Luxury Iceland: The Blue Lagoon and beyond
Leading travel writer Sally Meeson reviews the iconic Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Set in the pure heart of the Icelandic landscape, the Blue Lagoon offers a complete spa experience. Read her incredible story here…
I’m padding down cool stone steps in a crisp, white bathrobe. To my left a floor-to-ceiling window frames snowy, white mountains set behind pools of blue and rising steam. An open fire glows at the foot of the staircase and the whole room has the mysterious air of an underground Bond lair. Throwing my robe onto a large relaxation chair I plunge into the hot waters of an indoor pool. Then, making my way through soft, baby-blue water, I arrive at a tiny, secret door. What waits beyond takes my breath away. Cool air hits my face and a vast expanse of magical, steaming, blue spreads before me, warming my body. Mounds of thick, black, lava rock lie all around and the sun burns through clouds above icy peaks in the distance. I swim past a rocky cave and under a tiny wooden bridge, then become enveloped in the mystical depths of the Blue Lagoon.
This legendary, geothermal spa is a must see for any Iceland tourist – but to make the most of your experience the Exclusive Lounge is the way to go. The Blue Lagoon is always popular and very busy, but as an Exclusive Lounge member you’ll skip the queues and be met by your own member of staff. After receiving your complimentary bathrobe, towel and slippers you’ll be escorted to your own private shower and dressing room. Since there are only six of these in the whole resort the experience feels particularly exclusive. After changing, your entrance to the Blue Lagoon lies through a large, luxurious communal lounge with an open fire, designer furniture and light refreshments. You can also order directly from the on site LAVA restaurant so there’s nothing to stop you having anything from sushi to champagne delivered. There’s also a private deck with relaxing lounge chairs to view the lagoon from, plus your own private entrance to the water itself.
Once out in the lagoon you’ll want to cake your face in its famous silica and algae mud and use the steam caves and powerful waterfalls, but there are also special treatments available such as In-Water Massages. I entered a quiet, roped off area for mine then navigated through a pool of people being floated around on what looked like buoyant yoga mats. From the outside it looks rather curious but once lying back, with a delicious feeling of weightlessness, the experience is nothing short of bliss. A masseuse uses Blue Lagoon mineral oil to unknot all your muscles while gently stretching out your limbs and moving your body around the water to release tension. I recommend getting your massage at the beginning of your visit since the deep state of relaxation will stay with you, helping you properly unwind during the rest of your day.
To complete the decadent experience you must visit the Blue Lagoon’s award winning restaurant LAVA. Built into an enormous lava cliff and with glass walls offering breathtaking views you’ll find luxury combined with the rugged Icelandic landscape. And the food certainly matches the setting, with fresh, locally sourced ingredients transformed into flavoursome, contemporary dishes. Arriving in my bathrobe I was given a chilled glass of sparkling wine and a menu bursting with Icelandic delights. Since the island is renowned for its incredible seafood I opted for Garlic Langoustine Marinated Soup to start followed by Cod in a Mussel Sauce with Cauliflower, Barley, Lemon and Fennel. The food was exquisite and left me full and satisfied on top of feeling utterly blissed out from my dip in the lagoon. And from April 2018 visitors will be able pamper themselves for days on end thanks to the Blue Lagoon’s new ‘Retreat’. After substantial expansion the resort is about to offer 62 elegant suites for people to stay in overnight, along with a subterranean spa and a brand new restaurant.
The Blue Lagoon made it into National Geographic’s 25 Wonders in the World – but this magical island contains countless other beauty spots. To see as many as possible – but also travel in style – book ‘The Pearl Tour’ through Mountaineers of Iceland. You’ll be picked up from your accommodation in a large, sleek ‘Super Jeep’ which will certainly turn heads as you’re chauffeured around. Not only will it take you on the famous Golden Circle tour – taking in waterfalls, hot geysers and stunning national parks – you’ll also climb to the top of Iceland’s second largest glacier for some sensational snowmobiling. Hold on tight as you dart across snowfields in a world of white, so otherworldly it looks a little like the surface of the moon. In this country which combines the extremes of fire and ice you can equally experience everything from deep relaxation through to high-octane exhilaration!
Address: Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavik, Iceland
Elevation: 230 m
Phone: +354 420 8800