The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon – An Icelandic Luxury Retreat
In a land of stark contrasts, the Retreat at the Blue Lagoon first appears as a mirage in the fields of moss blanketed lava.
While Iceland is known for its stunning landscapes, wild weather, Nordic inspired handicrafts, clean air and geothermal energy, it is not exactly a haven for luxury. Relatively unknown by most until as recently as 2010 when the eruption of Volcano Eyjafjallajökull disrupted air travel across Europe for 6 days, Iceland has quickly sprung to the top of many adventure seeking traveler’s bucket lists. When many of it’s otherworldly backdrops became scenes in Game of Thrones, Iceland was no longer an afterthought.
Whether you fancy snowmobiling on a glacier, viewing swaths of migrating puffins, hiking through slot canyons among rainbow hued waterfalls, want to heli-ski in the North or view an active lava flow, your wildest dreams are easily realized here, possibly all in the same day.
Perhaps the most recognized attribute of Iceland is its iconic Blue Lagoon – where sea water is pumped from 2000 meters below the earth, heated by an adjacent geothermal power plant, into a series of lagoons. The water as you know is a crystalline blue and in perfect contrast to the black lava and chartreuse moss. As cool as it is, the steamy Blue Lagoon resembles a public bath and during peak seasons, is visited by busloads of tourists each day, many of which don a silica mud mask and plastic glass of wine.
Enter the Retreat at the Blue Lagoon which opened in the spring of 2019, just one year before the pandemic upended travel as we know it. The Retreat is a marvel of Nordic modern architecture and Iceland’s first 5 star hotel with 62 suites, a private lagoon, an expansive spa complex and Michelin starred restaurant aptly named Moss.
Once inside its towering lobby, bathed in floor to ceiling glass for your lagoon viewing pleasure, each guest is greeted by their personal butler with a glass of champagne and an orientation on how all of their hedonistic wishes can be dispatched.
With rooms so generously appointed and views so astonishingly beautiful, you’ll have a difficult time leaving. Bear in mind the mini bar is included in your stay. I recommend that you take a salt infused bath, drink your Alsatian white then grab your suit and robe and head over to the private lagoon for happy hour. No need to chill yourself with a walk to the bar –just ring the bell to be served lagoon side.
The private lagoon itself is a series of lagoons that wind their way through lava walls covered in moss in the summer & fall and if you are lucky, snow in the winter. Exclusive to guests of the Retreat and with cameras strictly prohibited, you’ll thank your lucky stars to experience this slice of unearthly paradise crowd and chaos free. Those in need of a photo do not despair – staff are available to snap pics that they will happily email to you. Those craving the buzz of the main lagoon can easily access it through steps leading directly from the Retreat.
The ebony walled spa complex hosts a series of relaxing chambers where you can chill on chaises and cushioned swings and in wet and dry saunas but the highlight is its ‘Ritual’ which can be done before, during or after bathing in the lagoon. During this hallmark treatment, guests have the opportunity to slather themselves in three minerals – silica, algae and salt before rinsing in the most powerful rain shower they’ve ever encountered. Not to be missed is their signature In Water massage where you will be massaged while afloat in geothermal lagoon water – this is one you’ll have to experience personally to believe.
Whether you are looking for a luxurious start or end to your larger Icelandic adventure, a romantic long weekend away or a spa getaway, The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon is not to be overlooked. Located just 20 minutes from Keflavik International Airport and 40 minutes from Reykjavik center, it’s the perfect counterpoint to your Iceland trip.
Contact Jen Terra Travels today to start designing your luxury Icelandic vacation.