*Our trip was made possible by Experience365,
but as always, all opinions are my own.
Our summer in Finland is going great, and last week, like every summer, we decided to drive up to Kemi, Lapland. We usually visit some family there, cross the border to Sweden and do some shopping. This time however, we were also honored to be guests at Experience365. We stayed a night in one of their glass villas by the sea, and visited a year-round snow castle. Many people know about the huge snow castle they build every winter, but SnowExperience365 is a totally new thing, and open even in the summer.
A NIGHT IN A SEASIDE GLASS VILLA IN KEMI
The Seaside Glass Villas were opened at Kemi’s SnowCastle area in 2016. They are small, log cabins, which offer an exotic choice of accommodation over the normal hotel rooms. The villas have a glass ceiling, and two glass walls, so that the guests are able to enjoy the ocean view or the stars in the night sky. Now in the summer time, it is of course the midnight sun, but in the winter time you can see the Northern Lights if you are lucky. Next to the villas there is a caravan area for those who travel in RV’s.
Even though the villas are quite small, they have everything you need. Even a small kitchen. Since everything is new, the villas are clean and nice. When I heard about the night in the villas, I was wondering whether there was a toilet or a shower in them. Well, I can tell you they managed to fit both inside. The warm water only lasts for 13 minutes though, but that was enough for both my and my kids showers. There is also an A/C and a heater.
Because two walls are glass, there is a lot of light in the villa even when you close the curtains. They left us eye masks to keep out the light while sleeping. After the sun turned away in the evening, we opened the curtains and were amazed by the beautiful the view. So tranquil! We didn’t really have a reason to open the curtain in the ceiling since the sun was so bright, but we of course wanted to see what it would look like open. And I wanted to take a couple of photos for my blog. At that point, I started wondering how to open it, since I couldn’t reach that high, and there was nothing in the villa that I could use as to help. I got some help for this from hotel reception. The curtains are opened with a special stick and you have to be very careful, since the paper curtains can break easily. Maybe some other mechanism would be better since the whole reason to stay in a villa like this, is to look at the sky from the glass ceiling.
Very close to the villas there is a public beach, frisbee golf course and a playground. However, we didn’t have time for them since the Tivoli was in town. Tivoli is a carnival that tours around Finland and my kids had never been to one. After that we walked to a restaurant area by the coast and had dinner.
After a good sleep in the villa, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise and headed to breakfast in Lumihiutale restaurant. “Lumihiutale” is Finnish for snow flake. The breakfast was set up nicely and we ate on a balcony with the most amazing view of the ocean!
SNOWEXPERIENCE365: THE YEAR ROUND SNOWCASTLE OF KEMI
SnowExperience365 offers an inside space to play in the snow and ice in -5C temperatures (23F). It is located inside the main building, right next to the glass villas. Most of the space is taken by the beautiful ice restaurant, where the tables are made of ice and the chairs are covered by reindeer fur. There are ice sculptures, an ice castle and a fun ice slide. In order to slide on the ice, you should dress warmly. Our kids got in overalls, boots and a funny SnowCastle hat from reception to use inside. For adults they had some warm blankets.
The SnowExperience365 space is not huge, so it doesn’t take long to walk through it. However, our kids could have stayed there for hours just to do the slide. The same building also has a reception, souvenir shop, Day Spa, ice cream bar and a restaurant. When staying in one of the glass villas, you get to visit the SnowExperience365 for free. Otherwise, you will have to purchase a ticket from reception. In the winter time, there is also another huge SnowCastle outside in this area.
We had a fun time in this beautiful place! I really enjoyed the Seaside Glass Villa we stayed in, and I would love to come back in the winter time, when you can see some snow, ice and maybe even the Northern Lights from the windows. But I think the kids enjoyed their “SnowExperience” the most! Maybe we will be able to return to Finland in the winter, and visit Kemi again.