Baby it's Cold Outside, So Take a Dip in Ion's Lava Spa
Situated on the slopes of the still-active volcano Mount Hengill, on the edge of Thingvellir National Park and less than an hour outside Reykjavik, Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel is seriously in harmony with its environment. Energy and hot water is provided by the nearby Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station and surrounding hot springs; locally sourced wood is utilized throughout the hotel's interiors, all furniture is made from from recycled materials, and images of Icelandic wildlife are displayed throughout.
The hotel also makes use of natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows in bedrooms and in its onsite Northern Lights bar, which juts out and overhangs the lava fields and from where, on dark, clear nights, you can watch the Aurora Borealis light up the sky.
Even better is to position yourself in the on site Lava Spa's al fresco hot tub where you can watch the Northern Lights accompanied by steam rising off the 100+ degree water. It can come over a little cliched to talk about Iceland's dreamlike landscape, but it does feel almost otherworldy to soak in a hot tub accompanied by the nip of the crisp night air and snow-covered volcanic tundra that stretches for miles.
The Lava Spa also has an outdoor mixed sauna, and offers spa treatments that utilize natural Icelandic products. Organic Soley skin bath products made with handpicked wild Icelandic herbs also feature in all guest rooms.
The 45-room Ion Hotel is one of Design Hotels' newest properties and their second (after 101 Hotel in Reykjavik) in Iceland. Rates start at $247 a night for a standard room.
Disclosure: We were a guest of Ion Hotel.
[Photos: Karen Gardiner for HotelChatter]