Julie, Carrier's Head of Reservations & Operations, enjoys a snowy adventure with a traditional Finnish Lapland escape and a magical visit to meet Father Christmas.
Driving through snow-laden forests and powdered plains revealed one spectacular vista after another, but nothing quite prepared me for the sight upon my arrival to Villa Laavu.
Majestically stood atop Utsuvaara hill, a grand, traditional log cabin awaited. I opened the door and a crackling log fire filled the room with the smell of Christmas. The architecture is exceptional, built out of huge wooden timbers, and the walls are dressed in twinkling fairy lights. The seven bedrooms are split across three floors (one being a suite with a private sauna) and the space and design of the villa makes it an ideal hideaway for large families or groups.
Stepping into our snowsuits and boots, we found a snowmobile waiting outside to take us on an exhilarating trip into the wintry wilderness that included a husky safari, ice-fishing and igloo building. We enjoyed a delicious lunch served in an arctic tepee before our return to Villa Laavu, where we were greeted with delicious canapés, prepared by our personal chef, and Champagne.
The next day we were up early for a fairy-tale walk through the forest where we were met by an elf on-board a reindeer sleigh, ready to take us to the Christmas Command Centre to meet Father Christmas himself. During an Elf Workshop the elves taught us how to make toys, bake cookies and build gingerbread houses. Utterly unique. Truly magical.