Last updated on April 27th, 2020.
In Finland, I stayed in three towns, namely Helsinki where we touched down; and Saimaa and Saariselka. Two nights in Helsinki and I had started getting restless. I was excitedly looking forward to go up north and explore the other towns of Finland. Also, to enjoy the hospitality of Holiday Club resorts in Finland, one of the best Finland resorts.
Both in Saimaa and Saariselka I stayed in Holiday Club Resorts. At both places, Holiday Club Finland offers a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including sports and nature safaris. They have large scale Angry Bird Activity Parks within the resort premises. The park at Saariselkä is also the northernmost Angry Birds Activity Park in the world.
Holiday Club Resort at Saimaa
Holiday Club Saimaa is a huge property by the lake Saimaa. Beautiful and enormous, I would call it a small town in itself.
The first impression was great. The reception area was big with a small knick-knack shop on one side. I saw some couples relaxing on sofas and kids playing around. The room allocated to me was very spacious, had good seating arrangement and large windows looking onto the snow covered parking. A plate of cut fruits on the working table was awaiting my arrival. In short, spacious and stylish are the two words I can use to describe Saimaa Holiday Club.
Later, as I entered the Classic Pizza Restaurant, I could see some kids in playful mood and some playing around the aquarium. Holiday Club Saimaa has seven restaurants and Bars with various themes and specialties and packed with experiences to delight all the senses. During my stay, I tried O’Learys, Le Biff, and Easy Kitchen which was also the venue for buffet breakfast.
Spread across area of 25,000 square meters, Holiday Club Saimaa is one of the most luxurious holiday resorts in Finland, encircled by the breathtaking landscapes and stunning lakes.
Built in 2011, this resort has hotel rooms, Club Saimaa family rooms, Castle rooms, Gant luxurious rooms, and Deluxe pavilion rooms. Besides these, they also have Holiday Houses and Apartments, which are fully equipped with kitchen, balcony or terrace and private Sauna.
So besides Angry Birds, Cirque du Saimaa Aqua Park with Jacuzzi, water slides, the indoor skating rink in the heart of the hotel will keep you and yours busy. Do you want to relax in the sauna or get pampered with a luxurious Harmony Saimaa Spa treatment? Family vacation or official conferences, Holiday Club Saimaa is the perfect place. Bowling anyone? Gym or shopping? Of course, Club Mahindra is known for family vacations and Saimaa Holiday Club was just affirming that, taking holiday concept into a whole new dimension.
What I liked about Holiday Club resort is that you can walk up to Lake Saimaa and whatever the season is, you can enjoy the activities. They also have several other outdoor activities such as 18 holes Golf Course, Tennis court etc. The Holiday Club resort Saimaa can also organize safaris, visa-free cruises to Russia (I am not kidding!) and Horseback riding for its guests.
Now some history about Holiday Club Saimaa. Initially the Russian doctor Dimitry Gabrilovitsch had purchased the place to convert it into a sanatorium, which would provide a variety of services from various bath treatments to galvanic and bright light therapies. Rich visitors such as princes, barons and businessmen with their families came here from Russia, Poland, Romania, Prussia and America to enjoy the high-quality services.
Good luck was not for long and the building was burnt; after which it was sold to be made into a hospital. The hospital building was designed by Finnish architects. During World War II, the building served as a military hospital, and later as a maternity hospital. The hospital was permanently closed in 2000.
Today, the tradition of hotel and spa services that began over a century ago has finally returned with a diverse range of services at these Holiday Club Resorts in Finland.
There are several options for Spa, Sauna and Wellness with different opening hours to cater to all the guests with different tastes. Cirque de Saimaa Spa is circus theme based Spa are liked by the whole family. I liked the spa pool and slides very much. You just don’t want to come out of that. Access to the sun-deck is absolutely free.
The best part of the Castle Hotel room, where I was staying, is that you can leave your room comfortably wearing a bathrobe and access the spa and Sauna without going outside. They have 63 such rooms in the Castle Hotel wings !
