A bucket-lister’s dream with royalty and celebrities among its adoring posse, Octola is one of the most private of private homes. It’s where inspiration, relaxation and complete wonder collide with access to every conceivable exclusive service and comfort imaginable. You won’t find anywhere else in the world that does well-being, adventure and quality time quite like it. And with a landscape this spectacular, you won’t mind when asked to keep its location to yourself.
300 hectares of reindeer-roamed reserve surround this exclusive 10-bedroom Lapland lodge and its two-bedroom villa. There's limited ways to access this neck of the woods, one being by helicopter, another by boat during the summer months. But the favourite is by Mercedes-Benz 4x4, optionally ending in a reindeer drawn sleigh to the door. Inside, industrial metals meet fleecy Fair Isle behind the floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto nothing but a blanket of pines pointing heavenward to the Aurora.
...the experience of a lifetime. The been-there-done-that-ers have their work cut out with this one. One week, an elf comes knocking with gingerbread at the ready for the whole family; the next sees a group getting crafty with shed reindeer antlers and husky sledding; while the daring duo that arrive after them take over the intimate villa, partaking in the blood-pumping Nordic tradition of moving between a sweltering sauna and a dip in the icy waters of the natural spring. With every stay here being completely bespoke, the sky is the technicolour limit.
Children grow up fast, so Octola knows how important it is to share in experiences that can be firmly locked away in the great-time-memory-bank. Think zipping across the frosty landscape in a fleet of custom built snowmobiles (or mini-skidoos) and taming the outdoors on a luxury survival camp. And if you wish hard enough, you might, just might, find Father Christmas waiting in his hidden wooden workshop in the forest.
Sleeping up to 38 when combined, traditional Lapp and Sámi architecture inspired the design of the 10 bedroom lodge and two bedroom villa; with the arrow head shape deriving from the Lapp ‘laavu’ buildings used as shelters for Nordic nomads. Smaller groups opt for either the six- or four-bedroom wing of the main lodge separately, while the villa makes for a snowy sojourn for up to four with its own wellness area; and booking out the whole estate makes room for the whole pack.
We don’t know about Santa, but Octola’s dedicated team are truly magical. Cuisine is cooked by Michelin-starred chefs and served by a private butler, either in the lodge or in a beautiful wooden hut out in the forest (our personal favourite). There are wilderness guides on hand too, ready to tailor the day’s activities based on mood; but the whole team are local, so titbits around the area’s history and wildlife are always about.
In a place like this, it isn’t easy to pick just one experience that surpasses the rest. But when the day is done and there’s a chill in your bones, a night reserved for two counting the stars beneath the dome of a glass igloo swaddled in blankets comes pretty close.
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