Iceland. The land of fire and ice, home to viking tales of yore and sprawling landscapes of heart-stopping natural beauty. Its appeal has been on the rise of late, with the Financial Times reporting that visitor numbers have shot up to 1.8 million in 2016 as compared to just 464,000 in 2009.
In part, it’s due to it being home to several Game of Thrones locations – drawing bleeding heart fans from afar, while others yet claim that the age of Instagram has brought the magnificence of its landscapes into all our screens.
Either way, the popularity of the country as a destination is not being eclipsed any time soon. Indeed, few other countries can beat the mix of adventure, scenery and luxury as much as Iceland. This far-flung Nordic country offers adventure travel experiences like no other, beckoning you into its crystalline ice caves one moment and pushing you to ascend greater heights on its glacial hiking trails the next.
The terrain might be rugged, but that doesn’t mean you’d have to slum it out in tents or poorly appointed log cabins. Here are 5 luxury hotels in Iceland where you can retreat into warm comfort and rest for a day’s adventure.
Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is one of the most photographed spots on the tourist trail, and why not, since it boasts gorgeous blue waters against landscapes formed by lava. The Silica Hotel is located just one kilometre away — which means it’s far enough from the tourists hordes, yet close enough for its scenery. Its 35 well-appointed rooms and large windows offer unobstructed views of the lava fields, while a private geothermal lagoon is available for guests.
Silica Hotel, 240 Grindavik , Iceland, +354 420 8800
Don’t let the name of this upcoming Icelandic hotel fool you; it is a luxury hotel through and through. For starters, this new 65-room property features private pools which are naturally heated — a consequence of the space being built into the remnants of a volcano. Each room houses standalone bathtubs and spacious outdoor terraces. The hotel will also be home to an underground spa with a steam room heated by lava rock.
The Moss Hotel and Lava Cove Spa, Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland, +354 420 8800
While much of the action happens outside of the capital of Reykjavík, those staying within the city for its urban comforts can look no further than Hotel Borg, a classic hotel built in 1930. The building’s exteriors are as different as it can get from the sleek Scandinavian designs of other Nordic hotels and instead, sports Art Deco-style archways. Day tour programmes to the rest of Iceland are also available, in case you choose to continue staying in the capital rather than venture out.
Hotel Borg, Posthusstraeti 11, 101 Reykjavik, +354 551-1440
The Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel is arguably the most photographed property on Iceland. The hotel itself somewhat resembles a caterpillar with a floor-to-ceiling glass lounge that juts out into the landscape, offering unobstructed views of the northern lights. There’s also a 10-metre long outdoor heated pool that you can soak in after a long day of trekking around the country’s rugged terrain.
Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel, Nesjavellir við Thingvallavatn, 801 Selfoss, +354 578 3700
Hotel Ranga is arguably the most interesting property in Iceland. It’s one of the three accommodations under the Small Luxury Hotels umbrella, and is said to be a cross between a hunting lodge and a palatial log cabin. It’s a secluded hotel that houses a Nordic restaurant with expansive windows overlooking the East Ranga river. If the weather permits, take a nice long dip in one of the outdoor hot tubs found throughout the space.
Hotel Ranga, Suðurlandsvegur, 851 Hella, Iceland, +354 487 5700