Hotel of the Week: The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland | London Evening Standard


Housed in the legendary geothermal spring, with lavish suites and a world-renowned spa, The Retreat at Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon gives new meaning to the concept of extinction …

Where is it?

Just a 20-minute drive from Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport, The Retreat’s location makes it the perfect post-flight stopover. You can collect your luggage, check in and swim in the private lagoon with a chilled glass of champagne in 45 minutes.


The design of the hotel pays homage to its surroundings. The color scheme reflects the landscape with muted tones of greens, grays and slate. The walls are in raw concrete, the furniture is extracted from the lava and the bay windows allow the surrounding majestic water to take center stage.

What piece?

The rooms, which are categorized as Junior Suites, Suites, and Lagoon Suites, are spread over two floors and offer different views – you can choose to watch from your plush king-size bed over the volcanic landscape or the crystal-clear water.

Each Junior Suite is equipped with a large bathtub, a walk-in shower, a small lounge area and Blue Lagoon products to continue soaping up once you have left the spa. The minibar is free in all categories, which is a welcome touch when a single beer in Iceland usually costs around £ 10.

For those looking to seriously step up luxury, the Lagoon Suite is the solution. Not only will you have a separate living room, but you will also have your own private lagoon which you can access directly from your bedroom.



The spa undeniably steals the show. Hotel guests have access to a private section of the Blue Lagoon which is quite spectacular. The water, shaped by volcanic rocks, rises and falls around the hotel like a moat and with endless hidden nooks and coves, you can spend hours swimming without meeting a single other guest.

The spa itself is like a deep cave of serenity. Built in an 800 year old lava flow, it has an outdoor hammam, a traditional sauna, relaxation cabins and the Blue Lagoon ritual room where you exfoliate, cleanse and hydrate your body using natural products. water – mineral salt, silica and algae.

As for private treatments, the menu is extensive but the hotel’s signature treatment, the full body massage in the water that takes place in the lagoon while you are lying on a bed, is not a treatment that you will find elsewhere.

During the time you are not pruning, you can practice yoga in the dedicated studio, work out at the gym, go for a hike in the surroundings or go horseback riding. It is also recommended to retreat to the fire-lit library to devour a book or enjoy a whiskey at the Honesty Bar.



There are three on-site restaurants to choose from at The Retreat. The Lava, being the oldest and located outside the hotel boundaries, is more dated than the other two, but the food is fresh and merges Icelandic cuisine with the modern European well.

The Spa restaurant is an excellent option for lunch between baths. You’ll find light dishes like arctic char ceviche, sushi, and barley salads, but for those who like serious food, you should check out the hotel’s signature restaurant, Moss.

Opt for the tasting menu and you will be served like gravlax, pine-smoked reindeer, liquorice ice cream and still warm pistachio magdalenas.


Best for

Couples. If families wish to go, children are allowed from 12 years old.

What to pack

If you’re planning on staying at The Retreat, all you need is a few outfits, workout clothes, and swimwear. However, if you want to explore the surroundings or go on a day trip, it is wise to carefully consider your luggage during the colder months.

If you are going in the winter, take a good pair of snow boots, like the UGG Brine which can withstand -32 conditions, and the raincoats – NorthFace are great for extreme conditions.

Thin layers that will provide extra warmth are also essential, like Lulu Lemon’s advanced tech clothing.


Suites start from £ 1,029 per night at The Retreat at Blue Lagoon. Breakfast and spa access included.

Alice remained as a guest of The retreat at the Blue Lagoon.

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