On April 1st, Iceland's greatest attraction will also become home to the country's most luxurious hotel. Jetsetter takes an inside look at The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland, an ethereal wellness escape that's guaranteed to make you want to hop the next flight out.
You don't need to be a travel expert to understand why Iceland's world-famous Blue Lagoon is the country's most visited attraction. The mineral-rich water of this manmade lagoon, surrounded by an otherworldly lava field that might otherwise pass for Mars, takes on a mystical shade of blue in daylight and remains a balmy 98-104˚F year-round.
But its location isn't ideal: a 15-minute drive from Keflavik Airport or 60 minutes from downtown Reykjavík means your visit needs to be well-timed and well-planned—more often then not tail-ending a flight into or out of the country. Not quite the relaxing experience a Jetsetter would hope for.
All that's about to change next month, when The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland swings open its glass doors to travelers in need (or want) of that much more R&R. With just 62 suites built on top of the mossy 800-year-old lava flow, the property puts the lagoon on fill display. The interiors are as tranquil as the setting: think sleek Nordic furniture, wood-paneled walls, standalone white bathtubs, and floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies or terraces framing the surrounding lava fields. (Prefer private access to the lagoon? Be sure to book one of the ground-floor rooms like the Lagoon Suite, which has a deck that overlooks its very own section of the water.
With each stay, you'll get full access to the Blue Lagoon and subterranean Retreat Spa, whose steam rooms are carved directly into the lava rock and treatments incorporate skin-rejuvenating ingredients like silica, algae, and seawater.
When all that soaking builds up an appetite, book a table at Moss Restaurant, whose seven-course set menu spotlights the best of Icelandic cuisine and sources ingredients from local farmlands, mountains, and geothermal greenhouses.