Jarvisydan Spa Hotel in Rantasalmi, Finland
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The Most Unique Spa in Finland – Järvisydän Resort Review

On our trip to Finland we visited Järvisydän Resort with our family. Is it worth the hype? Here is our review of Järvisydän Spa and Hotel.

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Our trip was made possible by Hotel & Spa Resort Järvisydän, but as always, all opinions are our own.

We spend all our summers in Finland with our family. While we are there we love to visit friends all over the country and explore new places.

We have spent several of our midsummer weekends in Eastern Finland, close to the city of Joensuu. One of those times we got invited to visit Hotel & Spa Resort Järvisydän by the beautiful Lake Saimaa area.

It is a family owned business, and the family behind it started in a hospitality business already over 300 years ago in 1685. They started after the Czar of Russia and the King of Sweden made an agreement to build a road through Finland.

It just happened, that this area was designated to accommodate people and their horses who were traveling on this new road. So the history of Järvisydän Resort goes a long way back.

Järvisydän is said to be the most unique spa in Finland, and it definitely was that! There so many little details that made this place special.

How to get to Järvisydän Resort?

The Järvisydän Resort is located in the city of Rantasalmi right by Linnansaari National Park. The closest bigger cities are Mikkeli and Joensuu.

If you are heading over from Helsinki, it is about a 320 kilometres (199 miles) drive. You can also fly to Savonlinna or Kuopio, and the resort will organise a taxi for you from there.

They will do the same if you would rather take a bus or train. Then you would head either to Savonlinna, Mikkeli, Varkaus or Pieksämäki, and they will pick you up.

It is also not too far from Koli National Park which in our opinion, is the most beautiful national park of Finland. The landscape there has been chosen to be the national scenery of the country. Before getting to Järvisydän we actually visited Koli and then stayed couple nights at our friends’ summer cottage which was great fun.

Unfortunately, right after we started our drive to Järvisydän, we had a flat tire. It took a lot of time to get it replaced, since traditionally during midsummer weekend everything is closed.

We missed the wine tasting that was included in our reservation, and we had to re-schedule our dinner reservation for later. But at least we made it, and we saw many beautiful lakes along the way!

Järvisydän Resort main building in Finland.

A SUITE AT HOTEL JÄRVISYDÄN

Out of all the different accommodation options in the resort, we stayed at the Hotel Järvisydän. The hotel is located right by the main building, very close to the restaurants and the spa.

The suite that we had was perfect for a family of four. It was named the flower “Kielo” which in English is Lily of the Valley. Walking in to this room really made us all say: “Wow!” It felt like we took a time capsule and entered a different century. We just loved the medieval feel of the room and all the decor in it.

The hotel is built using old Finnish wood and stone. In fact, most of the logs are raised from the local lake and river bottoms where they were left by lumberjacks in the past. The wood gives the place a very rustic look, and makes such an interesting story. The room built out of sinker logs together with massive iron chandeliers was just beautiful!

Our suite had a bedroom with a double bed, and a little nook for the kids with a single bed and foldable bed on top. We also had a living room and a kitchenette. There was a foldable sofa bed in the living room for two people, so this suite could easily host even more people.

The kitchenette was great and comes in handy especially with smaller kids when you need to warm up food or store milk for example. There was a stove, fridge, some dishes, water kettle and that one thing I can’t live without; a coffee maker!

A minibar was stocked with beverages and snacks that were there for purchase. And they had also thoughtfully left us a bottle of hand sanitizer in the room.

Beautiful Järvisydan Resort Hotel in Rantasalmi, Finland.
A kitchenette in our Suite at Järvisydän Spa in Rantasalmi.
Our Suite at Järvisydän Resort in Rantasalmi was amazing.
Our bedroom in Jarvisydän Spa Hotel in Rantasalmi, Finland.
Kids bedroom in Suite at Järvisydän Resort had a great bunk bed.

The highlight of our room was definitely in the bathroom. We had our very own jacuzzi! It had been a long day with the broken tire and all, so it was really nice to just relax in the bath tub before our dinner.

