Arctic TreeHouse Hotel: luxury accomodation in the middle of the forest
As children, many of us dream of the idea of living in the treehouse. An unlikely plan but one which we can enjoy as adults thanks to hotels as unique as the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel. Luxury accomodation, made up of designer cabins located in the middle of a pine forest in the Arctic Circle.
Contact: +358 505176911
Address: Tarvantie 3, Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi (Finlandia)
Arctic TreeHouse Hotel is located in Rovaniemi, Santa Claus’ official village, which is approximately 800 kilometres north of Helsinki, the capital of Finland – where one can breathe the cleanest air in Europe according to the WHO (World Health Organisation) and where there are said to be 200,000 reindeer and 180,000 people… -. Specifically, in the middle of a beautiful Siberian pine forest in the heart of Arctic nature.
Additionally, the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel is also located right next to SantaPark, Santa Claus’ native cavern, which is one of the top Christmas destinations in the world.
Architecture and design
The owners of this fantastic hotel are the entrepreneur couple formed by Ilkka Länkinen and Katja Ikäheimo-Länkinen, who one fine day decided to create this beautiful place.
“As children, we would play in the forest and make käpylehmäs. It was that special connection to nature that inspired us to create Arctic TreeHouse Hotel.”
With regard to the architecture and interior design project, it was Studio Puisto, which specialises in developing sustainable design projects and that is included in Wallpaper*’s list of architects since 2016, that was asked to undertake the architectural design of Arctic TreeHouse Hotel.
“The concept of the hotel was heavily influenced by the unbeatable nature in the Arctic, contemporary Scandinavian design and the wealth in Lappish culture.”
The cabin suites
This luxury resort has 53 Arctic TreeHouse Suites, 5 Glass Houses that each have a living room, two bedrooms and a private sauna, and 3 Arctic Scene Executive Suites. They are all very welcoming and of a minimalist design: walls, floors and furniture in white wood, extra comfortable beds with really warm fur blankets, a couple of copper coloured reading lamps flanking the headboard, and a pair of very cosy chairs.
The truth is that the concept is very similar to that of the beach huts that float over the sea, typical of destinations like the Maldives, although in this case they are raised on pillars and built harmoniously into the landscape.
To build them, the materials were selected carefully and, above all, respecting the surrounding natural environment. This aspect was mandatory from the moment the project was laid out. A great example is the use of Finnish wood, that is a renewable, sustainable and traditional material. And to avoid unnecessary felling and the wearing of the forest floor, the cabins were built elsewhere and raised onto the pillars that support them.
Additionally, the green rooftops that all the cabins have help to manage the urban runoff (or the drainage of the water current that spills over when the deposit or the natural or artificial waterways overflow).
Also, and in contrast to the design of the accommodation and the comfort of these nestlike cabins, there are incredible panoramic views which, thanks to their infinity windows, allow us to see the amazing spectacle that the forest and the Arctic skies offer. In the season of the Northern Lights or the midnight sun, they can be admired from the comfort of your beds. An incredible experience!
“We sought to offer an experience as immersive as possible equipping each suite with a great panoramic window to abolish the barrier between outdoors and indoors.”
Award-winning sustainable accommodation
“In June 2019, Arctic TreeHouse Hotel received the Green Key eco-label. It is the first private hotel in Finnish Lapland to receive it.”
The prestigious Green Key eco-label is only awarded to companies that adhere to comprehensive environmental criteria, covering matters such as energy efficiency, recycling and environmental awareness. The global program includes more than 3,000 tourism operators in 57 countries.
Because at the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, sustainability has been and is a core element, thanks to the deep respect they have for nature and their land. That’s the reason that they use green energy solutions and constantly improve their processes in order to be more respectful of the environment.
“We strive to protect the fragile Arctic nature by making sure our everyday actions help preserve it for generations to come.”
Other sustainable initiatives they carry out are:
– Each year, they personally plant 5,000-10,000 new seedlings in the surrounding forests. For them, it is vital to reduce their carbon footprint, so they are always trying to improve the sustainable energy and water saving solutions. In parallel, they perform effective management of waste sorting and reduction of waste production. As if this weren’t enough, they use geothermal energy and are a pioneering hotel in the use of solar thermal energy in Finland.
– They also strive to reduce food waste. For this reason, their menus change seasonally and include the best local ingredients. Their goal is for 65% of their main ingredients to be produced locally.
It’s not just accommodation, it is an experience
As you will see from the photographs, to stay at the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel implies being surrounded by Arctic nature for your whole stay and that makes this place an exceptional, unforgettable experience.
