A Dip in Volcanic Hot Springs

ION Adventure Hotel, Selfoss, Iceland

As soon as the crisp Icelandic air hits your lungs, you feel different. You smell driftwood and lavapure, primordial nature. As you make your way through the wilderness, you see a Paleolithic dreamscape: undulating mossy ridges of burnt ochre and day-glo green. All around you is the sound of water, gushing streams, waterfalls, melting glaciers. Arriving at the volcanic hot springs, you undress, shivering in the cold Arctic air. You hesitate, then sink slowly into the steaming mineral-dense waters and feel the heat envelop your body. You lean back and look up at the sky, just in time to see a falcon in flight—fearsome, solitary, magnificent. 

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein

THE HOTEL — Iceland's unique landscape plays a pivotal role in the rich design of Ion Adventure Hotel, a stunning eco resort and sustainability pioneer in Reykjavik’s dramatic hinterlands. In fact, it’s sometimes hard to tell where nature ends and Ion begins. Icelandic rock and locally sourced, repurposed wood fill Ion’s interiors, which were designed to echo and integrate with the environment by the Icelandic team of architects at the Santa Monica-based studio Minarc. Inspired touches range from a sink made of recycled tire rubber to an ambitious green energy project that allows electricity to be generated through the cooling of volcanic waters sourced beneath the sprawling geothermal parkland on which Ion is located.

"I want the guests to experience the Icelandic nature, the culture, the trends, music, design, and everything we like and appreciate. I want them to experience exactly where they are in the world." Sigurlaug Sverrisdottir – Owner of Ion Adventure Hotel

Before she opened Ion in 2013, Sigurlaug Sverrisdottir traveled the world—first as a cabin-crew member, then as the head of a successful adventure tour company, and all the while, of course, as a traveler. It was on these trips that the tall, striking Icelander who can often be found fishing or hiking in the vicinity of Ion, realized her favorite destinations were those that expressed the strongest sense of place. It was this that stood foremost in her mind as she developed Ion, a place where local integration pertains not only to the natural environment, but to the rotating selection of works by local artists and musicians that fills the hotel.

ION Adventure Hotel, Selfoss, Iceland

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