When venturing all the way to the Arctic Circle, don’t leave anything to chance. Reveling in the magic of the aurora borealis is essential, but to do so in style will require a journey to Levi, a Finnish skiing destination located over 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle, where ambitious hotelier Tauno Mäkelä will host you at the Golden Crown. The hotel, populated with glass-roofed igloos, is perched atop a scenic hill named Utsuvaara, so that if the northern lights make an appearance you’ll have no choice but to see them from the comfort of your own luxurious bedroom.
Accommodations abound: install yourself in Northern Lights, the appropriately named main house, or one of three different varieties of igloos that are decorated in hues of gray that contrast the views of the rolling fells. All have small kitchens and, in some cases, private outdoor Jacuzzis. Aside from stargazing, activities include husky- and reindeer-watching, snowmobiling, snowshoe hiking, and lounging in the property’s traditional Sami dwelling. At Aurora Sky, Golden Crown’s fine-dining operation, gourmets can choose four-, six-, or eight-course meals that include dishes such as arctic char with buttermilk, and reindeer with potatoes and lingonberries. Make sure to book a table on the top floor, just in case those lights make another appearance.