The long and interesting history of the hotel

Hotel Sodankylä has adorned the village for many decades. The building remains the same and holds within it thousands of stories and encounters! A few treasures have been found in the archives:

The beautiful garden of the hotel

Before the bypass road, the hotel courtyard was adorned with green areas, flowers, and flagpoles. Every morning and evening, the flags were raised and lowered – a regular task of the receptionist at that time. In the same building, customers were also served by the ALKO.

Since 1968

Hotel Kantakievari was opened in March 1968, and right from the start, the 3-storey hotel building with an elevator and a swimming pool was a significant service provider on a local scale. Across the square, thirsty heroes were served with sausage rolls by the legendary “Grillikota”.

The potential of the hotel in Sodankylä

A photo from 2013. The hotel was acquired by the Palokari family in 1996. The Palokari family saw potential in the property and the service environment, and significant development has taken place in both customer base and the property itself during their nearly 30 years of ownership – in 2023, construction work for expansion can be found next to the hotel!

Style is certainly not lacking!

In the 1970s, the inn had an elegant restaurant with table service and buffet service of that time. One rarity in the job titles was that of a wine cashier.

The magnificent style of the staff!

The Kievari’s parties were always grand, and it was typical to serve guests sparkling wine in a festive manner to start off. Uniform attire in the style of the 1970s. Possibly a space from somewhere else, our staff in the picture!

Marketing in the style of the time

Chain marketing for kantina restaurants in the late 80s and early 90s.


The so-called Megaparties planned with the Meri-Lappi program office. There was sumo wrestling, surfing, foam parties, roaming DJs… Kantakievari had turned into Arctia. It was quite common for nearly 400 customers to celebrate in formal attire in the 2nd floor restaurant every Friday!

For the Celebration Guests: Wooden spatulas!

The hotel organized its 45th-anniversary celebrations in 2013 and invited customers to view old photos, enjoy daytime dance atmosphere, and have cake and coffee. Wooden spatulas were distributed to all guests as a reminder of the food services at the village hotel. This year, the hotel has been serving travelers and locals in Sodankylä for 55 years, offering accommodation, restaurant, program, and meeting and celebration services, and the services continue to evolve and improve!