The balcony in this suite was rather interesting since it was straight against a steep rocky hillside. But we enjoyed the quietness it provided and at least we were close to the nature.

Balcony in our room at Järvisydän Spa Hotel in Rantasalmi.

Along with the hotel, the Järvisydän Resort offers other accommodation options too. They have Scenery Suites, Kota Hotels, House Boats, Log Villas and different kinds of cabins.

I would love to stay at least at the Scenery Suites and House Boats someday, but I’m sure all the others are pretty cool too.

Scenery Suites at Järvisydän Resort are one of the most popular option.
Scenery Suites at Järvisydän Resort
Kota Hotels at Järvisydän Resort in Rantasalmi, Finland
Kota Hotels have multiple suites around the shared lobby
House Boats at Järvisydän Resort in Rantasalmi, Finland.
House Boats at Järvisydän Resort

I should also mention that kids under 4 years old are free when booking any services or accommodation at Järvisydän, and kids under 12 will get a discounted price.


TAVERN’S FIRE MENU AT THE WINE CELLAR RESTAURANT

We had a reservation to try out the Tavern’s Fire Menu at the Wine Cellar Restaurant. I think we were originally going to dine at Restaurant Piikatyttö but since we had to switch the serving time, we got moved to the Wine Cellar Restaurant.

The Wine Cellar Restaurant is beautiful. It is decorated with wine barrels and numerous fire places. Guests are eating from clay plates and cups, and iron skillets. I also loved the little wooden cups they use, which in Finnish are called “kuksa”. The waitresses are dressed like maids from the middle ages in Finland.

The Tavern’s Fire Menu was a three course menu where you choose your main course. They rotate the menu based on even and uneven days. A set menu like this makes it easier for the kitchen to prepare the food, and everything at our dinner went very smoothly. We didn’t have to wait for the food at all.

They have three menu servings at the Wine Cellar per day and two at the Restaurant Piikatyttö.

The dinner started with a small amuse-bouche, a greeting from the kitchen. It was followed by a starter with some really delicious morel soup and rye bread. They are both very typical Finnish foods, and the rye bread went perfect with this soup.

I had chosen some charred white fish to be my main course and I absolutely loved the presentation. It was presented in a steaming hot cast iron pan; the same with my husband’s beef dish. They were both beautiful and very tasty.

The dessert divided us though, as on top of the delicious rhubarb compote there was some pearl sugar. Or at least it seemed like pearl sugar to me. I thought it was a great addition as it brought some sweetness to the rhubarb, but my husband didn’t like the texture of it at all. This just shows how we all like different things and we can’t argue about the taste.

In overall we really enjoyed this menu. It didn’t make us scream with happiness, but everything was good.

Restaurant Piikatyttö at Järvisydän Resort had beautiful table settings.
Restaurant Wine Cellar at Järvisydän
A morel soup appetizer at Ravintola Piikatyttö in Järvisydän Resort.
Creamy false morel soup with nettle-herb oil, Organic rye bread from Muhonen accompanied by whipped butter
A tasty fish portion at Ravintola Piikatyttö in Järvisydän Resort.
Charred whitefish, Carrot butter-wine sauce, Roasted early potatoes served with nettle-herb pesto, Grilled carrots and zucchini
The meat dish at Restaurant Piikatyttö in Järvisydän Resort, Finland.
Grilled Finnish beef tenderloin, Dark red wine sauce, Roasted early potatoes served with nettle-herb pesto, Grilled carrots and zucchini
A delicious dessert at Järvisydän Resort in Finland
White chocolate pudding, Rhubarb compote and Rhubarb sorbet

For the kids they served the same menu with grilled chicken as a main course. Thank you Järvisydän for having something other than the same old fries and nuggets for kids!

BREAKFAST AT RESTAURANT PIIKATYTTÖ

Breakfast was served at the Restaurant Piikatyttö and we loved their outside seating on the balcony. The advantage of staying in the hotel was that we were able to take an inside tunnel to the restaurant.