Breakfast buffet was also good with lots of variety. There is a wide selection of gluten free products as well. I liked how they kept colorful kid friendly cutlery. We also got to meet an angry bird there. Kids were being spoilt there and it looked like the resort was made for kids. 🙂
One thing that surprised me was that there were no toiletries in the room. Later I came to know that it was the norm in Finland clubs.
Holiday Club at Saariselkä
A home away from home, a self-sufficient village … that’s how I would like to describe it. I explored Lapland with my base as Saariselka and I can easily recommend it to anyone who wants to explore Lapland, with or without the Northern Lights.
Holiday Club Saariselkä is the northernmost spa hotel and holiday home resort in Europe, if not in the whole world. It is located in the municipality of Inari, surrounded by the splendid fells of northern Lapland.
The resort at Saariselkä is simple but with all the facilities you need to survive the cold and enjoy your Finnish holiday. Even if you were generally not comfortable in a sauna, you’ll be, here. There are separate saunas for both genders and a combined one as well.
Jacuzzi, water slides, swimming pool, spa treatments are some of the indoor activities. But I suggest you to go for outdoor activities in Saariselka before coming to comforts of indoors.
The wonderful natural surrounding is sure to mesmerize you with unforgettable experiences throughout the year. The white pristine pastures of the national park with those slopes and lifts will definitely leave you awe-inspired. Holiday Club Saariselkä is a resort for the whole family, in the form of a self-sufficient village.
Room was smaller and so was bath than that of Saimaa but what do you expect in that corner of the world? Very clean, warm and comfortable with good wifi connectivity. The toiletries and slippers were not to be seen in the room. The hotel is conveniently located near bus services, shopping and restaurants. And the national park as well. It also has free parking and electricity for car heating. It’s a non-smoking hotel.
Finnish people believe in doing things themselves and this quality reflects in their way of working also. You won’t find a bell boy to take your luggage to your room, or a waiter at the buffet restaurant to take orders. Make your own sandwich, man! Do-it-yourself is the mantra they follow.
Let’s talk about food now. Breakfast spread at the buffet restaurant Revontuli was more than one can ask for. Good selection of cold meats and cheeses and nice salads and breads. So many varieties that if they permit, I would have sat through the whole day munching something or the other!
Rakka is a great restaurant if you want to try out local cuisine. It also serves burgers and a few vegetarians foods. Open everyday from 12 noon to 10.30 PM. This is also frequented by other travelers to Saariselkä.
There are other restaurants as well, for drinks and games.
You can also book your ride tours via the hotel. Most tour companies would pick up and drop off from this centrally located hotel. The hop on/off bus stops right outside and only costs 5 euro for the whole day so it is a great way to get around. I suggest, you should take a tour for learning Lapland’s culture through reindeer and Sami tribe.
If you are reaching Saariselkä by air then the nearest airport is Ivalo.
Holiday Club Resort is now a part of Club Mahindra which is now the largest vacation ownership company in the world, outside of US. If you are a member of Club Mahindra family, you are eligible to stay in all these resorts. As the owner of a Holiday Club vacation, you are entitled to a great variety of holiday opportunities.
If you are not a Holiday Club vacation owner yet, enjoy their trial holiday at a special price and see for yourself what a Holiday Club vacation is all about! Explore the unexplored with Holiday Club Resorts in Finland and book your own place.
With Mahindra Holiday resorts, it will not only provide a luxurious vacation with the much needed homely environment & warm hospitality, entertainment, cultural experiences, but it makes your vacation budget friendly as well.
For more information, visit Finland with Club Mahindra.
You can fly to Finland with Finnair, which has direct flights to Helsinki from Delhi thrice a week. There are other airlines as well which fly to Helsinki. You can also stay at Holiday Club Helsinki.
Train is the quickest way to reach Saimaa. It takes a little over 3 hours to reach.
The other option is to go by road. Hire a cab or take a bus, it won’t take more than 4 hours.
Places to stay in Finland
The following are some of the better options.
