Finnish Lakeland gems worthy of a stay
Anttolanhovi’s new wave of holiday lodging on Lake Saimaa combines luxury with functionality.
While modern Nordic cottages are regular favourites on the pages of design magazines, it’s still a rarity to see one of these minimalist wonders in real life. And, as many holiday homes in Finland rely on the safe charm of log cabins and farmhouse aesthetics, it is even rarer to find one that serves as a hotel.
“Traditional” was also the first option when the Anttolanhovi wellness village decided to expand its lodgings on Lake Saimaa. In the end – luckily – they decided to take things in an edgier direction.
The fresh design of the wooden lakeside villas is based on two winning entries by young architects in an architectural competition.
While both concepts embrace their environment and boast strikingly modern design, the outcomes are quite unique. The villas by Emma Johansson hug the surrounding nature and are nearly invisible when approached by road, while the airy, sunny interiors open directly onto the lake.
Rather than blending in, the six semi-detached hillside villas by Timo Leiviskä stand out proudly against the backdrop of the forest, shining like bright beacons in the night. Finnish design and art are prominent in the décor of the villas, in details from Iittala cups to Ilmari Tapiovaara chairs.
“We wanted simple luxury that connects functionality and comfort with the surrounding nature,” says Ella Savolainen of Anttolanhovi.
The evergreen pine forest is also the reason why the location attracted visitors in the first place. The main house was built in the late ’70s as a facility for patients suffering from respiratory illnesses, as pine cleans the air and is easy on the lungs.
Today, the soothing effects of the forest are still the biggest draw of Anttolanhovi and its villas, which are popular especially among visitors from the busy cities of Japan, China, and Spain.
FYI: Anttolanhovi is located close to the city of Mikkeli, some 3-hour’s drive from Helsinki.
Text Amanda Soila
Photos Amanda Soila and Anttolanhovi