Something about this hotel in the middle of nowhere caught my attention. It is hard to place your finger on the best part. If you want an ideal stop transitioning between the Golden Circle and South Coast, this hotel deserves some consideration. Because we finished our Golden Circle tour rather late, the drive to the hotel was in the dark. There are no street lights and the road leading in to the hotel is gravel. It was a little grueling at the end of the day in bad weather when you cannot see anything. Perhaps it made the actual arrival and sentiments even more special. The hotel will email prior to your stay with some great information. Some of the things that they included were regarding transportation. For those not renting a car, they will arrange luxury transportation between the hotel and the airport. Based upon the parking lot, it seemed that most opted for car rental. In regards to this, they do recommend a 4X4 vehicle with spiked tires and one that covers damages, especially from gravel roads. Also, one of the routes to the hotel numbered 435 is closed in the winter from October to May, so you must take this into consideration when planning your route.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a glass of prosecco and made our way to the room. We chose the Deluxe Room, which does have a floor to ceiling window. Your views will either be of the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant or the lava field. I mean, how often do you get choices like that? The room appeared just as it did in photos online, and I included some of our room. On arrival, we booked a reservation at the Silfra restaurant located in the hotel. There are other options to leave the hotel and make a drive into Selfoss for dinner. However, everything we ordered at Silfra was nothing short of amazing …. absolutely no complaints. The Arctic Char appetizer and Cauliflower Soup were incredible. I would eat here again without any hesitation. Quite impressed! After a long day, it was nice to walk to dinner and not have to go back onto the gravel roads in the darkness.
Things to enjoy in the hotel:
1. Silfra restaurant
2. Lava SPA outdoor hot tub
3. Northern Lights Lounge
We enjoyed the SPA outdoor hot tub prior to dinner because it is not available 24 hours. The water was hot, so even in the 30 degree weather, it was comfortable. Sitting at the end of the SPA, there are fantastic views of the sky full of stars. Living in the middle of the city, this is not something I frequently get to enjoy. The only thing better than this view would have been the Northern Lights, which I will talk about in further posts. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit! However, I would imagine most are making a stop at the Blue Lagoon, so this might already be on your packing list.
After dinner at Silfra, we went to the Northern Lights Lounge. You are free to enjoy the lounge at all hours, so we brought a bottle of champagne in after the lounge stopped serving drinks at 11pm and took in the darkness. We opened one of the bottles that we purchased from duty free at the airport. I have included some photos of the lounge during the day along with the view of the SPA looking out the window of our hotel room.
This hotel provided us a perfect starting point for the next day. Day two we toured the South Coast. This shaved a little time off the drive as compared to starting from Reykjavik. It also allows you to start out the morning in a more leisurely fashion.
Directions: I recommend looking at a map ahead of time and scheduling your hotels based upon your needs. Staying in Reykjavik the entire trip is likely not practical if you plan to venture out and explore different areas. If you are ending your tour of the Golden Circle and plan to do South Coast the next day, I think that the ION city adventure hotel is a fantastic location to spend the night. In addition, in the morning, you will have a mild head start on the South Coast leaving from the Selfoss area vs Reykjavik. The hotel will send you an email several days prior to arrival with directions. Initially, it was my assumption that the hotel was actually in Selfoss. It is not. You will need to follow 35 down in a southwest direction. After you pass Kerid Crater, on the right hand side there will be two options to turn right and they are 36 and 350. Both of these lead north and you will eventually make a left turn. We missed the turn for 36 and ended up taking 350. This road is mostly gravel. In the morning, we took the other route along 36, and there is more pavement along this road.