As I left the dazzling city of Helsinki, the landscape started changing. Each turn on the road was painted with white blanket of snow. The thick forest, the barren land on both sides of the road and popping colorful wooden houses from nowhere made it appear like as if I was in a winter wonderland.
As the bus was speeding up, I became a silent observer of the wonders of nature. The journey was mystical and it kind of made me numb after one point. Probably I had never seen such snow covered spectacular landscapes till that day.
I was travelling to the Lakeland of Finland, a blue labyrinth of lakes, islands, rivers and canals, forests and ridges, stretching for hundreds of kilometers in a peaceful and beautiful expanse. The Finnish Lakeland is the largest in entire Europe.
This part of Finland has one of the most breathtaking sights of the country, which are still untapped. My excitement was soaring high when I was told about my stay at one of the most luxurious resorts called “Holiday Club Saimaa”, right on the bank of Finland’s largest lake named Saimaa.
The First Look
I moment I stepped out of the bus, after more than 4 hours of journey, the very first look of the resort was impressive. Located in the Rauha area, this holiday resort is crafted aesthetically to take your breath away at the very first glance. From the reception area, restaurants, to my room, everything was tastefully designed. Opened in 2011, Holiday Club Saimaa is known for redefining the whole concept of holiday for everyone. It’s not just this magnificent resort, but also the experiences that make your holiday an exception here.
With a total of 31 resorts that include 23 in Finland, including 7 Spa Hotel resorts, 2 in Sweden and 6 in Spain, Holiday Club Resorts are one of Europe’s largest vacation ownership enterprises. The Club Resorts Oy, Finland are owned by Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd., which is now the largest vacation ownership company in the world, outside US. With Mahindra Holiday resorts, the aim is to provide not just a luxurious vacation with the much needed homely environment & warm hospitality, entertainment, cultural experiences, but also make your vacation budget friendly.
As soon as I finished my Italian treat, I was escorted to my pre-booked room. The room was luxurious and spacious in the Castle wings, which have an indoor access to the spa, restaurants and activities, including ice arena. It was a well equipped room with all the modern amenities. The best part of the Castle Hotel room is that you can leave your room comfortably wearing a bathrobe and access the spa and Sauna without going outside. They have 63 such rooms in the Castle Hotel wings.
Holiday Club Resort Saimaa has 229 rooms, unique Cirque de Saimaa spa and ice arena and restaurant world. This gigantic property is divided into three separate wings like Castle Hotels, Villa holiday apartments and holiday houses in Saimaa. Each wing has its own specialties to meet everyone’s demands.
While strolling around the three wings, I was spellbound by the concept of holiday that they had created for everyone. I was amazed to find the luxurious Club Holiday Suits, which are designed for families. With 137 such family suites, it can accommodate up to 4 persons, i.e.,2 adults and 2 children. Well equipped rooms are also pet friendly. They also have 22 double bed luxurious and peaceful Gant Hotel rooms where guests can spend quality time leisurely.
Out of all these, my favorite rooms are Deluxe Pavilion Rooms, which are elegant, stylish and classy. The pavilion rooms are uniquely designed.
Apart from the various room categories in the Holiday Spa Hotel, the most amazing part of this property is its luxurious private Villas and apartments for couples and families in the same premise. It’s not just giving you the best quality holiday time with your family, but also giving you an opportunity to celebrate privacy with luxury. The apartments include an own sauna and a luxuriously equipped kitchen.
The view from the balcony, overlooking Saimaa is breathtaking. The luxury does not end here. The Saimaa Villas White House apartments just spoil you with their ultimate comfort and world class facilities. These Villa apartments are with 2 bedrooms, living room, fully equipped kitchen, own sauna and terrace. It has every possible thing that one can imagine to have in any luxury villa.
What I loved the most
What I loved the most about this grand property is that it not just provides you the much needed vacation, but the breathtaking location of Lake Saimaa is the added charm to the resort. Only a few meters away from your room, apartment or villa, you land amidst the nature’s wilderness.
