Grindavik, Iceland

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon

Rates per night from$1,169.16

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (ISK129,729.73), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Ethereal outlook

Setting

Lunar-like lava field

Carved into an 800-year-old lava field and surrounded by thermal pools, The Retreat at Blue Lagoon delivers the heady double hit of an otherworldly landscape coupled with serene Scandinavian design. The interiors show a stylistic handshake between what’s outside and in, borrowing the slate grey of the rocks and the earthy tones from the moss that covers them. And as for those funnel-like fireplaces in the restaurant – well, they’re nothing short of volcanic. After spending your days bathing in the lagoon’s mineral-rich water or undoing Time’s work in the underground spa, you’ll feel you’ve earned the right to indulge at Moss restaurant, where Icelandic tasting menus and a world-class wine list await. If you’re lucky, your meal might even be capped by the Northern Lights dancing over the lagoon.

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Facilities

Photos The Retreat at Blue Lagoon facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Sixty-two suites.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $1169.16 (ISK129,730), excluding tax at 11 per cent.

More details

Rates include an à la carte breakfast in the lounge or spa restaurant; a welcome drink; the soft drinks and Icelandic beer in your minibar; a daily guided hike and group yoga session; afternoon Icelandic coffee in the lounge; and valet parking.

Also

Because of their direct access to the water, children under nine can’t stay in the Lava View or Lagoon Suites.

At the hotel

Spa, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: tablet; Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speaker; minibar; Illy coffee machine; tea-making kit; free bottled water; underfloor heating; Blue Lagoon Iceland bath and skincare products.

Our favourite rooms

All of the Junior Suites are the same size and style, with wooden panelling, floor-to-ceiling windows and a freestanding bath tub in the room. What differs is the view – choose from solidified lava, moss-covered rock or the blue water of the lagoon. If you’re after something really special, it has to be the two-room Lagoon Suite, which has a terrace with direct access to your very own mineral-rich pool.

Poolside

The term 'swimming pool' is a bit of an understatement when it comes to describing the mineral-rich water that circles the hotel. Bounded by volcanic rock and often shrouded in steam, the bright-blue geothermal lagoons offer a particularly atmospheric soak – especially if you manage to be out there when the Northern Lights appear. The lagoon around the hotel is separate from the public Blue Lagoon, ensuring peace and privacy.

Spa

Reaching deep under the 800-year-old lava flow, the underground Retreat spa is about as atmospheric as they come. Walls of exposed lava merge with broody but beautiful Scandinavian design to create a space that not only feels blissfully disconnected from the outside world, but fits perfectly with the dramatic, lunar-like landscape. Before your treatment, you can lounge in nest-like chairs overlooking the lagoon’s blue waters, warm yourself by the fire, or climb the stairs to the top of the lava flow, where a viewing platform promises pacifying views for miles around. There’s an in-water massage area; a cold well; lava-walled steam room; sauna; and two treatment rooms, where you can have Silica salt rubs, hot stone massages and facials using products by Blue Lagoon Iceland. There’s also a spa restaurant, serving à la carte breakfasts and a healthy all-day menu.

Packing tips

Load up your phone with ethereal tracks to play over the Bluetooth speakers in your suite – there’s no better companion to the mystical landscape outside.

Also

All of the common areas are wheelchair accessible; the building only spans two floors, and has lifts. Some Junior Suites are wheelchair-adapted, too.

Children

All ages are welcome, but the hotel is best suited to children 14 and over, who can swim in the private lagoons and enjoy the spa. Because of the direct access to the water, children under nine can’t stay in the Lava View or Lagoon Suites.

Eco‐friendly

The hotel recycle waste and use eco-friendly bath and spa products. Moss restaurant uses local, organic and seasonal ingredients.

Food and Drink

Photos The Retreat at Blue Lagoon food and drink

Top Table

You can’t beat the chef’s table, where you’ll be served the seven-course tasting menu in full view of the kitchen.

Dress Code

Take inspiration from the landscape, opting for something dark but arresting. No pressure.

