While many guests travel to the Lapland to stay in glass resorts or transparent igloos to watch the Northern lights, few know how uncomfortable these accommodation options can be in the summer. With up to 24 hours of daylight in the long summer days, the panoramic panes of glass in your treehouse igloo that let you gaze at the Northern lights actually turn your room into a hot, too-bright glasshouse.
If I’ve now made a strong case for ceilings, then here’s another tip: You don’t have to stay in an igloo to get the Lapland experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’d choose an igloo or a cabin in the forest in the winter, but if you’re visiting in the summer, a boutique hotel in Rovaniemi, Finland, might be just your thing.
Haawe Boutique Apart Hotel is part apartment-to-call-home and part hotel. The first thing I noticed was that our fridge was stocked with a classic Lappish breakfast: bilberry juice, yogurt, eggs, milk, bread, coffee, and reindeer salami. Instead of a communal hotel breakfast that runs for a certain time every day, this private dining option: where I can get up and cook for myself at whatever time I want, is a welcome change.
The hotel has 14 themed rooms—one has a sauna for the sauna fiends who have come to revel in Finnish sauna culture; one has a modern fireplace; one has a waterfall element in the shower.
Our space, Jää, is described a “Tabula rasa. The Jää room is shiny, light and white. It leaves space to whatever is important to you – ideas, thoughts and people. Geometric shapes make you feel calm and help you to focus more.”
And calm I felt in this bright and modern suite. It came with a large couch in front of a television, a dining table which I ate at and read at, and an open concept bathroom with geometric tiles and soft white lights stretching across the bedroom wall. I loved having the bathtub beside the bed, but for added privacy, a blind can be pulled up and down to partition the space. The room was also tastefully decorated and furnished with Marimekko teapots, kitchenware, towels, and bathrobes.
As a plus: it’s located just a minute away from the center of Rovaniemi, where you can find espresso bars, Finnish pubs, Arctic cuisine, and an Arctic design store.
What: Haawe Boutique Apart Hotel
Where: Valtakatu 22 96200 Rovaniemi, Finland
How much? Room prices start at USD $145
Design draw: In downtown Rovaniemi, 14 themed rooms take you from the sauna to the snowdrift to the fireplace, with Arctic design finishes to match each mood.
Book it: Haawe Boutique Apart Hotel