Visitors to the therapeutic waters of Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon now have the opportunity to stay there too as the resort has opened a hotel right on the lagoon, replete with otherworldly, five-star trimmings.
The Blue Lagoon’s charms are no secret. Each year thousands of tourists flock to Iceland’s UNESCO Global Geopark hoping that a long, hot soak in its mineral-rich waters will leave them feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and 10 years younger.
Earlier this year the resort opened its first hotel built right onto the lagoon, the five-star Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon. Surrounded by vast lava fields and the opaque waters of the Blue Lagoon, guests would be forgiven for thinking that they’d journeyed to the other side of the Milky Way. Despite the spacelike terrain, it’s only about 45 minutes south of Reykjavik.
The hotel itself is an architectural delight. It was designed to fit into the landscape and relies heavily on sustainable practices and the natural features of the island. Throughout 62 rooms, guests will find floor-to-ceiling views of the volcanic landscape and private access to the water (some even come with their very own private lagoons) in rooms decorated with a mellow mix of wood and earthy ambience, combined with Icelandic materials such as raw concrete and lava surfaces.
The sense of locality continues to in-house Moss Restaurant, where the chef’s table and reception desks have been carved from lava rock quarried on site. Menu-wise, the focus is on fresh, local and seasonal produce. The restaurant offers three tasting menus, with five or seven courses, that include vegan options and change daily according to seasonality and availability.
As expected, the spa menu is extensive, not least a languorous in-water massage treatment in the 900-square metre lagoon. Welcoming guests through a subterranean entrance, the Retreat Spa has a range of treatments based on the silica, algae and minerals of geothermal seawater.
Activities include daily guided hikes through the surreal beauty of the Geopark, exploring the 800-year-old lava fields’ landscape craters and black beaches. At night, guests can bathe in the hot waters right outside their rooms and, if they’re lucky, they might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Prices start from ISK144,000 (€1165) per night, including breakfast, Blue Lagoon skin care amenities, a welcome drink, afternoon coffee, valet parking, turndown service and access to some guided hikes and yoga sessions.