Focused on tranquility and communing with nature the Ion hotel situated in Selfoss, Iceland has an appropriately peaceful setting, made up of a definitive and unique landscape.
‘Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel – Where Everything Meets Nothing’, so goes the tagline of this abandoned inn turned boutique hotel. It is a member of Design Hotels™ and is situated in the south-western town of Selfoss, near a national crossroad making it accessible to various parts of the country. Selfoss is a town in southern Iceland situated on the banks of the Ölfusá river. The very ‘must do’ Icelandic Ring Road (Icelandic: Hringvegur) runs through the town on its way between Hveragerði and Hella.
ION Adventure Hotel has very contrasting attributes; it is laid-back yet vibrant, luxurious yet unassuming, alive and playful yet staid and serene. There is a seamless relation between the interior and exterior spaces; the unique quality of nature encompassing it is welcomed in with the help of large glass windows.
ION’s location offers guests the best of Iceland. From the volcanic marvels of Mount Hengill to the urban sophistication of Reykjavik which is less than an hour away. Sustainable practices abound here and the minimalist design which is home grown happily allows nature to take centre stage.
All of the 45 guest rooms are done up in a simple and strong design scheme, so what you have is a mix of concrete chic and an earthy ambience, combined with the warm accents of locally salvaged driftwood and lava; all cleverly executed by design studio Minarc. Crisp, clean and chic and the copious nature seeping in provide little need for embellishment.
ION is the perfect example of what results from a setting that is magnificent and the well thought-out orientation is highlighted in the design. Nothing can prepare you for the supreme mix, it’s the closest thing to heaven, the only option is to lie back and really surrender.
The Silfra Restaurant and the award-winning Northern Lights Bar offers a global cuisine that is conjured out of the best and freshest of ingredients. It fully caters to the watching of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights in complete comfort.
The best season to see the northern lights in Iceland is from September to mid April and if you happen to be lucky enough to be at ION you will watch these patches of light that literally appear out of nowhere and then maybe streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an incredible glow.
But even if you miss out on the lights, an experience in the half open-to- sky, Lava Spa will ensure that you have the ultimate Icelandic experience under the starry skies, breathing the crispiest of air while being comfortably swathed in warm and soothing water.
ION is surrounded by huge stretches of grand mountainous lava fields coated with a luxuriously thick cover of moss and apart from the hydropower plant which seems to function free of sound or any pollution the openness serves to only soothe and rejuvenate you. Moss can be easily damaged by foot prints or tire marks so the carefully created hiking trails based on ancient routes are best adhered to when the need for a close encounter with nature arises.
Staying at ION is a promise of an unforgettable experience. Whether you are seeking a quiet, soulful soak beneath the Northern Lights, a challenging trek across an ancient glacier or a day of fly-fishing in plentiful icy rivers – at ION Luxury Adventure Hotel, these are only a wish away. ION’s location by the ‘Golden Circle’ route makes it the perfect base from which to explore Iceland’s rich heritage, hardy flora and fauna, and myriad opportunities for extreme adventure.
Close to Thingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), ION provides easy access to all the essential attractions of “the land of fire and ice”. Heading back to the hotel from your adventures you are ensured a luxurious indulgence which not only recharges your batteries, but fills you with ideas of some more activities for the next day.
When it’s time to leave you are bound to ask – why? You may have ticked one more destination off your bucket list, but this one will prove to be like no other. The heady combination – of good food, an iconic location, luxurious amenities, heartfelt hospitality, complete relaxation and nature like you have never experienced before – will stay with you and keep you going long after your the holiday is over.
Text By Mala Bajaj
Photographs Courtesy Design Hotels™