Places to stay in Saimaa
Places to stay in Saariselkä
Below are some other articles on Finland which you’ll enjoy.
1. I was hosted by Club Mahindra and Holiday Club Resorts. All views expressed are my own and based on my personal experiences and conversations in the country.
2. The photos used in this post belong to Nisha Jha, i. e. me and their usage without explicit permission is prohibited.
If you want to travel places with me, I suggest you to join me on my Facebook travel page and Twitter.
P.S.- This article belongs to www.lemonicks.com. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. If you are viewing this on a website instead of your RSS feed reader, then that website is guilty of stealing my content. Kindly do me a favour. Please visit my site and help me taking action by letting me know against this theft. Thank you.
Thanks for exposing me to these resorts. It looks like it is only possible to visit if one becomes a member. Can a casual visitor stay here. It was nice to see a feature on a winter destination.
Yes, there is a provision for non members as well. 🙂
When are you heading there? 🙂
They sure look warm and comfortable. Warm being the key word here :). As much as I would love to explore the snowy parts of Finland, I would want my hotel to be my haven after that. I mentioned it earlier and mention it now, the snow mobiling activity is just amazing and I wanna definitely try that. The resorts seem perfect for a family holiday, I know my little one would love it here.
Yes, Ami. You said it!
The whole experience was full of warmth. 🙂 Well, not the outdoors. 😉
Are you a member of Club Mahindra?
The resort is indeed a white wonderland. A cozy haven from which one can embark on their adventures. The restaurant and the rooms look perfect. The activities too would ensure that there never would be a dull moment. In all holds the promise of a fantastic time.
That’s the beauty of it! Indoors or outdoors, they are a clear winner. 🙂
These look like great places today and looks like it was quite an adventure in Finland. I’d love to head there one day, I had no idea such a thing as Angry Bird Adventure existed! Thanks for sharing and love your photos too. Happy travels.
About angry bird, well even I didn’t have any idea till I reached there. 😀
Thank you very much for the photos, yeah, they are all mine. 🙂
Hope you go there soon.
Fabulous post Nisha! I loved the pictures and the history of Holiday Club Saimaa. And a visa free cruise to Russia sounds too good to be true.
Like Ami said a warm and welcoming hotel is what you need at the end of the day and these places look absolutely perfect.
Thank you Chaitali.
Proud to say pictures are all clicked by me. 🙂
Yes, I agree to that. No complaints at all.
A complete post on Holiday Club Resorts, Nisha, describing features, history, and everything with amazing pics. 🙂
Thank you. Hope you go there soon. 🙂
Lovely photos! Liked the row house the most!
Thank you !
I loved those houses very much. 🙂
I never think of Finland and ‘resorts’ in the same sentence, but of course, resorts are more than just beaches and palm trees.
Saariselka looks especially lovely. The kind of place just built for romance.
Maybe I can swing by this November when I’m in Europe?
Yes Chris. Resorts are much more than that. 🙂
Sure, you should go there. November will have snow in Saariselka and I am very sure, you’d love it.
What a beautiful room Nisha. Spacious indeed! I need to change things up a bit. Maybe time for some snow versus swaying palm trees in the tropics 😉
I just wish, I had stayed for more days.
All the best for your future endeavors. 🙂
What a snowy paradise. I would love spending a few days here during my Euro Trip. Nice suggestions for the stay.
Are you going for your Euro trip? )
I hadn’t heard of Holiday Club before and was really surprised to see how lovely the resorts look. They look very comfortable and such a white winter wonderland too! I’m definitely going back to Finland in winter.
Actually, I was just watching a programme about Norway and I’m thinking of going there. I was wondering if there are any Holiday Club resorts in Norway. Do you know if there are?
No, unfortunately they don’t have in Norway. They are in Finland, Sweden and Spain. 🙂
I assure you, you won’t be disappointed. Summer or winter, they do know how to take care of their guests. 🙂
Do let me know of your experience.
This looks like they truly have something for everyone in one complex. Lots of entertainment. I had no idea Angry Birds was that possible either. Visa free trip to Russia you say?
