ION Luxury Adventure Hotel

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ION Luxury Adventure Hotel

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ION Luxury Adventure Hotel

Nesjavellir vid Thingvallavatn
801 Selfoss


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ION Luxury Adventure Hotel is a member of the Design Hotels group and fits well with the rest of their portfolio. It is undoubtedly fashionable and trendy. The largest draw card being the remoteness and viewing of the northern lights. Unfortunately the weather was not favourable and and the stunning vistas promised eluded us.

Hotel is a 40min drive from Reykjavík, it sits on the side of a small valley encircled by nature.  It is a real gem waiting to be discovered.

Walking in, the reception is big and the styling is in keeping with the amazing exterior with an abundant use of recycled and repurposed materials.  The property offers unrestricted and spectacular views and has won awards for the Scandinavian design.  The room is not the largest, but everything about it speaks quality. 

The Geothermal pool was amazing, sitting neatly amongst the angled building columns, again offering great views and incredibly relaxing.  It is not the biggest, but the hotel is boutique after all and, let’s be honest, small means less people which means more Lux.  
We could not recommend this hotel more highly, add it to your list!  The Ion Hotel really is an experience in itself, coupled with a level of service that was brilliant, providing just what you want from a hotel.


The bed was king size, very comfortable and as an added bonus there was a Coffee machine in the room, they even provided a Mini iPad.  There was no bath, which was fine with us, and it was not a large bathroom but plenty of room to do what you need to do.  Toiletries provided were Organic.. The ever present smell of sulphur permeates everything, but it is Iceland after all. The view from the rooms fits very well with the Iceland aesthetic. Rolling boulders covered in moss and lichen almost seems otherworldly and had us looking for the mythical Icelandic gnomes and trolls. But honestly WiFi was the last thing on our mind we were much happier to lose ourselves in the natural landscape.


Unfortunately there are mixed reviews online regarding the friendliness of the staff. We are happy to say we found them very accommodating and friendly.


With a dramatic view of Lake Thingvallavatn (Þingvallavatn) and the surrounding mountains the Northern Lights Bar is the perfect start to an evening.  The design is quite modern with a chic twist.  Books are on offer for those that like to read and guitars for those talented enough to strum and impress.  Cocktails were lovely and the Northern Lights Bar offered the perfect ambience and it really just set our night up.

Silfra has a reputation for good cuisine and good service. It certainly lived up to it for us. The Chef specializes in the slow food movement. Meaning all the recipes on the menu are designed around locally sourced produce and flavour profiles. The dinner we had there did not disappoint any of us, yes it was on the expensive side, but when you are literally in the middle of nowhere and in Iceland, you have to expect it. We had the 4 course menu and not one complaint from any of us whatsoever. The service was spot on with efficient and polite staff who had great knowledge of the menu and wine list.

A beautiful large breakfast buffet which satisfied us, even though there are no cooked options.

Our review is based on our stay March 2016.


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Accommodation Globe FullAccommodation Globe FullAccommodation Globe FullAccommodation Globe Full Accommodation Globe Full

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January 27, 2018at 6:19 pm

I love how the hotel sits in such an amazing landscape, the views must be really stunning! How much does it cost to stay there?


    January 27, 2018at 6:29 pm

    It is quite expensive at around $400 a night. But if you are an SPG member and point sharks like us you can get a great rate or even a free stay on points.

Michael Hodgson

January 28, 2018at 4:50 am

Never stayed at the hotel, though know the location — spectacular. Noting your reply to Michaela, $400 really isn’t that expensive considering how expensive Iceland is in general! I remember $5 cans of coke a number of years ago when we were desperate to quench our thirst on a bike ride. 😉 Excellent review and love your blog!!!


    January 28, 2018at 4:57 am

    It was worth every penny. The breakfast buffet alone would be worth $50 pp in most high end hotel.


January 28, 2018at 3:21 pm

I would definitely love to stay here, even if it was just one night. This hotel sits on such amazing land that it would be very worth it to stay, even from the price you mentioned. Everything about that hotel screams perfect! Thank you for sharing.

Jenn and Ed Coleman

January 28, 2018at 9:49 pm

This looks like something out of James Bond. $400 a night does say luxury so I would expect the food to but on price point with the accommodations. I have found that online reviews of high end properties or restaurants can be a little jaded. A lot of people mark them down because they don’t like the prices but say it’s service. On the other hand, almost every budget diner is a 5* because they like the value.


January 29, 2018at 12:34 pm

This looks like an awesome place to stay. I would have taken so many photos of the amazing views. It looks so cool there!


January 29, 2018at 2:33 pm

The hotel’s location is perfect. I would prefer it to be not as big not only because small means less people,as you have mentioned, but also having too big a structure in a remote area will somehow have an impact on the place’s natural setting. Good review! 🙂

Damien McGuigan

January 29, 2018at 4:45 pm

It sounds like you had a great time and enjoyed your stay but man that is expensive for one night! I wish Iceland and Norway where more affordable. As a solo traveller, I would love to spend a couple of weeks in each without having to trim back on meals or outings etc…


January 30, 2018at 1:11 pm

This looks an amazing place to stay. I’m putting it on my bucket list. I love Thingvellir…beautiful.

Katie Russell

January 30, 2018at 3:11 pm

My parents are trying to book a trip to Iceland, so I passed this on to them. I think it would make a great place for them to stay.

Danila Caputo

January 31, 2018at 6:50 pm

Oh wow! Not only it’s located in a beautiful area but the inside looks awesome as well! How cool that they provided a mini iPad!

Chris Behrsin

February 1, 2018at 3:18 pm

Iceland is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, and your account of this Lake Thingvallavatn hotel certainly serves to entice that desire.

Shame about the weather. I can imagine you’d get some fantastic views of the Northern Lights in that lounge bar. I’d be there every evening :).

Elijah Rodriguez

February 1, 2018at 10:44 pm

Looks gorgeous! So quintessentially Scandinavian…including the prices too. Jealous you had a chance to stay there!


February 2, 2018at 11:43 pm

That view says it all. Looks like a very enjoyable stay . Glad that they provided organic toiletries. Looks like my kind 🙂

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