the time! Smoked salmon & overcooked scrambled eggs. Dinner (if you were half board) was served in the main block 2 minutes walk away from 5.30-8pm. It became rather repetitive after a week with quite nice steamed salmon on several occasions. The recommendation is to arrive early before the food has suffered from being kept warm for several hours. The salad bar wasn't very exciting (lettuce, tuna) and the puddings (creamy chocolate mousse, cream cakes and pancakes). The restaurant in the Gielas building is very nice (but expensive - 30-40 euros for a main course).

There's a supermarket about 15 minutes walk away. Trips (husky sledging, snowmobiling, reindeer rides) can be booked through a couple of shops 2 minutes walk away from the hotel. They all seem to use the same end providers so there is little difference (if any) in price. The cheapest reindeer ride I could find for 2 hours was 95 euros and was the highlight of my trip. I did a 4 hour snowmobile trip to see the local countryside but the guide seemed intent on speeding along giving us little opportunity to appreciate the scenery. The husky safari was nice but the scenery was much less pretty than for the reindeer safari. Be warned I think most longer safaris are only longer because they include time for lunch so you're not actually getting longer doing the activity.

I had hoped to see the Northern Lights and thanks to a think blanket of cloud I was unsuccessful which was disappointing. The Aurora Walk which is about 10 minutes away from the hotel would probably be quite difficult to do at night because it involves two small steep hills (so be prepared to have shoes that grip!). Also, when you get there, it's not very high up & is still surrounded by trees which may obscure the view. Walking up the toboggan hill is the other option but takes about 20-25 minutes. There is a good view from the top for miles around (as well as an observation tower). Unfortunately the restaurant at the top closes at 5pm! It's possible to drive up there which would help. If I went again I think I would rent a cottage up at the top of the toboggan run which would make nipping out to observe the sky much easier (there's too much light pollution in town).

Room Tip: The view facing the ski slope/toboggan run is much nicer than the other side facing the town/buildin...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
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3  Thank Thumbelina2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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184 - 190 of 408 reviews

Reviewed 24 February 2014

Arrived at the Gielas wing of the Tunturi hotel after along but fascinating journey. Lovely room,clean and spacious enough with a view across to the church and aurora trail.. Great bathroom and sauna and a very useful drying cabinet which was used daily ,especially after that amazing toboggan run!. Very happy with all aspects of our stay. There was plenty of variety for breakfast, although we didn't sample the meatballs!The evening meal was plentiful and we thought good value, for the price we paid overall. Skiing was limited but we knew that,however the snow was perfect and we had the slopes to ourselves to improve-which we did and to have private lessons! Would suggest walking to the slopes rather than catching the ski bus because if you're lucky reindeer will cross your path-and we were lucky! Tobogganing and snowmobiling proved to be fantastic fun.Crossing the fells at speed and weaving through the forests was magnificent. Saariselka has a magical quality especially at night.Oh, the supermarket was well stocked and a useful place for postcards and stamps and other souvenirs.Would love to return to the Gielas/Tunturi-very helpful,courteous,interested staff and excellent service. Visited the Sami museum which was really interesting but could have spent much longer there.Had a lovely meal of elk on the last night after walking about 2 miles to the Laanihovi hotel organised by David Henry from Inghams. It was a very convivial evening and a fitting way to end a wonderful holiday. Would highly recommend Inghams and our thanks go to the resort manager David for his very professional organisation and sense of humour. Really want to return-and soon!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ladymancunian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2014 via mobile

I loved this hotel because it is very near to ski resort. The hotel has sauna in every room and we enjoyed our stay. The hotel is very comfortable and we could good vegetarian food. In and around the hotel there are lot of gift shops and we can see lot of youngsters skying around the hotel. We enjoyed our stay.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
2  Thank kalasubramanyam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2014

We had moved here after a night at the magical glass igloos at Kakslauttannen and unlike a large number of reviewers who stayed in the Gielas Wing, our group of 6 stayed in three rooms (245, 247 and 249) in one of the ordinary wings. This particular building had one of the common saunas - a wonderful facility in the block itself which did not require one to expose oneself on the walk back to the room !!

The hotel is wonderfully located and the local bus (which drives you around town for Euro 5) and the bus to Rovaniemi both stop in front of the Main Reception Lobby. The small market, the supermarket and the Information Centre are all within walking distance as is the Ski Centre.

The room itself was quite normal, a trifle small, but with facilities of tea-making which are sought after by all Indians. The continental breakfast in the Main building was good. The Reception was manned throughout and the staff was very friendly.

Would chose this hotel any day.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank SBSLidder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2014

Me and my wife travelled as a couple amongst many family and children to Saariselka Lapland in December 2013. Sceptical at first, this visit turned out to be a truly magical, memorable stay. We travelled with Thompson holiday, who i must commend, were fantastic throughout putting together a well organised Itinerary making the most of our 3 night stay.

We stayed at the Gielas wing of the tunturi which i believe is the modernised option. The room was comfortable and it had a balcony. The room was twin ( i believe all double room are actually twin rooms) which had a bath, shower and sauna facilities. Breakfast was average and it was as I expected from reading previous reviews. The lobby was a great place to enjoy a hot chocolate in the evening in front of the fire. Food it self was served at the tunturi across the road. For vegetarians please be aware food options is limited for choice.But overall the place was clean and service was reliable

This section is reserved for Thomson

Thomson were brilliant and were hugely responsible for the fantastic time we has in saariselka. The magic starts at the airport (Ivalo) where your picked up by mischievous elves. In an organised fashion your are promptly transferred to tour resort.
Thomson welcome you with a brief before you check in to your relevant hotels. They provide with you with the necessary clothing from snowsuite and snow boots to thermal socks and gloves. The itinerary included a visit to Santas resort where you are able to have taster sessions on huskies, snowmobiles, reindeers and various other festive activities. We later booked the snowmobile excursion and huskies which were both truly amazing. There was also a gala dinner provided too with fireworks on the final night The thomson reps were always on hand to deal with any requests. There is also plenty of free time to have fun in the snow.

