Sleeping in a Olokolo was probably one of the coolest things I have ever done, like seriously ever! (just thought I’d throw that out there 😉 ) Out of all the places I’ve slept at in this world, I think sleeping in Olokolo in Kemi, Finland was an experience I will never forget because there is just nothing like it out there.
This year, I made a 2016 Bucket List of things I must do before the year was over (My 2016 Top 10 Bucket List Around The World And Maybe Yours). I’m happy to say that I already have 3 check marks on that list! One of the items on that list was sleeping in a glass igloo, somewhere in Finland.
Here is my experience and vlog (video blog) on my whole adventure sleeping in a Olokolo! ENJOY!
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Finding the perfect Glass Igloo
There aren’t many glass igloo in this world, but the idea of sleeping underneath the stars or better yet, the northern lights, just always seemed like the perfect idea to me. My higher priority this year was sleeping in a ice hotel, so I did all the research in the world to find the perfect ice hotel getaway around the world, which is normally in the Scandinavian countries. After doing a lot of research, I came to learn a few things:
1.Most glass igloos are booked far in advance, which never really works with my schedule. I always like to live in the moment and book my travels as far as 2 months in advance. Even that is really pushing it because ideally most of my trips are booked anywhere between a month or 2 weeks or sometimes even less. So this was going to be a problem because people actually book glass igloos (most popular Glass Igloo destination: Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, photo above) a year or 2 in advance.
2. Most glass igloos also have snow or ice hotel connected to them. The problem I found with that was, most of these resorts/hotels normally specialize in one thing, which is either a ice hotel or a glass igloo. So one of them would normally be awesome, for example the glass igloo and the ice hotel didn’t look too great or vise versa. That was kind of annoying to me because most of these hotels are in the middle of no where and flights are expensive, so you kind of want to get both of them done at the same time.
3. They are super expensive! A night in most traditional glass igloos are about 500€ for a night. Now, most people that want to sleep in glass igloos, myself included, probably are only willing to spend that kind of money if the northern lights are a guarantee to them, which clearly is something that can never be guaranteed. The weather up north or just weather, in general, isn’t predictable, but up north even more so. It can say that tonight will be clear skies and next thing you know, there is a crazy snow storm or the other way around. So knowing that I would be paying that much money, but not being guaranteed to see the northern lights was kind of a deal breaker for me. The only way I was willing to pay anything close to that, is if the ice hotel would be amazing and then if all fails, at least I got to spend a night in an ice hotel that was amazing and then it would all be worth my while. That’s where Kemi’s SnowCastle came into place perfect!
Kemi LumiLinna SnowCastle
Kemi, Finland SnowCastle is actually the biggest snow hotel in the world! Yup! For real! Now that’s something I was willing to work with!
The SnowCastle in Kemi wasn’t just your average snow hotel, where you only really had a hotel and nothing else to do. It had everything and more! During the day the SnowCastle was opened to visitors to see all the exhibits, which there was a lot of amazing AMAZING artwork to see. They also offered other activities like kick sledding, a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, a kids section, ice carving classes and a snow restaurant! Besides all of that, they had other great activities to choose from, that were off the property like riding snowmobiles, a husky safari, the Sampo Icebreaker and more. This was my kind of a city!
My first night in Kemi’s SnowCastle was spend sleeping in their snow hotel and the next 2 nights in an Olokolo!
What is an Olokolo?
It only took me about 30 times to learn how to actually say it, lol so don’t worry if you can’t pronounce it right. An Olokolo comes from the same concept as a glass igloo. The only major difference is that the original Glass Igloo has a small bathroom, is bigger and resembles a small house where you can walk around. The Olokolo is much smaller, with no bathroom or space to walk around. It’s the perfect fit for 2 people to sleep in comfortably, maybe even a small kid too. The roof, front, and back are made of glass, so you can see everything from stars to the northern lights or anyone that decides to walk right by. The side walls have 2 doors on each side and a round window. My favorite part about the Olokolo, other than clearly being made out of glass, was that it had electricity and a HEATER!!!
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Kemi can get as low as -45’C/-49’F!!! THAT’S INSANE! I KNOW! Most of the time during winter it’s anywhere between 2’C/35’F and -16/3’F, a heater is needed folks!
I completely fell in love with the whole Olokolo experience! Like seriously obsessed with it!
The night that I slept there the weather was pretty bad, there was a crazy rain storm that kept turning into a snow storm and then back to rain. The rain was flying in all directions you can think of, to the point where it was hard to see. I was in the reception hall, drinking 3 cups of hot chocolate and blogging away.
When it was time to say good night, a staff member walked me to my own private cute little Olokolo and it was love at first sight. I was freezing and the moment I opened the door to my Olokolo I was greeted with a warm cozy feel in my own little room for the night. I loved how they turned on the heater before you get there, it’s actually genius in my opinion. The rain had stopped and the moment I took off my shoes and all of my layers I couldn’t stop praying to G-D, saying “PLEASSSSE let me see the northern lights, please please please, I’ll love you forever and ever!”. I knew I was pushing my luck because the weather as been crazy all day, so my exceptions weren’t so high, but I still thought I’d try.
Although the hotel provides you with a sleeping bag, I honestly slept with my thermals and just the thin layer of thermal blanket. I didn’t even need my actual sleeping bag. The temperature in my room was just perfect.
I tried my hardest not to fall asleep so fast because I was so grateful for the whole experience and didn’t want it to ever end. I could have easily slept in one of those Olokolo for a week and I would have been one happy girl!
I was only supposed to sleep in the Olokolo for one night, however, I missed my flight the next day and was SO HAPPY to sleep an extra night there.
SIDENOTE: I wasn’t scared at all and felt completely safe, although I was sleeping there alone.
Seriously AMAZING GUYS!
Olokolo starts at 155€
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* Vanilla Sky Dreaming was invited by Visit Kemi Tourism to attend The SnowCastle Hotel. Thank you to The SnowCastle Hotel for welcoming Vanilla Sky Dreaming! As always, my opinion is my own.