Javri Lodge, Finland
Katja and Juha and their team at Javri Lodge play it down, of course. But this remote and astonishing retreat, 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle, occupied a little-known sweet-spot in global politics. Here, in the haven he built in the 1970s, Finland’s long-time president Urho Kekkonen is said to have entertained world leaders. Who knows what hot-headed conflicts were avoided thanks to the calming influence of his winter hideaway.
Subject to a wonderful restoration in 2017, preserving its architecturally sparing integrity, Javri Lodge now operates as an equally low-key boutique hotel. Adults only can stay in rooms that vary from cosy to – of course – truly presidential. It’s only half an hour from Ivalo Airport, but it’s truly in the heart of a northern wilderness thronged with thousands of square miles of forests, fells and rivers, its gigantic lakes teeming with the hardiest of fish.
The indoor pool, a wonderful organic menu, and the general homeliness bring the blood pressure right down. The wine cellar, too, would have the sommeliers at Chequers hatchet-faced with jealousy. But it’s the outdoors, seen through stunning floor-to-ceiling glass, that beckons. Get out there in the winter season to enjoy the exhilaration of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, driving snowmobiles, sidling up to reindeer, going on a husky safari or ice-swimming.
Done all that before? Unlikely but, if so, then you can go foraging, enjoy a Sami culture day, or even go gold-panning.
The Northern Lights? Can there be anywhere you’re more likely to see the strobing, big-sky spectacular? But while there’s bound to be a blizzard occasionally, here in the stunning wilds of Lapland the sun never quite sets. In summer, anyway.
This luxury experience, well away from any beach, has really made us reconsider Finland; we know you’ll be enchanted.
At A Glance…
- Small, luxurious, adults-only lodge in the heart of the Finnish wilderness.
- Around 30mins from Ivalo airport with seasonal direct flights from Gatwick or via Helsinki.
- Open year round and offering a range of exciting outdoor activities.
- Discover authentic Nordic cuisine based on pure local ingredients acquired traditionally from the surrounding lands.
Why 360 Loves It…
- The SkyView Suites with floor-to-ceiling glass walls offer stunning views over the surrounding countryside and open skies.
- Grand Designs meets Scandi chic – traditional log cabin with plenty of luxurious, modern touches.
- Try your hand at ice-fishing or gold panning!
- Perfect for those looking for peace, quiet, tranquility and maybe a little romance.