Would this make a couple’s best Christmas honeymoon ever? We certainly thought so!
The new Hotel Iso-Syöte stands grandly on a hilltop in one of the snowiest areas of Nothern Finland (the nearest airport is Rovaniemi) next to Syöte National Park. Beautifully designed rooms, suites and authentic log cabins allow you to relax in a beautiful Scandinavian environment. In the summer, a diverse selection of hiking and biking tracks can be followed through the green landscape, and in winter – when we visited – it becomes a true winter wonderland, with guests trying their hand at skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and reindeer and husky safaris in the nearby villages.
For this piece we wanted to convey not only the luxury of the hotel’s site but also the sense of childlike wonder and fun that can be had when booking in the winter season. After showing the enticing view of the winter landscape visible from the hotel (complete with icicles) and the front signage, we started by showcasing one of the Aurora View Suites. These span two floors and include a comfy double bed facing the window, wood-panelled interiors, a private sauna, and a balcony with hot tub offering an unbeatable view of the snowy valley.
We spent a week based at the hotel filming activities including a reindeer sleigh ride, husky sledding, kick sledging, skiing, and a snowmobile safari; the only thing we missed were the northern lights as it was too cloudy. We condensed these activities into the next section, using a combination of the small but mighty Sony A7Sii and our DJI Osmo Action to capture POV shots from the various vehicles. Next we brought the ‘cosy’ feel with shots of huts with warming fires, heating hot tea in a kettle over a stove and drinking it in the cold, and another mug of something hot being held with a grey snug blanket.
For the final section we return to shots of the hotel showing the evening lights from the frozen balcony, the hotel terrace after dark visible from the restaurant, and the lights down in the valley. A shot of the sunset from a frozen landscape was our finishing composition. We mostly filmed on a 16-35mm for wide shots and 50mm for pretty, shallow focus details. The film was great fun to make and hopefully paints a great picture of a magical winter stay in northern Finland.