This place had us falling head over heels in love with beautiful Finnish-Lapland. We spent 4 nights at the stunning Nova Skyland Hotel in Rovaniemi, staying in one of their swish and fairly-new Aurora suites.
Situated within the popular Santa Claus Village, Nova Skyland is slap-bang on the Arctic Circle. The hotel offers an oasis of serenity amidst the touristy-busyness which Santa Claus Village brings with it. A forest full of snowcapped alpine trees surrounds the suites, bringing a sense of tranquility. Here you get the best of both worlds, beautiful nature and plenty of fun activities only a short 5 minute walk away.
A holiday in Lapland is a dream for so many of us. We’ve worked and saved tirelessly to make this a reality for our family. Top tip, book it all yourself like we did, you’ll save yourself literally thousands of pounds. You never know, Lapland might be a little closer in reach than perhaps you first thought. You’ll pay over the odds if you book through a travel agent. So if you’re up for organising and booking it all yourself, do it! It was the best holiday we’ve ever done. Anyway, i’ve digressed a little, back to the review!
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Nova Skyland Hotel Location
As mentioned above, the Nova Skyland Hotel is within Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. A quick 5 minute taxi ride from Rovaniemi airport, making this an ideal place to stay with young children. Because let’s be honest, after a full day of travelling with little ones. Who then wants to add a long transfer on-top of what you’ve already done. When we stepped outside the airport it was -22! Coming from England this was a temperature we’ve never previously encountered, so we quickly flagged down a taxi before we transformed into ice statues. It cost us €25 and the friendly taxi driver gave the boys a lollypop each.
You can actually step cross the Arctic Circle when you’re here, how cool is that! The Arctic Circle marks the southernmost latitude where the sun does not set during the summer solstice, and the opposite can be said for the winter solstice when the sun never rises. We went on the 11th December, the sun didn’t show it’s face until 10ish and it was dark again by 2:30 in the afternoon.
What is Santa Claus Village?
Santa Claus Village is free to enter, and is full of independent businesses. Offering husky rides, snowmobiling tours, kids snowmobiles, reindeer rides, snow tubing, igloo ice bar, restaurants, shopping centre, you can even meet the man himself, and visit the official Santa Post office.
We loved how the hotel had so much forest around it, so you could enjoy beautiful snowy Lapland. Yet with the children, it was so handy to have Santa Claus Village and all it’s activities only a 5 minute walk away. Look at the size of the snowman there!
Inside the Nova Skyland aurora suite
The Nova Skyland Aurora suites are very luxurious, and incredibly beautiful. Very Scandinavian with all the natural wood and minimalist approach. There was an impressive, yet slightly overwhelming amount of switches for main and accent lighting options too!
We had been left a sweet welcome note, with a lollypop each for the boys and a couple tasty Finnish chocolates for myself and James which were very lovely.
So let’s walk you through the roomy suite. Inside, just behind the door you’ll find hanging and shelved storage along with a small safe. This provided adequate space to hang our coats and outer layers up to dry each day, along with plenty of room to unpack the boys suitcases. Theres a beautiful shower room, fitted out with waterfall shower, soft fluffy towels, white robes and loads of delicious lingonberry scented mini toiletries.
The tap water in Lapland is safe to drink, they actually had a little sign in here to let you know too. We drank loads of it, as It was so smooth. It tasted even cleaner than bottled water, delicious. We all said how soft our skin felt too, maybe it was from showering in such clean water!?
Back into the main area, there was a mini bar, kettle, plates, cups, cutlery, tea and coffee. In the lounge there was a double bed, a chair and a couple small cushions on a bench seat. Not forgetting a big window to enjoy watching the snow fall.
Nova Skyland also have bigger cottages which have kitchens in. We didn’t need one, but the kettle came in really handy for warming up with cups of tea and hot chocolates. There is a petrol station over the road, where we bought a carton of milk and kept it inside the mini bar fridge.
Time to head upstairs
Upstairs though, it got even better!
Our room had a huge window overlooking the forest, perfect for aurora spotting in the comfort of your bed. Unfortunately we didn’t get lucky enough to see the northern lights on this trip. It was too cloudy/snowy, but the view was still stunning of all the white snowy trees lit up. They did have electric blinds, but we just kept it open all night, this was too pretty to miss.
The prettiest bedroom i’ve ever seen, this bed was huge and exceptionally comfortable. We had loads of lighting options upstairs too which was fun. Take note of that little window behind the bed, i’ll get to that in just a moment.
Again, our room was very minimalist. We had a reading chair and open hanging storage, there was also a pocket door if you wanted to close the room off from downstairs.
There was no thermostat in our suite, but the rooms were always lovely and warm and felt the perfect temperature. Well, until you’re trying to put your last layer on to get out the door that is! We tended to put our coats on once outside, otherwise it got a little too toasty in here!
Next to our bedroom was another bathroom. This one also had a rainfall shower, but it had a double vanity (life goals) AND our own private sauna. The sauna looked out through that little window in the bedroom, so you even got a view of the trees whilst in the sauna. We all loved warming up in this after a fun day of playing in the snow together.
Key trouble in freezing temperatures
One thing we did find amusing was the room key would never work straight away. The rooms all have fancy electronic keys, which don’t seem too fond of the freezing cold temperatures.
So opening the door always took a few attempts. We found a little huff on the keyhole to help thaw it out!
Breakfast at Nova Skyland Hotel
We got breakfast included with our stay, which was served over in the main building between 8-10am. It was a buffet style breakfast where you could just go and help yourself to whatever you wanted. They had things like, cereals, fruit, yogurt, scrambles egg, sausages, streaky bacon, cheese, cold meats, pancakes, biscuits and pastries. It was all very yummy.
They also had hot and cold drinks along with fresh mango smoothie shots. I actually took my own tea bags from home, because i’m that kind of person now. I have officially turned into my mum! There was another lady there who couldn’t find any English breakfast tea, so I gave her one of mine haha.
We all found something that we liked, and looked forward to going here every morning. The restaurant itself is very pretty. Myself and Jasper sat in front of this big roaring fire before we flew home and it was glorious.
Toasting marshmallows in Lapland
Nova Skyland have their own fire hut for their guests to use. It had huge sacks of logs to help yourself to, some matches, and it even had marshmallow toasting sticks to use! I had packed a bag of jumbo marshmallows and brought them to Lapland with us. So on my birthday night, James and I got to work on starting a fire whilst the boys played on their sleds in the snow.
We wondered if we had bit off more than we could chew, as there was no kindling. But eventually we got the fire going! It was so nice to sit around the fire toasting marshmallows together amongst the snow. Such simple pleasures, but it made the most magical memories.
James had arranged a lovely little birthday surprise for me. There was a knock at the door, to which I opened to see he had arranged for all of us to have a chocolate brownie each as my birthday cake!
Mine had a candle in and the staff wished me a happy birthday. It was so sweet and made the perfect ending to a very special birthday in Lapland.
We cant rate Nova Skyland enough. It was the ideal location for our family holiday. The rooms were beautiful, comfy and spotless. The staff were all so kind and helpful. The food was great and the amenities were fab.
We absolutely loved what we got to see of Lapland, and we all desperately want to visit again one day.
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