Base Camp

Not a bad spot to catch the Northern Lights.     Photo: Hotel Ion

Iceland's Sleek, Wild Escape

The country's latest luxury resort is surrounded by natural drama—from the night sky to the lava fields. Turns out, it's a pretty great place to unplug.

Located an hour east of Reykjavík near the greatest geologic hits of the famed Golden Circle loop, Ion Iceland is a luxurious respite for hikers, fly fishermen, and other adventurers. After a day exploring nearby glacial streams, lava fields, ancient geysers, and fault lines, return to the boxy, contemporary Ion for the “Heal” spa treatment: a full-body scrub, hot shower, thermal wrap, and massage. A cup of tea brewed with local herbs kicks off the pampering—a thoughtful touch. 

  Photo: Hotel Ion

Next, head to the hotel’s Silfra Restaurant and Bar, which, thanks to some carefully sited support beams, juts out over the stark, beautiful landscape. Grab a seat by one of the floor-to-ceiling windows and try the Arctic char, caught in the nearby Lake Thingvallavatn. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, get the caribou burger with red onion jam. (Rudolph tastes sort of like veal, in case you’re wondering.) 

  Photo: Hotel Ion

During the summer, linger at the bar and enjoy the extended daylight hours—the sun sets around 10:15 p.m. in August. In winter—when Iceland goes dark as early as 3:30 p.m.—there’s no shame in retiring to your room for a mini hibernation (though don’t forget to peek out at the Northern Lights—best viewed in the cold months).

Each deluxe suite boasts a hypoallergenic bed topped in organic linens, and a large bathroom stocked with soaps and lotions from fancy cosmetic brand Sóley Organics. Given the magical accommodations and surrounds, we wouldn’t be surprised if your dreams involved some sort of flying-through-the-Northern-Lights fantasy—soundtracked by Bjork, of course. 

  Photo: Hotel Ion

The Details: Through August, room rates range from $382 to $443 for deluxe suites, and $304 to $356 for standard rooms.

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