Walking on the frozen lake in the winter, Reindeer ride for children, Ice skating, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Ice fishing, you name it and they have it. There can’t be any dull moment, even in the freezing cold here.
Angry Bird Activity Park
Holiday Club Saimaa resort is the best place for children. The Angry Bird Activity Park is located in Lappeenranta, near the Holiday Club Saimaa spa hotel and holiday resort. Buzzing with a lot of exciting activities, the children under 10 years of age can visit the park only with an adult supervisor, whereas children/teenagers from 10 to 13 years can visit the park without an adult if they have permission from their parents.
Not just that, you can do shopping from the Angry Birds Shop for your kids. It has a variety of Angry Bird characters such as soft toys, clothes, pencils, note books and much more!
Cirque de Saimaa aqua park
Multi–function pool, Jacuzzi, 2 water slides, separate Sauna for children, log Sauna and wooden bath tubs on the roof of the building, all of this you will find in the property itself.
Food at specialty restaurants
From my first bite of fire wood pizza at Classic Pizza Restaurant, lavish & specially curated dinner at Le Biff , buffet lunch & breakfast at Easy kitchen to my last grab of burgers and fries at Sports bar O’Learys, I relished everything that came on my plate. Holiday Club Saimaa has five restaurants and a bar that offers a variety of world cuisines in each restaurant.
While having my meals in the restaurant, I noticed one most commendable thing that even makes it more apt for a family vacation. They are well equipped to cater to a child’s needs, not just in terms of food preparation, but even kid cutlery is available for children holidaying with them.
Must have Experience
If you are in Finland, indulging in the traditional Finnish Sauna is a must try activity in the country. They have more than 3 million Saunas with over 5 million people in the country. The Sauna is the most essential part of their lifestyle. This is not just a place to clean themselves, but this a place for relaxation, to unwind and also meditation. I was excited to experience Sauna for the first time in Sauna World at the property.
This is one well organised place not just for adults, but even children can enjoy Sauna in specially designed Igloo sauna with heated seats. The whole process of taking a hot shower before you enter the Sauna to make your body acclimatized to the heat is what I found quite amazing. Sitting in the heated room, shedding clothes, while experiencing Finnish Sauna, I realized that Sauna is a place for physical and mental cleansing. One can get lost in his/her own thoughts and literally meditate there. This is undoubtedly one of the best experiences I had in Holiday Club Saimaa. I strongly recommend having this experience whenever you are here.
Apart from that, the resort also has 18 holes Golf Course, Bowling, Tennis court, Gym, shopping center, etc. The resort can also organize safaris, Visa- Free cruises to Russia and Horseback riding for its guests.
From indulging in the Cirque du Saimaa spa, spin across the ice of the skating rink, holding a meeting overlooking the fascinating landscape, relaxing in the sauna or pampering yourself with a luxurious Harmony Spa treatment, Holiday Club Saimaa can spoil you with choices. Whether you want a luxurious family holiday, romantic vacation with your loved one or organizing a conference trip for a large group, Holiday Club Saimaa has everything you can think of.
For More Information, Visit Finland with Club Mahindra
You can fly to Finland with Finnair, which has direct flights to Helsinki from Delhi thrice a week. It takes 7 and half hours to reach Helsinki. There are other airlines like Air France, Air India, Aeroflot Russian, and Lufthansa.
There are two ways to reach lake Saimaa from the capital city of Finland. The duration of the trip depends on the mode of transportation and the route.
Bus /Car : The easiest way to reach Saimaa is by taking a bus trip that takes more than four hours. This route covers 267.5 km via E18. One can also rent out private car to reach Saimaa.
Train: The quickest way to reach Saimaa is by taking a Train . It takes only 3 hours 11 minutes to reach your destination.
I was invited by Club Mahindra on a press trip to Finland .
- All the used Non Watermarked photos have been provided by Visit Finland & and have been used with permission.
- The Watermarked photographs are owned by the writer and are copyright protected. Reproduction of any of the contents, including the photographs without prior consent/permission of the writer is strictly prohibited and a violation of the same will attract legal action.
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