Levit Iglut have roofs open to the sky
The igloos of Levin Iglut not only allow you to admire the northern lights and starry skies, but also the incredible nature of Utsuvaara. Managing Director Kristiina Kylmälahti reveals how her father’s dream came true.
“Levin Iglut would not exist without my father Tauno Mäkelä, whose idea and dream was what started everything 12 years ago. My father owned some land in Utsuvaara, Levi, and enjoyed the local nature, the seasons of the year and the exceptional beauty. He wanted as many people as possible to have a chance to enjoy them.
When my father first mentioned igloos, the rest of the family was not too keen on the idea at first. My father was already 75 years old at the time, and we thought it was high time he calmed down and took it easy. We weren't sure if anyone would even find this place. But my father is a resolute man, and in 2008, four glass-roofed igloos were built on the slope of Utsuvaara. At that point, we too realized how unique they were.
I took a leave of absence from my job and came to help my father with marketing and sales. The first three years were quiet, but every visit reinforced our belief that my father had struck gold, because the feedback was always so positive. After three years, we started expanding the business when travel agencies kept calling and asking us to for more room. We now have 27 igloos and three suite igloos as well as a separate reception and restaurant building, which also has a glass ceiling where you can admire the stars in the sky.”
Even a blizzard is exciting under a glass roof
“We’ve grown to meet the demand, but we’ve still kept our business small enough so that we can focus properly on each and every guest. We’re always looking for ways to positively surprise our customers. For instance, in the autumn, we made all of our guests a bag of marshmallows that they could roast in a hut.
The northern lights are definitely the number one thing that people hope to see here. If northern lights have been seen at night, people will chatter excitedly during breakfast. Even if there are no northern lights, spending the night in a glass igloo is still an experience like no other: even a blizzard is exciting to watch from under a warm blanket.
I often think how lucky I am to get to do this wonderful job, offering people unique experiences. We often see marriages and proposals here. I always try to calm down nervous fiancés: so far, we’ve been able to provide a success guarantee to proposals here, no proposals have been turned down yet.”