There are a 2 igloo hotels in Finland. One is the Arctic Resort Kakslauttanen (nearer to Ivalo, further north than Rovaniemi) and the other is the Arctic Snow Hotel (the one I stayed in) which is only 27km away from Rovaniemi City Centre.
The hotel is not very big, there are a total of less than 40 igloos (of which 5 are family igloos). Each igloo is 20 Sq meter (houses up to 3 person) while the family igloo is 35 Sq meter (houses up to 5 person). There is a snow hotel as well but it is only operational from late December until February. During our stay there, the Snow Hotel is still in the midst of construction.
The hotel is not easily accessible unless you drive or you have a chartered transport. The hotel does provide transport at 15 euro per person per way or 90 euro per car for up to 5 persons. Taxi from Rovaniemi cost me 50 euro (flat rate, pre-booked) and the van provided housed 6 of us easily with all our luggage (with room to spare).
Igloo hotel is certainly costly, as it cost 899 Euro per night for the family Igloo (to fit up to 4 person). A 5th bed can be added with extra cost. The price comes with breakfast, which is buffet style. All the beds in the room are single beds. The beds are adjustable in its incline via a remote control. Toilet is en-suite, with amenities provided (except toothbrush). Shower room is a little cramped, but this is not unexpected. Hot shower is provided but do note the limited amount of hot water available (45 minutes for family Igloo). There is no wardrobe, but there are hangers provisioned in the room. A small fridge and kettle are also provided.
What makes the Igloo special? It is the glass roof that allows one to look to the sky in the comfort of their bed. There is a switch for aurora alarm that will ring (or buzz) when aurora is sighted. One can then just look up into the sky to view the aurora. The glass roof is heated, hence snow will melt and it will not obscure your view. During my stay, I did notice that a considerable amount of snow did accumulate on the roof, but not to the extent of obscuring the sky view. Alas, the aurora alarm did not buzz during our stay.
Unless one drives, your only option for dinner is at the Kota Restaurant. There is an additional option of the Ice Restaurant once the Ice Hotel is in operation, but the food served is pretty similar. In the Kota Restaurant, one have only 3 options of set dinner; Salmon, Minced Reindeer and Vegetarian. It is nice to seat by the large traditional stove where you get to see how the salmon is fire-roasted and to keep you warm in the cold Finnish winter. Food was ok. The soup was quite tasty but the fish was a little too greasy. It cost 59 euro per set per person (child is half price) which is expensive. Being in that location, you don’t have much choice. Once the ice hotel opens, one can try the ice restaurant as well. The menu however is the same as what is served in Kota Restaurant.
There isn’t much you can do there. There are equipments that you can use such as snow shoes to explore the nearby lake or building snowman. There is a sauna and an outdoor Jacuzzi (for those who dare to try).
Staying here once is a good experience, especially when the Snow Hotel starts operating. There are packages that allow you to do one night each in the Igloo and the Snow Hotel. The hotel itself is considered a luxury given the location but it is probably basic compared to 5 star hotels. The price however rivals that of a 5 star hotel. If one gets to catch the aurora, it is probably worth it.