Hotel Levi Panorama is a luxurious resort hotel located on the slopes of Levi Fell, 110 miles north of the arctic circle in Lapland, Finland. Getting to Levi is quite easy as there are daily connecting flights from Helsinki international airport to Kittilä with Finnair (journey time 1 hour 20 minutes). Levi is then just a 15 minute drive from the airport. Alternatively, you can take the overnight VR train to nearby Kolari and transfer by road in one hour from there.
Levi Panorama is the only ski-in ski-out hotel in the area but as well as being noted for its winter sports facilities, it is also a wonderful summer hotel for experiencing the midnight sun. For 45 days of the year the sun never sets and these nightless nights offer a once in a lifetime experience that should be on everyone’s wish list.
Arrival and Check-in:
The hotel lies above Levi village with its own large car park. We arrived at around 9.00 p.m. in the evening and were both surprised and delighted to find reindeer wandering around outside the hotel to greet us.
The large lobby / reception area is furnished in Nordic style with comfortable seating areas and Lappish decorations.
The front desk is open 24 hours a day and we were welcomed by a friendly receptionist who checked us in quickly and handed us leaflets containing useful information such as restaurant and sauna opening times, connecting to the Wi-Fi etc.
The hotel offers a range of high quality accommodation from spacious rooms through to apartments and suites, all of them benefiting from magnificent views and some with private balconies.
I stayed in one of their deluxe sky suites which took my breath away as soon as I opened the door. The suites comprise a large bedroom / lounge area with stunning views over the surrounding lakes and fells. The hotel is not called Panorama for nothing!
The king size bed was dressed with luxurious high thread Egyptian cotton bed linen and even with the nightless nights, I drifted off to sleep quickly. I was pleased to find a master switch next to the bed so that I could turn off all the lights at once without needing to move.
A cosy sofa by the window could be converted to accommodate an additional adult or two children and on the coffee table beside it was a large hard backed book about Lapland plus a dish of my favourite Fazer Finnish chocolates. Along one wall was a dressing table/ work area with flat screen TV, nespresso coffee maker and tea making facilities. There was also more than enough wardrobe storage even for someone like me who always takes lots of things with them.
Shelves and cupboards contained extra pillows, bathrobes, slippers, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, safe and a mini bar. Rooms also come equipped with large drying cupboards which would be particularly useful for winter sports visitors. The en-suite bathroom was divine having both a deep bath tub and a powerful shower, huge bath towels and complimentary Noir toiletries.
If all this wasn’t enough, the real showstopper was the attached igloo room with its glass roof and walls. I’d never seen anything like it before and it was just perfect for lying on the bed and gazing at the golden hues of the midnight sun. The igloo room was large and featured Nordic inspired armchairs, a breakfast bar with stools, oversized cushions and breathtaking views from each of its windows.
It was enchanting to experience the midnight sun from the igloo and just think what it would be like if you were staying there when the northern lights were visible, how amazing that would be!
The Levi Panorama offers both à la carté and buffet restaurants serving a wide range of locally sourced produce from Lappish specialities such as reindeer and Arctic char through to burgers and pizzas.
A buffet breakfast is served daily between 7.00 – 10.00 a.m. with a vast spread of delicacies to choose from including pastries, Karelian pies, Finnish dark rye bread (my favourite), salmon, ham, cheese, fresh fruit and yoghurts.
I especially liked the intense flavour of the liver pâté and of tasting beetroot hummus for the first time. Hot dishes comprise the usual bacon, sausage, eggs, mushrooms etc as well as freshly made pancakes which I enjoyed topped with cloudberry jam.
Gold Digger Bar and Sky Lounge – located on the top floor, it’s name and decor is inspired by the gold rush to Lapland of the mid 1900’s. The lounge windows resembled a larger version of my sky suite and it’s a delightful place to end the day viewing the golden glow of the arctic nightless nights.
