Founded in October last year, Arctos Lapland is a boutique tourist company in northern Finland that offers guests a restorative spa experience in a winter wonderland setting.

Although it is located a mere 15-minute drive from Rovaniemi’s train station in northern Finland, stepping through the door at Arctos Lapland Spa means instantly leaving the pressures and stresses of modern life behind.

Its traditional Finnish sauna and woodfire-heated Nordic hot tub invites guests to relax and unwind before a stunning open view of lake Norvajärvi. The spa also faces the northern sky, meaning lucky evening guests can admire the Aurora Borealis if the weather conditions are clear. “The spa experience in itself is amazing,” explains co-founder Raymond van Teeffelen. “The northern lights are kind of a bonus on top.”

He and his partner Paula Ahola founded the boutique tourist company in October last year, after the Finnish-Dutch couple had moved to the area for Ahola’s work. “We fell in love with the fresh, crisp air and started to dream of opening a small-scale tourist company to share our passion for the Lappish nature,” van Teeffelen explains.

Arctos Lapland: A spa experience against an arctic backdrop

Van Teeffelen and Ahola both travelled extensively prior to moving to Rovaniemi and always sought out authentic experiences during their travels. This type of authenticity is precisely what the couple seek to offer guests at Arctos Lapland. “We believe that a perfect tour feels like you are enjoying a beautiful, memorable visit to an old friend, and unhurriedly exploring their way of living,” Ahola explains.

At Arctos Lapland, guests always have a Lappish hut, sauna, hot tub, lounge room and ice-dipping hole to themselves, with a lunch prepared on an open fire during the day, and a light dinner during the evening. At the same time, Van Teeffelen and Ahola, who live close to the hut, are just a walkie-talkie button away, should visitors have a question or request.

Next year, the couple hope to convert a cottage located next to the spa into a guest house so that spa-visitors can also stay overnight. They are planning to add snowshoeing, forest skiing and ice fishing activities, which can be combined with the spa experience. But the two have no desire to transform their small company into something bigger or more corporate. “We want to grow slow and steady without compromising on the quality of our offering, and while staying close to our values,” Ahola explains.

Arctos Lapland: A spa experience against an arctic backdrop

Instagram: @arctoslapland
Facebook: arctoslapland

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