Yes, many things on this trip were surprises for me as well.
Yes, Angry bird!! I even said hello and hugged them. 😀
Oh yeah, Visa free trips to Russia though I think it won’t be possible for us Indians.
The resorts look so cosy… I don’t know if I would have ventured outside! ;P
Ha Ha I assure you, outdoors is so inviting that you won’t like to sit inside and later vice versa. 😀
Fairy indeed. The Santa Claus office is so adorable. The resort is awesome as well and your window view.
Yes, I fell in love with Santa’s office, the moment I saw it. 😀
All that snow! I’d have no idea where to go in Finland so this is useful.
Now you know Danielle. 😀
I just loved these holiday resorts. They look like a fairyland indeed, especially Holiday Club Saimaa which looks picture perfect. I also want to try the snow activities that you had mentioned in another post! Amazing 🙂
Trust me, the snow activities are so much fun that one doesn’t want to go indoors ! And on top of that the warm hospitality. They won me over. 🙂
Holiday Club Resort looks like an amazing resort to stay in. Snowmobiling must have been so much fun!
Yes, as much the snowmobiling was fun, the warm hospitality of Holiday Club was something to go there again. 🙂
Wonderful post Nisha! Loved the pictures and the very detailed information about the hotel, food and all the fun things to do around 🙂
Needless to mention, it was super fun to be able to travel with you on the trip 🙂
Same here. It was super fun to travel with you, I still think we didn’t get much time interact well. 🙂
So next trip is due. 😛
The whole concept of this accommodation is a positive surprise. Spatious and fresh. It looks like it offers peaceful surroundings and good outdoor facilities, because the location is in the middle of nowhere 🙂
Trisha, I’m glad that you liked the concept. 🙂
Yes, you are right … the surroundings are beautiful and the resort has utilized them fully. They have so many activities that one never feels to be indoors.
I used to live in Finland and wish I would have made a stop in Finland. Such a beautiful Scandinavian country!!! The resorts look fabulous with plenty of outdoor activities. I have never hear of Angry Bird Activity Parks and it looks like fun for both kids and adults. 🙂
The outdoors are as much fun as the indoors Angry Birds & Sauna activities. 🙂
Very nice post. Thank you for sharing.
You are welcome. 🙂
Wow, I actually want to be a Holiday Club Owner now! I love how both of these resorts are about the experience as opposed to solely focusing on accommodation – it sounds like a whole package as opposed to just booking a room. LOVE that there’s ice skating so close by Holiday Club Saimaa – what a winter trip!
Ha Ha I promise, you won’t regret it. 🙂
Yes, they focus on wholesome vacations and that too with family. 🙂
I was in the Saimaa region a couple of years ago but unfortunately did not know the Holiday Club. It seems like a nice way to relax and vacation in Finland, which is in fact one of my favorite European countries for a trip, both in winter and in summer!
Now you know ! 🙂
I want to go there in summer as well. So many activities to do !
This looks like a beautiful resort! I’ve always wanted to visit Finland. From your pictures it looks as amazing as I imagined. Great to know about the Saimaa region. Thanks for sharing!
It is !!
I am pretty sure, when you go there, you won’t want to come back.
I added Finland to my list just recently because its been my dream to stay at one of those igloo resorts that showcase the northern lights. But I know those can be super expensive. Great alternatives!
Ha ! Yes, those igloos are super expensive. Instead go for a reindeer ride at night and see the northern lights with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. 😀
I love your pictures! Having been in Europe this past winter I’ve fled to Australia for some sun and heat for now, but once I’ve warmed up, I’ll make sure to check out Finland and the Saimaa region – thanks for sharing this!
Thank you !
Do check out Saimaa region. I am pretty sure, when you go there, you won’t want to return. 🙂
Thanks for sharing this, there’s so much of Finland I have no idea about, but it all looks beautiful. I’d love to visit one day!
You are welcome.
It is just the teaser ! You’ll love the country.