ION Adventure Hotel
What We Love
- Spectacular Northern Lights views from the hot-springs-fed hot tub, situated on the purpose-built deck
- There’s a real effort to be eco-conscious, from the driftwood furniture to the water-saving showers
- Everything from the art to the music to the beers is locally made, and even the Sóley Organics toiletries are prepared with Icelandic herbs
What To Know
- Rooms are spartan but do have coffee machines and Fairtrade organic bed linens
- Bathrooms are small
- Free WiFi
- Thanks to the isolated location, there’s nowhere else to eat within walking distance
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
The hotel’s brutalist design – angular, big on concrete and glass, supported by pillars – is made even more impressive by its setting: it juts out of the side of Mount Hengill in southwest Iceland, which overlooks the nearly empty lichen-coated lava fields and rolling hills that border Thingvellir National Park. Once an inn for workers at the nearby geothermal plant, the hotel was re-formatted by Minarc Design Studio into a chic, minimalist hotel. Each room, though small, is decorated in typical Scandinavian style, with wooden floors, concrete walls, and a black-white-and-grey palette—but there are homey touches like throws made from Icelandic wool and the occasional wall-sized close-up photo of horses. The Northern Lights bar has floor-to-ceiling windows made with aurora borealis viewing in mind, but the scenery is worth lingering over at other times of the year, too, when there’s 24 hours of daylight. The Lava Spa adjoins the heated pool, and – “local” and “sustainable” being bywords here — the products are made from volcanic ash and locally sourced clay.
In the Area
While the hotel has an isolated feel, Rekyjavík is just an hour away. We’d suggest taking advantage of the hotel’s proximity to Iceland’s top natural attractions, though. Besides the Northern Lights, winter spells ice climbing and skiing, while in the warmer months, it’s possible to dive in Lake Pingvallavatn, which is just ten minutes from the hotel. Here, divers (wrapped in warm wetsuits) can swim in the seam between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. There’s also hiking, fly-fishing, day trips to hot springs and lots more, all arranged by the hotel.
How to Get There
Loved our stay here! Ask for a room with a view and open your window to the nature around you! My favorite part of the stay was the geo-thermal heated pool. We hung out there right at closing and was able to see the northern lights above us. Food was great and unique. The rooms are cozy and well decorated.
Great location right in the middle of a moss covered lava mountain range.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the front desk personnel and check-in was spot on ,
however there was no one to help with the luggage.
Bar was great , good beer and spirits selection , the bartender seemed to know what he was doing preparing different drinks.
Location relatively near the golden circle activities
Breakfast was simple but overall good
Friendly and competent personnel throughout the property
Too close to a geothermal plant. Maybe the building had to be close to the plant for electricity - hot water purposes but part of the views of the hotel are directly across the ON geothermal facility.
The photograhs of the property on several publications make the property look far better than what it actually is.
What looks like a pool is actually an oversized hot tub.
It is incredible what agood photo shoot can do to a property
The rooms are small and have average furniture , the bathroom is small but functional
The restaurant has better than average good food but overpriced and with a small and bad and expensive wine selection. Service in the restaurant is below average.
Coffee in the hotel is provided by Nespresso machines
Too expensive for what you get in return.
We stayed in the ION City Hotel in Reykjavik afterwards and in our opinion was ten times better.
They shared that the staff was especially helpful including the welcome even when they had a late arrival. And the reservations and management staff I talked to in arranging this stay were also extremely helpful.
This hotel is way overpriced for what you get. We are SPG top level members and that means absolutely NOTHING to the staff here. The rooms have either a view of the UGLY power plant or a lake off in the distance. Unfortunately we were facing the power plant - we asked to be moved to another room but we were advised they were sold out due to a couple of tour groups coming in - so obviously they cater to and care more about tour groups than SPG members. Not blaming the hotel for this - blaming Starwood / Marriott for allowing this. The staff were cordial at best - definitely not rude by any stretch of the imagination, but also not friendly either - we got the impression they were just doing their job and that was it - NOT going to go out of their way to be of assistance or anything more than cordial. The breakfast buffet is not included in the price of your room - cost US$30.00 per person. The breakfast was VERY good - lots of choices.
This hotel is overrated. The advertisement video is almost misleading - the view is not great - and the staff not warm. It is not a "sexy" or "fancy" place to stay. The rooms themselves are IKEA like in nature and our room had peeling paint, missing molding, and broken furniture. Our room - supposedly the best they had, opened onto a wall of trees covered in electric lights - blocking any (though limited at best) view.