The Jokkmokk Market is an event that has stood the test of time for more than 400 years. That is a long time – business wise – in the Arctic. Markets were for many years the supermarkets of the old times. They had a key function for the people of the north. People lived far apart and a place of recurrent rendezvous was a necessity.
The Jokkmokk Hotel is built next to the original market place. And is of course an important part of the market today every February. The manager of the hotel Mr. Joachim Fällgren was happy to talk about both the hotel and the market. We’ll talk about the Jokkmokk Winter Market some other time. The hotel is influenced by the Saami culture. The internal design has noticeable elements from the Saami culture throughout the building.
I have spent many nights at the hotel and I remember one minus 25 degrees night a few years ago. I was wearing my special Arctic Lapland hat, and it was catching attention, at least among the preschool kids next to the parking lot. It was morning; I was hustling between the hotel and the car.
Suddenly, the kids greeted me as if we were old acquaintances. They wanted to know my name and were quite inquisitive. I answered as best as I could. Then they asked me if I was a policeman. Strange question, I thought. Despite talking Norwegian, these Swedish kids thought I could be a policeman. No, I told them. Then I turned inquisitive, and asked them what they were up to? They were just playing and were in a jolly good mood. Then I asked them why they thought I was a policeman. It was the hat!
Talvatis is the name of the little lake on the south side of the hotel. This is where the Jokkmokk Winter Market started more than 400 years ago. It was a place where some Saami people lived during the winter. This is the meaning of the word Talvatis. The hotel has a sauna near the Talvatis lake. You will pass by the Alpine Garden and the Saami sculpture park along the hiking tracks around the lake. In the winter, there are skiing tracks in the area.
The restaurant is also named Talvatis. It serves some of the best local produce in the Arctic. It serves local salmon, moose, reindeer and other dishes. It is a fully licensed restaurant with a diverse drink menu. The restaurant has beverages that will click with any of its à la carte menu.
The hotel has a total of 88 rooms and 143 beds. There are few hotels without saunas in the Arctic, and the hotel in Jokkmokk is no exception. It also has area for relaxation with an open fireplace, a gym, ping pong table tennis, and conference facilities. The hotel has an atmosphere of cozy effectiveness.
You can book any time of the year, except when the Jokkmokk Winter Market is in session. Then you need to book at least 400 days in advance.