Pyry Talvensaari – Harriniva Hotel & Safaris, Muonio, Finland

I work as the CEO of Harriniva Hotel & Safaris, which is a family-owned tourism company in Muonio, Northern Lapland, Finland on the border with Sweden. Our main destination is located on the banks of the Muonionjoki River in Tornio, where our operations began as a caravan site in 1973. During these 50 years, we have grown into three full-service holiday centers here in the Muonio area. Among the holiday resorts we have Harriniva Adventure Resort, Jeris Lakeside Resort and Artic Sauna World as well as Torassieppi Eco Reindeer Resort. Our main season is in winter, i.e. from November to Easter, and our customer base is 90% international customers, mainly from Central Europe. We also hope that the summer season will be more lively in terms of tourism in Lapland, since we see a lot of opportunities for the summer in the international market. In addition to a full service, we offer our customers several nature experiences, and we have been one of the pioneers of nature tourism in the field of northern lights tourism since the 90s. We have around 50 employees all year round, and during winter season the number rises to 160 people.

How long have you been AuroraHut partner?

We are a relatively new partner, as we ordered our igloo boats last November, i.e. at the end of 2022. Therefore, we have been cooperating with AuroraHut for about half a year now. We have a total of five AuroraHut® igloo boats here, which serve as special accommodations at our resorts in Jeris and Torassieppi. We have now used them for the first winter season and we will see how we move them in the future, for example when there is no snow. Since we really only have the winter season behind us with them, we haven’t been able to try the boat side of the igloo boat yet.

What has been the best thing about AuroraHut?

I must mention that the delivery and installation were really easy and handy. We needed the igloo boats pretty quickly after placing the order, and we got them here for us in a very fast schedule. Delivery, maintenance and customer service have been extremely good. So far we have not encountered any challenges. The best thing has been that we have been able to offer a new kind of special accommodation to our customers. The northern lights can also be highlighted here, because the igloo boat is a very good special accommodation for viewing the northern lights. Considering sustainability and energy efficiency issues in a special accommodation was also very important to us, which have also been taken into account in AuroraHut. An igloo boat is a different accommodation option, although they can already be found in other destinations. All in all, taking sustainability into account, a very functional solution and a clever alternative for a special accommodation.

What kind of feedback have you received from the customers?

The customers have liked the igloo boats a lot. We have had a very good winter season and there have been many overnighters in the igloo boats as well. The feedback has been really good and, of course, seeing the northern lights from the igloo boat lifts the accomodation experience to a whole another level. You don’t always see the northern lights, but when they do appear, the experience of spending the night is that much better and unique. Customers have also liked the location of the igloos, as they get to enjoy other services of our resort during their stay. The igloo boat is compact, but really functional for our use as a special room. It will be interesting to see what the fall season brings. All in all, they work great for us as a special accommodation in addition to other resort services.

Why would you recommend AuroraHut?

The igloo boat is easy to use and the purchasing process itself was easy to do. The delivery also went smoothly and the maintenance has worked well. An igloo boat is a smart addition to business operations and it has a certain kind of eccentricity and uniqueness to it. With the help of an igloo boat, you can easily add value to a business and add something different to the already existing property offerings. Although we haven’t experienced it through summer and fall yet, we strongly believe that the versatility of the igloo boat will be even more visible in the coming seasons. All in all, the year-round usability, sustainability, versatility, ease of use, modularity and uniqueness of the igloo boat are the things that I can recommend about it.

What would you hope to get in the future from the collaboration with AuroraHut and what kind of new products or innovations would you like to have to support your business?

It would be good if the igloo boat package had, for example, three different design options for it. This would allow for more options for personalizing and styling the interior, as the package currently arrives pretty standard and therefore is the same for everyone. Perhaps it could be possible to get different decoration packages for the igloo boat, like you can find in cars or house packages. Personalizing the igloo boat from the inside or a certain kind of different styling would be a nice addition, perhaps if you order an x amount of them at once. The offer could be, for example, a modern Scandinavian interior or a rougher, Lapland-themed style. The main functions would all remain the same, but the surfaces, the interior and the exterior could be customized. It is not easy to change the size, but this could maybe be possible. With personalization, you could change how they look and what kind of feeling you get from them. This would also create more comfort and of course you can do a lot with small additions yourself already.

The cooperation has been working very well and I believe that if we have any additional needs of ideas, we can always get in touch with out contact person at AuroraHut. We hope that the cooperation will continue as good as it has been so far. The product side could also benefit from fun addition like a mobile sauna hut. We have a sauna world here by the lake, so one could fit comfortably there as well. In general, something like this would fit perfectly into the Finnish sauna culture, and I’m sure many others would be interested in it as well. Ice fishing from the sauna hut would also be a fun idea.