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The story of our
Family business

Once upon a time

  • over 200 beds
  • 5 star complex
  • high-class meeting facilities
  • catering
  • choice of activities
  • 26 saunas
  • pet friendly

When we first began working at Santalahti in 1991, the resort was open only in the high season, which suited us well. In the summer, we worked around the clock, and in the winter, we had more free time and lugged around a huge mobile phone and a notebook for writing down next summer’s bookings.

We spent the winters in Lapland teaching hopeful skiing enthusiasts and travelled around Central European mountains. Kati was also a competing show jumper.

For nine years, we saw, learned and experienced things that we wanted to introduce into our own business.

At the turn of the millennium, we finally had the opportunity to buy all the Santalahti shares and launched a 20-year construction and development project. We made long-term plans, developed our routines and launched new services.

We also expanded the business, which enabled round-the-year services and permanent jobs for our employees. What would we be without our spectacular staff, their ideas and support as well as our solid company spirit?

Our work was successful, and in 2003, the resort achieved its five-star status.

A few years later, the city of Kotka awarded us an esteemed entrepreneurship prize. We were, of course, extremely happy to receive the prize, and it convinced us that we were on the right track.

We want our guests to have the best holiday ever. To that end, we strive to always improve the guest experience and so continue our construction and development project to this day. The latest investments are the luxury villa Villa Aava, the Santa Glass Sauna and the Santa Glass Villas with their own outdoor hot tub.

We also provide various services, including chartered cruises and first-rate catered festivities.

The most important things for us are our love for the industry and the happiness of our customers. We want you to smile when you indulge in your holiday memories long after you have returned home.

Katriina Halles-Markkola & Jukka Markkola

Villa Aava opening party 16.5.2019

Photo Elena Lehtinen

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