Hotel restaurant

The rugged landscape takes pride of place at Moss, where every table has a clear line of sight through the floor-to-ceiling windows. That’s not to say the designers have any need to hide behind the landscape, however – the interiors are sumptous, scattered with dark-wood tables and chairs in mossy tones, all of it lit be golden pendant lights that dangle down from the ceiling. Head chef Ingi Thorarinn Fridriksson and his team work from an open kitchen in the midst of it all, creating modern Icelandic dishes that take diners on a culinary tour of the island. Rigorous about sourcing local and organic ingredients, the kitchen team ensure everything can be traced back to its origins in the local mountains, farms and Icelandic waters. Diners choose either from the à la carte menu (the catch of the day is a very safe bet), or the five- and seven-course tasting menus.

Last orders

Breakfast is served in the lounge and the spa restaurant from 7.30am to 11am, and an all-day menu from 11am to 10pm. At Moss, lunch from 12 to 2pm, and dinner from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.

Room service

Breakfast can be served in-room from 7.30am to 11am, and there’s an all-day menu from then until 10pm, seafood dishes, beef tataki and chicken with quinoa. A reduced menu is available overnight, including paninis and gravlax.

Location

Photos The Retreat at Blue Lagoon location
Address
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon
Nordurljosavegur 11
Grindavík
240
Iceland

Planes

International visitors usually fly into Keflavík International Airport, which can be reached direct from many European destinations and some larger US airports. It’s only 20 kilometres from the lagoon, taking as many minutes to get there by car. The Smith24 team can arrange flights and transfers; call anytime, day or night.

Automobiles

If you’re already in Reykjavik, it’s a 50-minute drive from there to the hotel. If you want to hire a car, the Smith24 team can arrange it.

Worth getting out of bed for

There’s nothing quite like a hotel that gets the balance between wellness and extravagance just right, leaving you feeling like indulgence can be wholly justified. At the Retreat, you can start your day in the spa, where they’ll serve you a lavish à la carte breakfast – just the primer for a long day of treatments and lagoon immersions. If you want to take things up a notch, you can join one of the morning yoga classes or guided hikes, both free for guests. Beyond the hotel, you’ve got Reykjavik, the country’s compact but spirited capital, just 50 minutes away by car. First timers will enjoy a stroll around the old town and a trip to the soaring Hallgrimskirkja; those who’ve been before will no doubt want to return for another round of the city’s enticing restaurants and bars. The hotel also organise tours of the Golden Circle, a 300-kilometre route containing several of the country's iconic natural wonders. The big three are Unesco-protected Thingvellir national park, the geysers in Haukadalur valley, and the Gullfoss waterfall. Thrill seekers shouldn't pass up a tour of dormant volcano Thrihnukagigur, which isn’t plugged at the top, allowing access to its enormous magma chamber. Visitors can now abseil down into its heart, where the rocks range from canary yellow to ruby red.

Reviews

Photos The Retreat at Blue Lagoon reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this hotel in Grindavík and unpacked their Blue Lagoon Iceland skin creams, a full account of their spa break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Retreat at Blue Lagoon in Iceland…

When the everyday begins to take its toll, you sometimes need a place that takes the phrase ‘out of this world’ to its near-literal limit. Thankfully, such a place exists, and it’s called The Retreat at Blue Lagoon. Nestled in a stark landscape of centuries-old lava, long since hardened into jagged, moss covered fields, the hotel is carved into a landscape that looks a little like what we imagine the moon looks like up close. Then you see the water: bright blue, almost milky, and balmy enough to produce clouds of steam that roll over the surface, shrouding everything in mist. Every one of the 62 suites looks out over this extraordinary landscape, and the calming effect it has is such that the hotel could have skipped on their spa entirely, and people would still come here with the sole intention of relaxing. But they didn’t. Instead, the hotel went not quite out of this world, but under it, building a state-of-the-art spa inside the lava field. By the time you’ve been to the cavernous steam room or sampled an in-water massage, there’s one thing you can be certain of – you’ll feel a very long way from everyday.

The Guestbook

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