Not that we wish to make everything all about us, but we’ve been waiting for something like ION Luxury Adventure Hotel since the day we started Tablet, if not longer. The otherworldly landscapes of Iceland, we reasoned, were crying out for the full Patagonia treatment — which is to say, they were crying out for a rural escape that’s at once a building of real architectural distinction and a thoughtfully luxurious hotel as well.
Good things come to those who wait. Less than an hour outside of Reykjavik, on the edge of Þingvellir National Park, in a landscape of lichen and long-dormant lava fields, ION has the otherworldly landscapes angle covered. And the hotel, it must be said, is certainly holding up its end of the bargain. It’s as green as anything, built largely from reclaimed and renewable materials, heated geothermically, but you’d never know it from the comforts you’ll experience, as no compromises are made — as the hot water is collected underground at 190°C, your shower’s not in any danger of suddenly running cold.
ION’s guest rooms are decorated in a style that’s appropriate to the landscape, largely monochrome, with rough concrete walls, rich hardwood floors, and furniture made from reclaimed driftwood. The bedding is top-notch, and the bathrooms are suitably immersive and spa-like — you’ve come too far to be anything less than fully comfortable.
A restaurant serves an inventive yet accessible pan-Nordic cuisine, and the spa sees to your body’s need for restoration. You might be tempted to spend a fair bit of time in the ten-meter outdoor hot tub, taking in the panoramic view of ION’s surroundings. But you’d be well served to get yourself a bit deeper into the scenery. The hotel, true to its name, caters to just about any appetite for adventure, from relatively sedate horseback riding and fishing outings to hot spring visits, superjeep tours, glacier hikes, ice climbing, and even diving. Yes, diving — though the water’s extremely cold, your thermal suit is quite warm, and when else are you going to have a chance to dive into the crack between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates?
Text Courtesy of Tablet Hotels