The Retreat at Blue Lagoon is the luxury spa hotel your body needs
The government has revealed the first “green list” of travel destinations we can visit from May 17th without quarantine on return and Iceland not only made the cut, but it is one of the few to allow vaccinated UK travelers to enter (check requirements), giving us the perfect excuse to check into The Retreat at Blue Lagoon this summer.
One of the most luxurious places to stay on the island, this five-star hotel offers one of the most exceptional spa experiences we have ever had.
From the architecture and service to the relaxing ambience and thoughtful interior design, the Retreat at Blue Lagoon is unlike any other hotel on the planet. Think of it as the ultra-luxury spa hotel to end all spa hotels (and we’ve stayed in a few!).
Surrounded by thermal waters that simmer at 38 degrees and are Iceland’s most famous attraction, this unique spa destination is an epic place to celebrate your freedom after lockdown.
This is where we got a massage like no other – one so heavenly that you have to experience it at least once. Floating serenely in the famous Blue Lagoon, our burly massage therapist Oskar melted our stress with the spa hotel’s signature water massage. We felt completely in our element as we were submerged in hot water every few minutes to make sure we stayed warm.
Stretched out on a yoga-style mat as snowflakes landed on our faces as we were rubbed with lava and massaged, it was at this time, on a winter’s day in February of last year, that we realized that we had found the one – the spa hotel that we would never want to leave.
Located in Iceland’s most famous tourist attraction, a stay at The Retreat gives you the VIP experience of the site that day visitors do not have access to.
Its nature-inspired interior and lava field backdrop, as well as the remarkable dining room, the exclusive yet laid back approach (this is a place where wearing a dress is encouraged) and Icelandic smiles. friendly are the reason it attracts those looking for a five star R&R on another level.
There’s no denying that the star of the Retreat is its spa, but we’ll talk to you about that later ….
In designing this luxurious address, Basalt Architects focused on the exterior. The underground spa is carved into the volcanic earth, and the building containing 62 spacious suites (you won’t find standard rooms here) appears to be floating on geothermal water.
Naturally, the interiors reflect his philosophy: expect lava details, area-inspired carpets covered in moss, and warm wood tones.
Located on the Reykjanes Peninsula in the southwest corner of Iceland and offering unlimited access to the Blue Lagoon, The Retreat spoils its guests with a private Blue Lagoon experience.
If you’ve always wanted to visit the attraction but without the crowds, this hotel has its own section of the lagoon, allowing you to soak up the geothermal waters at your own pace.
For stunning views and an incredibly spacious place to relax, you’ll want to settle into a Lava Suite, which overlooks the mountains. Take in the view from the oversized bed, sleek bathtub or large balcony.
The suite is a spa experience in itself, with its generous shower, plush bathrobes and Blue Lagoon products at your disposal (leave your facial cleanser, moisturizer and hair products at home).
You can easily spend the whole day in this gorgeous space, reading on the balcony or in the stylish seating area, soaking in the tub and simply enjoying the natural surroundings from the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The dining room
Icelandic food is exceptional and you will enjoy the freshest ingredients and a combination of diverse flavors at the Retreat’s restaurants.
Icelandic wasabi, local licorice, lemongrass and other surprising ingredients prove that this hotel has it all for the most discerning guest. Don’t leave here without reserving a table at the Moss gourmet restaurant. The tasting menu associated with the wines of the lava cave transformed into a wine cellar is a culinary journey that you will not forget.
From scallop ceviche and tender beef loin to cheek and salmon with caviar, fennel, apple and wasabi, the seven-course menu is as impressive as in a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Meanwhile, Lava, a restaurant open to Blue Lagoon visitors and Retreat guests, is worth a visit: try the divine langoustine soup and grilled beef tenderloin.
Long days at the spa and soaking in the lagoon (it’s a tough life) will make you hungry, and lunches at the spa restaurant are perfect for casual feasting in your bathrobe. Try the Caesar salad, one of the best we have ever tasted, the hummus with freshly baked seed crackers or the amazing Icelandic sushi for deliciously healthy dishes.
One thing you can fully enjoy while staying at The Retreat is the awakening of the Northern Lights. We were lucky enough to receive him one evening at 11pm and rushed out onto the patio with the other guests to watch a wave of green light move across the sky. Even without the vivid display you see in the photos, the sheer excitement on everyone’s faces was worth getting out of bed.
When in Iceland we like to live like Icelanders and breakfast at the hotel was a fantastic way to start the day like a locals. Shot glasses filled with cod liver oil and skyr are part of the spread, along with more international breakfast staples like various types of bread, salmon, and berries.
And finally, the spa …
If you need one reason to stay at The Retreat, let it be the spa. This sublime space is like a super wellness cave, bringing you the usual spa suspects, such as the hammam, sauna and relaxation areas, but with a truly elegant style.
The star of The Retreat’s spa, however, has to be the Ritual, which takes you on an invigorating journey of wellness.
Once you enter the underground space where it takes place, you will pass through different chambers while exfoliating your skin with the minerals of the Blue Lagoon, renewing it with algae and giving it a fresh and radiant appearance with silica.
By covering your hair and body with these treasures found in geothermal water, you will feel in harmony with the rejuvenating and pro-collagen powers of the volcanic environment.
Of course, you can also book spa treatments, such as in-water massage and facials. When you are rubbed, polished and massaged, you can relax in the hanging, nest-shaped chairs overlooking the hidden part of The Retreat’s Blue Lagoon.
Suites at The Retreat at Blue Lagoon start from Â£ 1,029 per night, including a la carte breakfast.
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