“Chic adventure hotel in a spectacularly surreal landscape of moss-covered lava fields, geysers and steaming rivers, by Thingvellir National Park”
All 42 rooms are compact yet bright, with light wooden floors and chairs draped in soft sheepskins. We stayed in a Deluxe Room and loved the mix of smooth concrete walls, black and white murals of Icelandic ponies, and floor-to-ceiling windows looking across the rugged landscape. Standard Rooms are simpler and less dramatic, with pine furniture and twin, double or single beds. Both categories feature either lake or mountain views (the latter encompassing the power station); we'd recommend requesting a Deluxe Room with a lake view if possible.
All rooms have hypo-allergenic beds with fluffy duvets and fair-trade linen, plus TVs, WiFi and a kettle for making hot drinks. Bathrooms are tiny with a capital T, but come with rain showers and local toiletries by Sóley Organics. Deluxe Rooms have the added benefit of bathrobes, minibars and an espresso machine.
The Silfra restaurant - a modern space with blue leather banquettes and a dramatic picture of an Arctic char on one wall - is open daily. Dinner is a sophisticated Nordic affair, with a choice between à la carte options and a daily changing 4-course set menu. We loved our meal of cured Arctic char with pickled cucumbers, pan-roasted scallops with risotto, lamb with root vegetables, and a skyr crème brûlée. All dishes were beautifully presented, and the carefully curated wine list was impressive. After you've eaten, head to the stunning Northern Lights Bar (dimmed at night) for a nightcap while waiting for the Aurora Borealis to make an appearance.
Breakfast includes all the usual Continental suspects, plus tasty local specialities such as salmon and pickled herring. There's a large selection of charcuterie, too. A lunch and snack menu is then available throughout the day, in both the bar and restaurant - we can recommend the Nordic club sandwich, the burgers and the Icelandic cheese platter.
Children are welcome, and several families were staying at the hotel during our 2016 revisit, but this is not an ideal place for kids. Rooms are compact and would be crammed with a baby cot. It's best suited to older children who can make the most of local activities.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
All rooms can fit a baby cot, but there are lots of twin rooms.
Baby cots and high chairs.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There's a kids' menu in the restaurant.
There are no play areas and the steep staircases and unsupervised hot pool could be safety risks.