“The simple, pristine landscapes of Lapland have been captured and converted into style, comfort and elegance.”
The Hotel: The Lapland Hotel, Tampere, Finland The Cost: My room cost €122 a night (low season)
The Short and Sweet: The Lapland Hotel in Tampere is on a mission: to bring the spirit, softness and pristine landscape of Lapland to Tampere’s industrial streets. The hotel, part of the Lapland Hotel chain, is riding high alongside the Finnish city’s renaissance, offering a modern Nordic base to a hip new crowd who want to explore beyond Helsinki. Hidden away from Tampere’s centre on Yliopistonkatu 44, the hotel’s indistinctive red-brick office-style frontage blends perfectly into its neighbourhood – making it rather difficult to find at first. But once you’re there, its locational charms become clear: within easy reach of Tampere’s main railway station and only a 15-minute walk to the city’s main sights and sounds. Result.
Who’s it Best for? Couples, solo travellers, family’s with teens, and business professionals. Although the hotel trades on the word ‘Lapland’, it is not selling magic and sparkle. Instead, this version of ‘Lapland’ is grown-up. The experience deliberately created to flush your stay with the beauty of Lapland’s natural landscape.
The Lapland Hotel has 141 rooms made up of Comfort Twins, Comfort Queens, De Luxe Kings, Suites and Special Rooms. The size and amenities may vary – with a 48” TV and king-size bed in some, to a full-on sauna in others – but the thing that unites them all is the Nordic elegance of the rooms’ design.
Think charcoal greys, timber browns, and tundra whites – the very colours of Lapland itself – from the carpet to the walls to the cushions and the blanket throw left on your bed. Far from sombre, the room I was in (a Comfort Twin) was calming and peaceful, carefully accessorised with touches of Lapland’s culture: reindeer antlers on the feature wall and the work of Finnish photographer Antti Kurolan glazed into the bathroom glass.
Added to that was a selection of Lappish treats nestling beside the teas and coffee, including reindeer crisps (low-fat reindeer meat is a big Lappish tradition) and blueberry bars (berries are high up on any Finnish menu). I tried the blueberry bar, but left the reindeer chips for someone a little braver.
Even though my room was at the front of the hotel overlooking the main road, it was surprisingly quiet. Street sounds came muffled, as if by a blanket of snow. Not once was I disturbed by passing traffic or guests staying in the rooms above or next door to me. This sound-proofed tranquillity, combined with the room’s meditative colour palette, natural fabrics, and icy-fresh bed linen quickly sent me into a thick sleep each night. Which alone was worth the €122 price tag.
The Bar and Restaurant
In the main bar – Dabbal – you’ll find a similar rustic vibe to that of the rooms. Here exposed grey brickwork, reindeer skins, and fat cream candles add warmth to the outdoorsy colours and ambience.
I enjoyed chilling in the Dabbal bar with a strong Finnish coffee after exploring Tampere during the day (coffee is well-lauded over here). At night, the bar was ideal for sinking into a sofa with a cocktail, of which there are loads on offer. The Chocolate Luxe Cocktail was out of this world: Baileys, OJ, Vanilla and Cream. Bliss. Never once did the bar become too crowded or the attentiveness of the traditionally-dressed staff slip beyond impressive.
Should you want to dine at the hotel, you can take a table in the Dabbal Restaurant and fill your fur-lined boots with courses from the Dabbalin kitchen. The main menu is thoroughly Northern in nature, bringing you traditional Lappish fare pared with wines. I never had a chance to sample the restaurant food – I was busily eating my way around Tampere’s other delights – but judging by the restaurant’s chock-full tables, I’ll make an educated guess the food hit the sweet spot.
Like dinner, breakfast is served at the back of the hotel under a soaring glass roof. As the morning light floods the tables, diners self-serve from a wide Lappish spread, inspired – once more – by nature. Thick, steaming porridge heaped with hot blueberries, sizzling Mustamakkara black sausage (the pride of Tampere), strong Finnish coffee and, made to order, omelettes with your choice of smoked reindeer, cheese, tomatoes, onions, or salmon. Of course, there’s enough choice for those who’d prefer something a little less ‘local’, including eggs, bacon, cold meats, fruits and cheeses, and cereals and yogurts.
The only two downsides are a) space – the breakfast area tends to get busy and it can be hard to find a table to yourself at peak time. And b) table service – it’s a touch sporadic. On the first morning, I wasn’t sure whether to get my own coffee, so I opted for DIY. On the second morning, a pot of coffee was brought to me after I caught a waiter’s eye.
Would I go back?
I’d happily stay at the Lapland Hotel Tampere again and would definitely try the brand’s other hotels across Finland. Comfortable, quiet, and elegant, yet different enough from other hotel chains to feel like you’re experiencing some Lappish authenticity, The Lapland Hotel made my Snowy Weekend in Tampere even more chilled.
Disclosure: I enjoyed a 3 night stay at The Lapland Hotel in Tampere as part of my weekend in Tampere. As you can see, I liked the hotel a lot and everything you read here is a true reflection of my stay.