Here, you will not only be able to enjoy what the accommodation entails, but also the setting in which it sits. That means that depending on the season, you can go for sleigh rides, go fishing in a frozen lake, see the Northern Lights or the midnight sun, hike through multi-coloured forests, disconnect in a sauna by the river, go for rides on bikes or fatbikes, etc… and of course, if you have small children, you can blow their minds with all the Santa Claus related activities.
The truth is that there are different experiences and adventures throughout the year.
The main building and the Rakas restaurant
As well as the suites and cabins, the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel has a main building that houses the reception desk, the main reception area, a shop and the Rakas restaurant that is shaped like a five-pointed snowflake.
At Rakas they prepare local delicacies in an elegant environment with Arctic ingredients. In the morning they offer a buffet breakfast with a great variety of options. In the evening, dinners under a sky of illuminated pinecones that create a unique atmosphere. Among their specialties are the salmon or reindeer prepared with dry wild flowers, cranberries and potato puré.
The restaurant also has a beautiful fireplace, around which you can have a drink or simply rest.
Other culinary recommendations
The truth is we ate really well at Rovaniemi:
This the coolest cafeteria and cocktail bar in Rovaniemi. It’s located right in the centre of town and has sweet and savoury waffles among its delicacies.
Food elaborated with simple and good quality ingredients in a very cosy space. At lunchtimes, they offer a great variety of salads, fresh bread and a hot main course. In the evenings, it’s a la carte and the atmosphere changes to become more intimate.
Rovaniemi Art Museum cafeteria (Korundi House of Culture)
Not only do we wish to recommend the cafeteria, but also the art museum. The building is beautiful and houses really interesting works of contemporary art. In its cafetería, they serve delicious dishes and sweets. And it has a shop that sells all kinds of books and souvenirs that is worth visiting.
This French Bistro is the restaurant belonging to the Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Rovaniemi. Its menu offers traditional French recipes and new creations with a local touch. Very flavoursome dishes and a great atmosphere.
They say it is the best Mexican restaurant in Finland. We tried it and loved it. The space is small, and they also have a takeaway service.
Located next to Kauppayhtiö, at Pure Pizza they offer the best pizzas in town, baked in a genuine wood-fired oven. Mmmm.
SantaPark: where “Joulouka” aka the “Christmas Spirit” lives
Arctic TreeHouse Hotel is only 120 metres away from SantaPark. And if you have family or the Christmas spirit, this is for you…you’re sure to love it. In this den, 50 metres below the Earth’s surface, there are shows, ice galleries, a live train, elf school, workshops for preparing gingerbread men, etc… As we said: a perfect place to go with children.
Much more than Santa Claus…
Although it may seem that the whole of Finland is about Christmas and Santa Claus, this isn’t the case. At least not in autumn and outside of the Christmas season. In this case, it’s an ideal destination to disconnect, retreat from it all and connect with nature like never before.
The best destination to see the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun
The resort seems to have been conceived as a privileged observatory of the Northern Lights, an amazing phenomenon, that has to be seen at least once in a lifetime, as well as other phenomena that occur in northern skies. This is because Studio Puisto brought together all these elements to maximise the chances of spotting these furtive halos, firstly with the strategic orientation of the cabins and, secondly, by the careful selection of the soft lighting throughout the hotel complex, to minimise artificial lighting and light pollution.
“It is possible to see the Northern Lights for up to 200 nights a year in Finnish Lapland. In Rovaniemi, the fascinating astral show can be witnessed from the city and its surroundings from the end of August to the beginning of April.”
Although no one can 100% guarantee that you will see them, in this area there is a high probability. We took the Beyond Arctic excursion and loved it. They are the best when it comes to “hunting” the Northern Lights. They told us that they normally appear between 10pm and 2am, but sometimes, they can be seen at 7 o’clock in the evening. The spectacle can last anything from a few minutes to several hours. We saw them at night, and they are breathtaking.
There is also a service in the Rovaniemi area called Aurora Alert Realtime that allows you to know the moment the Northern Lights are visible.
On the other hand, if you decide to visit the area in summer, you can enjoy the midnight sun. In Rovaniemi, this phenomenon takes place due to the slight inclination of the Earth’s axis and the refraction of light lasts a month, between the 6th of June and the 7th of July.
We’ll say no more, and although we love the snow and snowy landscapes, this time we wanted to get to know the region at this time of year in order to feel the cold less and to enjoy the beautiful forests coloured in orange, red and copper hues and the autumn landscape, as well as the Northern Lights. Highly recommendable!
(*) If you want to live the experience, here is a code: PROARCTICHAPPINESS with a 15% discount valid until 30th April 2023.