Discover a new level of luxury in retirement at the Blue Lagoon
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Rest, rejuvenation and relaxation are on the program at The Retreat at Blue Lagoon, which offers a luxury-centric experience in this wonder of the world.
Iceland’s geothermal spa, the Blue Lagoon was declared one of the Wonders of the World by National Geographic in 2012, and since then the eerie waters of the lagoon have captured the imaginations of tourists from all over the world. However, The Retreat at Blue Lagoon, the brainchild of Blue Lagoon doctor and founder Grímur Sæmundsen, is redefining the way people experience this incredible natural phenomenon.
The hotel and spa, designed by fellow Icelanders Sigríður Sigþórsdóttir of Basalt Architects and Sigurður Þorsteinsson of Design Group Italia, are designed with not only ‘timeless sophistication’ as their watchword, but also seek to reflect the nature of its site. From carpet patterns mimicking moss-covered lava fields that shame lunar landscapes, to the rotating collection of traditional Glit pottery proudly displayed in the hotel reception area, the inspiration for The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is purely Icelandic.
In addition to its spa, a huge draw to the Retreat is its private access to the Blue Lagoon. Swim, have a glass of wine or just to be in the pale blue waters, which, for the record, get their color from a mixture of silica, algae and minerals and which are proven to have healing properties, while avoiding queues and crowds from the main lagoon. Post-processing dining options include the on-site Moss Restaurant, which was named by the Michelin Guide this year. Their seven-course tasting menu takes you on a culinary journey through the flavors of Iceland, with each dish meticulously paired with wine from The Retreat’s impressive wine cellar (which is housed in a cavern made of lava from an eruption in 1226, of course).
Unparalleled service levels. When each guest or group of guests arrives, they are assigned a ‘host’ who basically makes sure their trip is as enjoyable as possible, with a level of Scandi-cool that you can only aspire to. Their roles can range from booking an ATV tour of a nearby volcanic peninsula to directing daily treks from the hotel: the staff here are definitely fans of the multi-trait method.
Nothing was too much trouble for our host Heimir, whether it was his encyclopedic knowledge of the area, its flora, fauna and its (usually bloodthirsty) sagas during our trek, or nodding patiently with our constant requests for updates on whether the Northern Lights would make an appearance. Icelandic hospitality at this level is something that must be experienced.
The phrase ‘room with a view’ was coined for The Retreat at Blue Lagoon, as each of the 62 rooms overlooks a particular element of the breathtakingly beautiful Icelandic landscape. We stayed in one of the Junior Moss Suites, overlooking a tributary of the lagoon that winds through the moss covered lava field that surrounds it. Try to wake up to see the sun rise: the combination of ghostly cerulean water and verdant green moss when the light hits is surreal. If that’s not enough, three suites have access to their own private section of the lagoon, so you can swim whenever you want.
After all the fresh air, care, and general sanitation, you’ll need some sleep, and the bedrooms are perfect for that: all you have to do is turn on the lights. The freedom of the minibar and the Icelandic-style chocolates left to you every night means that it would be rude not to enjoy a glass of wine and a few sweets while lying in the freestanding tub that lets you gaze the volcanic landscape. All in-room toiletries are of course from the Blue Lagoon, so every evening can turn into an in-room spa treatment – turn up that Björk and turn up the happiness factor
This is a spa hotel – the vibe will inevitably be quite relaxed, but The Blue Lagoon manages to make that better with its spa experience. The 4000 m² spa, which has a wonderfully enforced “no smartphones” policy, offers combinations of steam, drying, heat, fire and lounging to create a relaxing experience like no other. Equally impressive is the range of additional treatments available. Special mention must be given to the hour-long hot stone massage, which tied a knot in my back which has kept me from stretching without enormous pain for the past two months – täkk Laura .
Even if you don’t opt for extra treatments while at the spa, the Retreat’s signature Blue Lagoon ritual is included and is a must-try. An extraordinarily satisfying combination of DIY skin care, the three-step process involves the feeling of mixing and then smearing silica, then algae, then exfoliating with minerals. the result left my skin as soft as a baby.
You must try
A water massage in the Blue Lagoon. Floating on a foam board and covered in a soft but soggy blanket doesn’t seem like the most relaxing, but once you realize that it doesn’t require any effort on your part, this is the closest you can get to a state of dream i never had in a massage.
Even when you are gently swung underwater by your massager to make sure your blanket stays warm in the freezing cold is soothing, and opening your eyes to see the wild arctic sky above you is from another world.
In addition to the included daily hikes, the relaxation factor is enhanced by the daily yoga classes also available for all guests, taught by one of your multi-talented hosts. These relaxed classes focus on breathing and stretching and take place in the hotel’s specially designed yoga studio. Decked out in dark wood, with huge windows showing huge windows showing the deadly combination of lava field and lagoon, this is certainly the fanciest yoga studio I have ever had the privilege of entering. .
A special shout must also go to The Retreat’s dining options. In addition to the Moss gourmet option, guests can choose a la carte (and the pleasure of eating in their dressing gown) in the Spa restaurant, or in the main Blue Lagoon restaurant. Breakfast is buffet style, with the option of ordering hot items from the menu, in the lobby, which also serves as a place for afternoon tea, consisting of Icelandic coffee, cookies and tea. ‘a champagne flute.
Whether you are hiking next to the Blue Lagoon or enjoying the gluggaveður in the library with an Icelandic G&T from the honesty bar, The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is the last word in Icelandic hospitality.
Suites at The Retreat at Blue Lagoon start from £ 927 per night (144,000 ISK), including a la carte breakfast. For more information or to make a reservation visit retreat.bluelagoon.com or call +354 420 8700. Icelandair (icelandair.com) offers return flights from London Heathrow to Reykjavik from £ 180 .