The new entrepreneurs of the traditional guesthouse, located at the shore of Ranuanjärvi, brought mobile igloo boats to the idyllic yard area, attracting tourists seeking ecological luxury to the cloudberry paradise of Southern Lapland. Moreover, the positive business environment of Ranua helps companies settle down and develop in the area.
The B&B guesthouse, which oozes a countryside atmosphere at the shore of beautiful Lake Ranuanjärvi, has served guests since the 1940s. After the most recent change of ownership, the premises of the main building have been renovated keeping traditions in mind. In addition, the beautiful yard area and its buildings have been supplemented with a platform along the shore and ten mobile, floating glass igloos.
– Our family started the Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos operations in August 2019 – just before the coronavirus pandemic, says Auvo Leppänen, the new managing, as he laughs at the timing.
Pandemic slowed down the plans but did not change the direction of sustainable tourism development.
– We want to respond to the demand for ecological luxury tourism.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the location was full of all-aged domestic tourists in the summer of 2020, which was a promising start for the company.
An adventure in lakeside sceneries around the year
The AuroraHut igloo boats have been of interest in the cloudberry capital of Finland, particularly during the cloudberry gathering season.
– The igloo boat can be anchored at the lake near a cloudberry swamp or blueberry forest. In that way, you can go and gather blueberries or even go swimming directly after stepping out of the door, Leppänen describes.
The freely movable igloos provide the freedom to plan adventurous excursions in lakeside sceneries. The large landscape windows allow you to admire the sun of the nightless night or the autumn foliage, as well as the northern lights.
– During the winter, we can take our guests to a peaceful place to sleep and in the morning, we can bring them back to the guesthouse to have breakfast. The igloo can also be taken to your own peace and quiet for, say, a couple of weeks if the customer so wishes. There is no need to go far to go ice-fishing since there is an ice hole next to the bed.
The igloo boat floats independently on top of the water or ice without changing the environment. The premium accommodation for two persons includes an observatory lounge, double bed, kitchen, food basement and composting toilet. The consumable electricity is produced with solar and biofuel cells, and heating is produced with renewable fuel. The entrepreneur can remotely monitor the status of the fuel and water tanks as well as the temperatures to ensure that the guests are comfortable.
– We are currently planning to build a floating hut for 25-30 people, which will be suitable for conference use, Leppänen reveals.
Ranua’s business atmosphere inspires to develop
Auvo Leppänen, originally from Ranua, has more than 20 years of experience as a logistics sector entrepreneur. After following the growth of sustainable tourism demand for a few years, following the sale of his company, he gave in to the temptation to become an entrepreneur again.
– Ranua has everything that a tourist seeking natural experiences would need: a zoo specialising in Arctic animals, untouched wilderness areas and diverse hiking, skiing, canoeing, and cycling routes. In addition to this, there are stunning excursion destinations just a short distance away, such as Korouoma gorge valley, Auttikönkäs waterfall and Iso-Syöte fells.
Ranua is situated only an hour’s drive away from Rovaniemi airport and railway connections. On the other hand, Arctic Guesthouse & Igloos is a short walking distance away from the services of Ranua city centre.
According to Leppänen, the municipality of approximately four thousand residents currently has a strong will for development.
– The sense of community between the municipality and the companies is good, and there are plots available for new tourism entrepreneurs too. Hopefully, we will soon be able to organise our own leisure activities among the tourism entrepreneurs; I miss them.
The growth-seeking municipality has a vibrant spirit of doing things, but the people of Ranua wish to provide tourists with the sense of an easy-going atmosphere.
– Our customers have even said that let this place continue to be a relaxing place where we can spend time together and be each other’s friends. We also want to ensure that our staff always has a moment to stop and share stories with our guests.