Sauna and Relaxation Room – located on the 7th floor is one of the most beautiful saunas ever. I enjoyed bathing there whilst admiring the stunning scenery. It’s adjacent relaxation room is gorgeous too and I blissfully settled down there awhile afterwards with a cool drink and a pile of magazines.
Samiland Cultural Centre – situated next to the hotel and part of the complex. There’s an indoor exhibition documenting the history of the Sami people providing interesting information on the indigenous tribe’s way of life and impact from other cultures. Outdoors there’s a short walking trail with examples of Sami buildings. Samiland.
The hotel also boasts a fitness centre, children’s playroom, gift shop and conference facilities.
In addition to access by road the hotel is located next to the upper Gondola Express station which operates in both summer and winter meaning that you can take a tranquil journey travelling down to the village centre in just two minutes. For the more energetic there is also a flight of steps connecting the hotel with the village and the summer sledding track is another fun way to reach there too!
Suggested dining options in Levi:
The hotel’s own restaurants are highly recommended but for a change of scene it’s also interesting to experience other restaurants and bars in the area so here is my list of suggested venues:
This traditional Lapland restaurant serves authentic Lapland dishes with a modern twist. The setting is delightful with service to match. I started with a buckwheat blini served with white fish roe, marinated red onion and sour cream which was light and flavoursome.
I couldn’t visit Lapland without sampling reindeer so for my main course I opted for Lapland’s most traditional dish, sautéed reindeer served with mashed potatoes and lingonberries. It was very tasty and the reindeer not too strong which was to my liking. For dessert, I kept to the Lappish theme with Lappish cheese served warm with brown sugar, cream and cloudberries, my verdict – mouthwatering! Restaurant Ammiliä
Kekäle Bar and Grill
A casual, fine dining restaurant featuring an open kitchen where we could watch our dishes being expertly prepared on hot coals. We opted for the chef’s choice three course menu which comprised a refreshing salad starter, Arctic char served with Lappish new potatoes, asparagus and edible flowers for mains then a sweet treat of meringue topped with cream and lingonberries for dessert.
Each course was delicious and the arctic char was so fresh that the fish just melted in my mouth. Our server talked us through each course which was so nice and helpful and it was easy to tell how passionate he was about Finnish cuisine and of his expert knowledge of wines. Kekäle Bar and Grill.
Located in the village centre, Lost Tacos serves Mexican style food, tacos, nachos etc. in a modern informal bar/restaurant where live music takes place on some evenings.
As it was such a warm, sunny day we sat out on the terrace sipping refreshing watermelon mocktails whilst studying the menu.
I ordered a roasted cauliflower salad which was huge and really good together with a couple of tasty tacos filed with fish and chicken. The service was friendly, food delicious and reasonably priced. I gather that they are soon to open a second branch in the southern Finnish city of Tampere which I’m sure will be popular too. Hopefully I’ll get to visit later in the year. Lost Tacos
A mountain top restaurant with spectacular views from its terrace. Tuuiku is Levi’s original slope side restaurant and can be visited by car, on foot or as part of a ski trip.
We visited at lunch time and opted for their lunch buffet, though plenty to choose from, I couldn’t resist a large bowl of creamy salmon and potato soup with rye bread which was up with the best. Restaurant Tuuiku
A beach cafe on Lake Imneljarvi offering light meals, snacks, drinks and ice cream. It’s the perfect place to simply relax on a deckchair soaking up the sun’s rays with a cocktail or to hire a Stand Up Paddle Boat (SUP) out on the crystal clear lake. Saunabaari
Our stay at the Hotel Levi Panorama exceeded expectations with its stunning setting, luxurious sky suites and authentic Lappish cuisine. Whether you opt to stay in one of their sky suites, superior or standard rooms I’m certain you will be more than happy as the hotel definitely sets the bar with the quality of all its rooms, dedicated, friendly staff and facilities.
Hotel Levi Panorama, Tunturitie 205, 99130 Levi, Finland.
I was a guest of Visit Levi as one of the Lapland Midnight Sun Ambassadors 2022 and as always, all views and opinions are entirely my own.
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