Nestled within a landscape of moss and lava less than an hour from Reykjavik, the Ion Adventure Hotel is one of the few true luxury hotels outside of Iceland’s capital. Under the careful eye of owner Sigurlaug Sverrisdóttir, a no-frills barracks for geothermal power plant workers was transformed into a concrete-and-glass Nordic-modern showpiece that wears its reverence for the natural setting on its sleeve. Sverrisdóttir is committed to using local products—everything from the artwork to the bath products to the food are sourced from the area—and the hotel’s sustainable materials and practices, like using geothermal cooling for power, have earned it a number of awards. Plus, all 45 of the sleek but comfortable rooms feature fair-trade organic linens and floor-to-ceiling views of Lake Thingvellir or Mount Hengill, an active volcano. The glass Northern Lights Bar juts out toward the horizon, providing a perfect viewing spot when the aurora borealis appears; beneath it sits a large rectangular hot tub adjacent to the spa. As for adventure, the hotel is happy to arrange any number of excursions, including fly-fishing, horseback riding, kayaking and, for the truly bold, snorkeling in the Silfra fissure.
Ion Adventure Hotel
My stay in the Ion Adventure Hotel was incredible, but driving to it in the winter was quite difficult. The Ion is 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik in the summer, in the winter certain roads are closed and it is much father. But making the drive is absolutely worth it! This unique property is a one-of-a-kind, eco-conscious, forward-thinking, yet classically Icelandic decorated hotel. Their restaurants were expensive even for Icelandic standards, but the food was great. It is a great home base for travelers looking to explore the golden circle or the southern coast of Iceland.
Ion Hotel Spa
The best part of the Ion Hotel is their spa. There are various treatments available from massages to saunas. The outdoor pool is geothermal and heated by the geothermal plant next to the hotel. The hotel is in an amazing location looking out into a large valley in Nesjavellir. While sitting in the pool you can see a geothermal powerplant, dried volcanic rock formations and the base of a lake leading towards Pingvellir. And if you’re lucky you may be able to see the northern lights right from the pool.
Northern Light Viewing
ION Luxury Adventure Hotel is an unforgettable experience. Whether you are seeking a quiet, soulful soak beneath the Northern Lights, a challenging trek across an ancient glacier or a day of fly-fishing in plentiful icy rivers. The bar/lounge juts out into the landscape and a perfect platform for viewing the northern lights. Don’t forget to tell the front desk to schedule a wake up call if/when the lights come out!
An architectural gem!
One of the most amazing architectural spaces I’ve visited -- and with a remote location to match!
A Hotel in Tune with Nature
On the slopes of the still-active volcano Mount Hengill, on the edge of Thingvellir National Park, Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel is seriously in harmony with its environment. Energy and hot water is provided by the nearby Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station and surrounding hot springs; furniture is made out of driftwood and recycled materials, and images of Icelandic wildlife are displayed throughout -- including giant murals of Icelandic horses in the bedrooms. The hotel also makes use of natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows in bedrooms and in it Northern Lights bar, which juts out and overhangs the lava fields and from where, on dark, clear winter nights, you can watch the Aurora light up the sky. Photo: Karen Gardiner
Isolation with a Spa
So remote you feel like you can completely escape, natural hot pool, modern design, great hiking in the area, incredible spa, really sexy restaurant.
Remote enough to really see something spectacular, a short hike from Hotel Ion.