Saariselka itself was a lovely charming village, painted with white snow and forest wilderness. They are lots of fun activities that can be taken up including toboganing, skiing and sledging. It was truly a magical place where you can gaurantee lots of fun and create wonderful memories

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MrandMrsOomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2014

Four of us in twin rooms stayed for a week, got back on 26 Jan 2014. The rooms were warm and welcoming With en suite , they were clean and tidy, could not have wished for more. Tea and coffee making facilities were great. The Hotel was a short walk to have our breakfast and evening meal, the food was very nice and there was plenty of it.
We were a two minute walk to the start of the cross country ski ing tracks and a good ten minute walk to the ski chair lift and toboggan run. All in all would highly recommend the hotel and the welcome we received from the Inghams rep, David Henry. There was a three hour drive from the airport to Saariselka, but again we were well looked after. (would prefer not to travel this far by coach) but won't let this stop us from going again.

Few hints and tips, make sure you take extra balaclavas as they get wet quickly (three should do it) silk socks and silk gloves, perfect to go under ski gloves and socks. A good pair of goggles that don't steam up. Take some bio-oil to put on your face before going to bed to stop your skin from drying out.

If you are planning on booking any excursions then consider doing them in the daytime, we took a snow bike ride at night, with Top Safari, Ivan was lovely, but wish we had gone during they day, the ride was a bit too fast in a very dark area and got bitter cold , even though we stopped for a warm drink and Ivan told us a bit about the history of the area. The bikes are not very good if you suffer with back problems.

The toboggan run was brilliant couldn't get enough of it, sledges are usually lying around so you don't have to always pay to hire one, suitable for all ages, but make sure you use your hands and feet to steer as it can go very fast and has some bends were you can easily come off (as we found out) .

If you want to see the Northern Lights check it out on the internet first, it gets very cold waiting to see them. The northern point is at the top of the toboggan run there is a look out tower. We will be going back to this magical winter wonderland.

Room Tip: If you just want a warm, welcoming basic room then the Tunturi Hotel is for you. There is no lift s...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank SHIRLEY C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2014

My room was a twin for use by just one, therefore I had plenty of room. Two of you sharing may find the rooms a little small. The room was clean, beds comfy and nice and warm. Linen was clean and changed regularly. There is tea/coffee and kettle in room and a TV. Hair dryer was OK.
The room was away from the main hotel and restaurant. Not really a problem, means it was quiet and only a short walk to restaurant for food.
Biggest problem was the lack of hot water in the shower! It came on hot straight away, but it lasted for only 5 minutes! Not enough to shower properly and wash hair. This happened every day but didn't appear to be linked to any time or other people using it.

The restaurant:- Food was plentiful and fresh. A limited main choice, but so many other things like salads, soup, gorgeous breads and tasty puds. No one could starve here. i don't eat a lot of meat and am very fussy, but ate well - too well probably! Breakfast was also well served with scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, bacon etc, cereal, yoghurt, porridge fruit, breads, cheese and even salad if you fancied it! The tea urn never seemed to get very hot being the worst problem.

The bar was open in the night, below the restaurant. reasonably priced, much the same as the outlying pubs. Sometimes they have live music nights which are attended from far afield. On these nights, you may not be allowed in the bar. If they do let you in, they won't serve you in coats/ski gear ?? They won't let you have a drink in the lounge area next to the bar either. Strange rules which much cost them money and lose custom.

There is free wifi and access to internet in the lounge.

The Hotel is perfectly adequate if you are going to get out and about and just need somewhere to eat and sleep in reasonable comfort and good plain food.

I would stay there again.

The resort is lovely. Clean, peaceful. Nothing to far away. Locals are friendly and helpful. nearly everyone spoke English and some other languages. Plenty to do nearby for a busy active week.
Not much in the way of shopping - big supermarket sells just about everything you could need. Few tourist type shops, a couple of decent , quiet bars and use of the pool/spa/Jacuzzi in nearby Hotel (a bit pricey though.) rental shops for sports stuff, ski hire. Enough to keep you busy for a week.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank westiewelsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Santa's Hotel Tunturi

Address: Lutontie 3, Saariselka 99830, Finland (Formerly Saariselka Tunturi Hotel)
Region: Finland > Lapland > Saariselka
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Saariselka
Price Range: £66 - £140 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Santa's Hotel Tunturi 3*
Number of rooms: 260
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Santa's Hotel Tunturi, also known as Saariselka Tunturi Hotel, provides modern-style quality accommodation in Saariselka, Lapland. Hotel Tunturi has an international atmosphere and the restaurants offer Lappish delicacies. Hotel Tunturi has also modern conference facilities. About 100 meters from the main building with reception and three restaurants are six buildings of rooms and apartment suites. Hotel Tunturi has 96 standard hotel rooms, 77 superior hotel rooms, 6 junior suites, 1 Gielas suite and 80 apartment suites with one, two, three or five bedrooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Santa's Hotel Tunturi Saariselka, Finland - Lapland

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