Ethereal Stay in Nature
The Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel takes you into nature and the spirit of Iceland
You drive a winding road along the edge of one of the wonders of the world, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Þingvellir, craggy mountains on one side of the road and the lake on the other. It’s just preparing you for an experience with nature and the natural forces. You see the steam billowing from a distance but wonder where the hotel is. If it weren’t for the flags at the junction, you might miss it altogether, as it blends in so well with the lava behind it.
Where nature and senses meet
Welcome to the Ion Hotel, where nature melds into the senses and you feel a relaxed excitement – a peace and tranquility in this haven of purity and oneness, where natural forces put on a powerful display in the serenity of a pastoral valley, surrounded by mountains. The hotel itself is built on the slopes of Mount Hengill and guests are drawn into the landscape by the full-length windows. No need for landscape paintings here, as the nature itself is the painting.
Open to a full house
This brand new boutique hotel was filled as soon as it opened, as visitors from all over the world, hearing of its unique blend of relaxation, spa, and activities in a sophisticated yet sustainable setting in the midst of beautiful nature, risked the possibility of a wild Icelandic winter to be the first to try it.
As it turned out, the weather was warmer than the rest of Europe and they got to enjoy fresh arctic char, fished from Lake Þingvallavatn the same day and delicious Icelandic lamb from a nearby farm, garnished with vegetables from the local area, grown organically. No steroids, antibiotics, pesticides or other poisons to affect their digestion. Just pure food, the way it was intended to be, prepared by a top Icelandic chef, whose experience in Michelin-rated restaurants brings a special touch to the cuisine.
Comfort, class and sophistication
Getting back to nature doesn’t require discomfort and sacrifice. In fact, with comfortable, organic bedrooms, a natural spa complete with sauna and a hot pool that can be used in virtually all weathers and at any time of day, as it’s partly sheltered and partly exposed to the beautiful scenic surroundings.
The architects created an exhilarating atmosphere that renews the spirit through both the proximity to nature and the use of natural materials in the construction. Not only that but they also incorporated a fully sustainable lifestyle, eco-friendly water conservation and cleansing and novel re-purposing of elements such as astro turf (for the bar stools) and car tyres for very sophisticated bathroom sinks. Had I not been told, I would never have guessed!
View winter’s wonders in warmth
One of Iceland’s claims to fame is the ability to enjoy the Northern Lights during the cold winter months. You can stand outside, wrapped in every shred of warm clothing but still shivering for hours or you can go to the Northern Lights Bar at the end of the hotel and enjoy them in comfort, protected from the harshness of the elements by the massive glass canopy that covers the whole bar. Then, if you like a real Icelandic experience, you can sit in the hot outside pool, drinks in hand and gaze up into the heavens as the aurora swirls around you, snug and warm as can be in the waters. Wet or dry, this is an awesome spot to view the heavens.
The land of adventures
Situated within the Golden Circle of some of Iceland’s most famous attractions, the ION hotel makes a really ideal base for adventure tours of all kinds. There is such diversity at your doorstep here – from horse riding to snorkelling, glacier trips to historical sites – not to mention the 300 km of marked hiking trails.
Because of its unique location, its cuisine and facilities, even if you can’t stay at the hotel, a day trip for lunch or dinner will still provide a memorable experience and you will find yourself just as welcome. Of course, a stay will just make that experience all the better.