A breakfast buffet is set up every day from 8 am. to 11 am. , and it is included in the room reservation. It was a very delicious, though very typical continental breakfast.

There were many types of breads and pastries, cold cuts, cheese, fish, eggs, oatmeal, bacon, sausages and all that. But one thing that I was hoping to see wasn’t there, and that was local specialities from that specific region. They could have showcased some local products and foods even more.

One thing I especially loved though on this breakfast was the blueberry juice! I hadn’t had that in a while and I always drink blueberry juice when I visit Finland. It is divine!

Our kids were excited that they also served ice cream during breakfast. Some people topped their waffles with it, but we just had a scoop as a dessert. Can you have a dessert at breakfast? Oh well, I think we just did.

A restaurant patio at Järvisydän Resort is so nice and rustic.
Outdoor seating at Järvisydän
Eggs, cheese, carelian pastries and other breakfast foods at Järvisydän Resort
Our daughter eating ice cream from a wooden cup called kuksa.

RELAXING AT THE LAKESPA

The Järvisydän LakeSpa is really what this place is famous for. This very unique looking spa is built inside incorporating the natural rock and has amazing views to Lake Saimaa.

The same rustic look that is at the hotel and restaurants, is also seen at the spa. Natural materials, wood and stone is all over. There are beautiful, 500 year old sinker logs, pools and saunas with natural rock bottoms, candles and fire places. It is very different from any other spas we have ever been to.

LakeSpa is also known for its ecological efforts. Its primary energy source is solar power. The pools and showers are heated with both geothermal power from lake water and with solar power.

One thing that I thought was great, was that they use infrared light to purify the pool water. This way they have been able to reduce chemical use in the pools. That strong chemical smell we all know from the pools was totally missing!

Blogger Paula standing at the dressing room at Järvisydän Resort where even the lockers are made of wood.
The blogger Paula swimming at Järvisydän Spa in its rustic ambiance.

There are a total of five pools at the spa of which two of them are outside. The outside pools get their water from Lake Saimaa and the temperature in them is always the natural lake temperature.

The biggest pool inside is called the Circulation pool, and it has some massaging water jets and a little cave you can swim in.

Whirlpool on the other hand, is an interesting boomerang-shaped pool also with some massaging jets. However, even though the Järvisydän website says that all the pools are +31 Celsius, this pool felt much colder than the Circulation pool. So we ended up just trying it out quickly.

The third pool is a Children’s pool. We did take a dip into the outdoor pools too which felt quite brisk after the warm inside pools. But I dare you to do that in the winter time when the lake freezes over and everything is covered in snow… ha ha! I bet it equals ice swimming!

Our kids at Children's pool in Järvisydän Spa in Finland
Kiddie pool
Järvisydän Spa outdoor pool has natural water.
The outside infinity pool at Järvisydän gets its water from the lake

Finland is the land of saunas, so of course this spa has several of them. Six in fact! They all have different temperatures and a different feel.

Sinker log sauna is closest to the traditional Finnish sauna, which I always miss while in the U.S. But I especially fell in love with the Steam Sauna which feels like it maybe has a hint of eukalyptus scent in it.

Then they have a Turkish Bath style sauna, Hammam, which just isn’t warm enough for my taste. One of my favourites is the Scenic sauna. It is so beautifully made but unfortunately, it too is on a colder side. The walls are glass and you are able to see Lake Saimaa while bathing. It is amazing!

Stone sauna is the hottest sauna they have and it definitely gets everyone sweating. The last sauna is small but nice; an Infrared sauna. Many massage parlors nowadays have them too.

Scenic sauna with class walls at Järvisydän Spa in Finland.
Scenic sauna at Järvisydän Resort has a beautiful view to Lake Saimaa

Other specialities in this spa are for example the Norppa Stones. They are warmed stones where one can lay just like Finnish seals do outside. The seals at the lake are called “norppa”.

We opted out on the stones, but we did try the Asta Storm Shower. There are four different settings for “storms” and since the room is dark, you will never know where the water hits you next. I think we liked the warm, tropical storm the best! The Asta Storm Shower is named after Asta storm that hit Eastern Finland in 2010. This room is great fun and we stopped by there several times.

