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A landscape of lava fields, rolling hills, and hiking trails sets the scene at this boutique hotel that was once an inn for workers at the nearby Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant. Given its location just 30-minutes from south-west Iceland’s UNESCO-protected Þingvellir National Park, it is the ideal base for catching clear views of the northern lights during the winter, bathing in thermal hot springs, and enjoying activities such as snowmobiling, ice caving and rafting. You’ll also be just under an hour from Reykjavik and within easy distance of the Golden Circle route’s numerous attractions. 

All of the 44 bright rooms have minimalist Nordic décor, soothing neutral hues, contemporary furnishings, light woods, grey walls, and paintings, photographs or murals by modern Icelandic artists. Amenities include beds with fair-trade organic linens, desks with lamps, flat screen TVs, tea and coffee-making facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi, and en suite bathrooms with showers.

Elsewhere, you’ll find a geothermal outdoor pool and a small spa area with a sauna and relaxation room. A selection of treatments with Icelandic herbs is available, booked at least one to two weeks in advance. There’s also a sleek restaurant serving farm-fresh Nordic cuisine as well as a glass-walled bar for end of day beers, spirits, wines, light snacks, and panoramic views of the surrounds. 

Our rating: Medium

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Rooms

Available in varying categories, the 44 welcoming rooms have minimalist Nordic decor, soothing neutral hues, contemporary furnishings, light wooden floors, grey walls, and paintings or photographs by modern Icelandic artists. Amenities include beds with fair-trade organic linens, desks with lamps, flat screen TVs, tea and coffee-making facilities, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Bathrooms have showers and Sóley Organics toiletries. 

While all rooms overlook the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant or across the lava fields towards Þingvellir National Park, the Deluxe room offer superior views from floor-to-ceiling windows in addition to large murals of Icelandic horses.

Location

Located on the Golden Circle route, you’ll be a 30-minute drive from the UNESCO-protected Þingvellir National Park and about an hour from the Geysir Hot Spring Area. The town of Selfoss is 40 minutes away and offers cafes, shops, restaurants, and an outdoor swimming pool with hot tubs. You’ll also be just under an hour’s drive from Reykjavik.

Food and Drink

Seasonal dishes such as farm-fresh lamb and fish feature on the menu at Silfra, the hotel’s restaurant named for the tectonic rift in Þingvellir. A buffet breakfast is available every morning. For beers, spirits, wines, light snacks, and panoramic views of the surrounds, the glass-walled Northern Lights bar is an ideal spot.

Families

Children are welcome at ION Adventure Hotel and extra beds can be added to the Deluxe rooms. The handyman’s friendly dog, Tara, works a daily 8am to 4pm schedule with her owner and may offer to accompany you on a hike around the hotel.

Facilities and Activities

In addition to a geothermal outdoor pool, there’s a small spa with a sauna and relaxation room. Massages and facials with Icelandic herbs are available, although advance bookings of at least one to two weeks are recommended. If you’re hoping to see the northern lights, staff will arrange a nightly wake-up call for when they are visible. 

Our opinion

We love the peaceful setting, friendly service, and sleek Nordic decor at this stylish boutique hotel near the UNESCO-protected Þingvellir National Park. The panoramic views from the glass-walled Northern Lights bar are especially memorable.

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    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

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      Located between Skaftafell National Park and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon offers contemporary decor, comfortable rooms, an all-day restaurant, and a sauna. This is an ideal base for those who want to spend time exploring Iceland’s south coast.

    • Frost og Funi Boutique Hotel, Hveragerði

      Frost & Fire Boutique Hotel

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      An intimate property on the banks of the Varmá River, Frost & Fire Boutique Hotel offers contemporary rooms, two geothermal hot tubs, and an outdoor swimming pool. Reykjavík is just a 40-minute drive away.

    • Hotel Grimsborgir, Þingvellir National Park

      Hótel Grímsborgir

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      Located in the heart of the Golden Circle route, the contemporary Hótel Grímsborgir is an ideal base from which to explore south west Iceland. In spite of its large size, it has a relaxed atmosphere and very attentive staff.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

    • Strokkur geyser, Golden Circle

      Full day privately guided Golden Circle tour

      Golden Circle

      Discover some of Iceland’s most renowned geological sites on a full-day tour of the Golden Circle with a private guide. Take in the continental rift and original parliament site at Þingvellir, the hot-water blowholes at Haukadalur geothermal valley and thundering Gullfoss waterfall.

    • Snorkel at Silfra in Þingvellir National Park

      Small group snorkel in Þingvellir National Park

      Golden Circle

      Swim through clear blue waters in a glacial lagoon in Þingvellir National Park, the only place in the world where you can snorkel between two tectonic plates. Take a look at the continents from underwater and learn about Iceland’s geological instability.