The Elves’ Hideaway, a half-hour drive from the Lapland resort of Levi in northern Finland, is already a favourite with tourists at all times of the year. Now it is cementing its reputation as a base for film productions –in the summer as well as winter.
The Hideaway is a cluster of quaint, traditional, rustic wooden buildings close to meadows on the banks of the Ounasjoki river, one of the longest in Finland. The Levi resort is easy to get to, but there is a sense of seclusion and privacy, in which the theme of an Elfish Christmas fantasy is easy to embrace.
This fantasy, persuasively enchanting for both children and grown-ups, is enhanced by an excursion, by foot, sled or golf buggy, depending on the season, through a magical forest to a newly assembled mini-village of Hidden Huts. Here visitors are greeted and guided around a variety of Christmas attractions by the Yellow Elf, a cordial red-cheeked hostess.
As well as providing an absorbing family outing venue and an excellent, relaxing base for Lapland exploration, the setting lends itself as an exciting and versatile location from a cinematographic point of view.
— The hotel located in the main country house has 13 rooms, all of them different, and plenty of lounge space, says Yrjötapio ‘YT’ Kivisaari, Destination Specialist for the Hullu Poro, or ‘Crazy Reindeer’, hospitality group that runs the Hideaway.
— There is plenty of comfortable on-location accommodation for film crews both here and at the nearby Blueberry Villa, an elegant wooden villa on the banks of the river.
Top Chefs, Fresh Produce
The Hideaway, part of the Film Friendly Lapland network, can draw on the services of Hullu Poro’s top chefs and catering resources. Many of the fresh ingredients for Elves’ Hideaway dining are gathered and foraged from gardens and forests only a few meters from the hotel door. Fresh eggs for breakfast are collected from the chicken coop.
It’s only a 30-minute drive from the Kittilä airport, with regular connections to Helsinki, just a 90-minute flight away. Levi is on a main highway that cuts south to north through Lapland, so magnificent national parks and limitless and wildly cinematic landscapes of the region are easily accessible. Again, the resources of the Film Friendly network are available in the form of experienced drivers with extensive local knowledge.
— As across the rest of Lapland, there is great local infrastructure, superb fell and forest scenery, and transport connections to neighbouring Norway and Russia,” says YT.
— The Hideaway complex has good, steady WiFi. There are even trained animals with ‘acting’ experience at the nearby Levi Husky Farm! And as if that weren’t enough, there are electricity power points in the forest next to the Hideaway!
Elves’ Hideaway is well above the Arctic Circle and in the Midnight Sun zone, which means extra hours of filming are possible in a period of continuous daylight that lasts for weeks. The summer climate is surprisingly temperate, with temperatures sometimes exceeding those in the south of the country.
— The weather, the light – everything here in the summer is amazing. It’s a unique milieu, culturally and environmentally. Now people are beginning to realize that the Elves’ Hideaway exists and that there is great potential here in the summer as well as in the winter, says YT.