Right before leaving, we ended up at a Salt Room where everything is covered with salt. The minerals and salt are suppose to be therapeutic to your skin and breathing. That was an interesting experience.

Blogger Paula sitting at the spa and enjoying the rustic setting.
Our daughter and a bucket shower at Järvisydän Spa in Finland.

The spa area has a bar and there is also a cafeteria on the second floor. Among the different drinks, the bar offers complimentary beverages (flavoured waters and tea) and some snacks. Those really came in handy after being in steaming hot saunas.

Salt room at Järvisydän Spa in Finland
The Salt room at Järvisydän Spa Resort

We really enjoyed our time at the spa. It is such a beautiful and relaxing place. And it wasn’t crowded at all.

Even my husband, who usually avoids public pools, didn’t want to leave. The kids of course loved everything about it, and they would be ready to go back at any time. And I enjoyed trying out all the different saunas very much.

JÄRVISYDÄN WITH KIDS – OUR REVIEW

Since we mostly travel with our kids and most of our followers have kids, I am obligated to say something about Järvisydän Resort for kids. Although Järvisydän is widely known as a couples retreat, I think it is also great for families. There is a lot to do and they have taken kids into consideration in many ways.

The only downside is that the spa is reserved for “adults only” starting from 6 pm. Now, I am not against an “adults only” concept at all, but I do think it started a bit early. At least our kids are still playing at full force at 6 pm. Since we arrived to the resort in the late afternoon, we didn’t really have anything to do on our first day since the spa was ruled out.

If the adult time would start even an hour later, that would give families more time to enjoy the spa. As an adult myself then, I am able to stay up later and wouldn’t mind staying in the spa little later either. Just a thought!

In front of the main building they have a small playground and a perfect little beach for kids. Also in the spa they have a kiddie pool which has a slide, waterfall and a ball lake. They called it an Adventure Park, although it was very small and I probably wouldn’t go so far with the name.

There are also many other activities that can be fun with kids too; a boat trip to a national park, hiking or canoeing. An optional activity is included to the room price. You can find our tips for hiking with kids from here.

Our kids playing in the lobby at Järvisydän Hotel.

Our kids had a great time at Järvisydän Resort!

✻✻✻

We were out there on the Midsummer weekend. It is a special holiday in Finland when people escape from the cities and go to summer houses by the lakes. Most businesses close as people spend time with their families barbequing and enjoying the Midnight Sun.

The Midnight Sun is amazing, and if you have never experienced it, you now have at least one reason to visit Finland! And Järvisydän is a beautiful place to spend the Midsummer.

Even though there has been some criticism in social media, that not all Scenery suites have a nice view or that reservations have had some mixups, for us everything went spot on perfect. We had such a lovely time at Järvisydän and I think it is well worth all the hype around it!

We love staying in unique places like Järvisydän. Another amazing place like this in Finland is Herrankukkaro in Naantali. They have wonderful saunas and sea water pools, and we got to stay in a luxurious birdhouse. Naantali is also a home for the Moominworld which is our kids’ favorite.

But I can promise you something about Järvisydän, you have never seen a spa like this before!

Our Finland Travel Resources
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6 Comments

  1. Wow, unique interior and countryside vibe! It looks like a great spot for me to find peace and explore my spiritual side. You have everything you need in there from the sceneries, to the food, spa, pool, and jacuzzi.

  2. A few years ago I visited Helsinki for a week and tried a sauna there. Totally love it! I think the spa at Järvisydän is definitely better than where I stayed. It’s impressive that there are five pools at the spa and two of them are outside. I also love the rustic architecture and the view there.

  3. We had only a short visit to Finland but it remains on our list for a longer return trip. A spa stay at the Hotel and Spa Jarvisydan sounds like a perfect way to spend a few days. I love the rustic nature of the buildings and rooms and how they blend into nature. We certainly would eat and drink well on a stay. But the spa would be the big draw. I can see myself moving from spa tub to tub.

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