autumn in iceland // part one

theromanticWhen we were planning our quick hop from London to Reykajvik to meet up with my sister & her boyfriend, the hubs and I knew a mini roadtrip was in order. Our itinerary was going to be a little wonky because they were flying into Reykjavik a day after us, which meant we couldn’t stray too far from the capital. Naturally, Inga from Tiny Iceland came to my rescue and suggested we explore South Iceland.

After our morning in Reykjavik, we headed back to our hotel to meet a rep from Geysir Car Rental, who was going to turn over the keys to our chariot for the weekend. I can’t tell you how convenient it was to have someone meet us at our hotel, and not have to worry about hitching a ride to a rental location or cutting our day short to get the car or lugging our bags from the hotel to the office, blah blah blah. Anything that makes my life easier right now is much appreciated, such is the life of a lazy preggo.

Once we were in the car, we decided to head straight to our abode for the night: the Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel. As we drove out of Reykjavik, our surroundings start to change, and we had that familiar feeling from our first trip that we might just be on another planet.

iceland on another planet

Just under an hour later, we arrived at the hotel. It’s nestled into a small valley next to a geothermal plant, which gave the entire thing the feel of a Bond villain’s lair, but in a good way?

Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel

geothermal plantUnfortunately, we had a bumpy check-in due to some confusing miscommunication. I’m still not sure what happened, but in the process, we ended up seeing four rooms, so that’s a silver lining?

ion luxury adventure hotel - room

our first room! but not our last.

I can confirm that all are perfectly modern in that unique Scandinavian way, but I would suggest requesting a room that faces away from the geothermal plant. We ended up in a room that had that as a direct view and, well, it was weird. It’s an unfortunate set-up, and I do wonder which came first, here? The hotel or the plant?

After we dropped off our bags, we hopped back in the car to explore. Naturally, more of Iceland’s stunning scenery won us over.

west iceland roadtrip (2)

west iceland roadtrip (3)

west iceland roadtrip (4)

west iceland roadtrip (5)We made our way toward Þingvellir, which in English is called Thingvellir, which sounds straight out of Dr. Suess. There were no Lorax sightings, and its history is less whimsical — it’s the birthplace of the the Icelandic Parliament, and is nestled into a continental drift between the North American and Eurasian Plates.

west iceland roadtrip (6)This means you can technically stand on two continents at once, or, for the more daring/crazy, scuba dive IN BETWEEN the two plates! Instead, we just strolled around and took in some beautiful views as the sun set over Iceland’s first protected national park.

west iceland roadtrip (7)

west iceland roadtrip (9)

Naturally, this also called for a bump pic, just so lazy baby can know he/she was there, too. Turns out! When you’re bundled up in a million layers and a blanket scarf, the effect is less cute preggo, more Hagrid meets yeti. But whatever.

IT’S NOT ABOUT ME ANYMORE.

(yes, it is.)

west iceland roadtrip (10)

We made our way back to the car to find our little Geysir buddy looking straight out of a car commercial.

west iceland roadtrip (11)

As it got darker (and cloudier… whomp whomp), we were back in the car and en route to Ion, with slim hopes of seeing the Northern Lights. We ended up failing on this front, but just one more reason to return to Iceland, non?!

One other thing to note is that Ion is super, super remote — which is a plus and a minus. It’s a relaxing and peaceful feeling to be so far removed from everything, and it’s a bit of a drive to any other nearby town. I mean, I say “a bit,” but I have literally no idea how far or where the nearest town is.

The downside means you pretty much have to have dinner at the hotel. We hadn’t realized this until check-in, and I wish we had known because I think we would have planned differently. To be honest, we weren’t crazy about our meals, so this was a bummer. We also tried to get a post-dinner drink at the Northern Lights Bar, and while the space was beautiful, there was just a sign on the bar telling us to call reception if we wanted bar service? All in all, we checked out just completely unsure of what to think! The hotel itself is beautiful, and if you’re situated on the right side of the property, so are the views. But, for having “luxury” in the title, I did expect more in the way of service. It’s not a skip by any means, but I do think expectations should be managed.

The next morning, we were back up bright and early to head to Reykjavik and pick up the newly arrived lovebirds from the Blue Lagoon. Stay tuned for the next leg of our mini tour–this time to West Iceland!

xo,

the romantic

– Thank you to the Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel and Geysir Car Rental for partnering with us. All opinions are, as always, my own.

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13 Comments

  1. November 25, 2015 / 10:19

    I’m sorry your hotel wasn’t all it was supposed to be but the pictures that you took look beautiful. I cannot wait to go to Iceland. It’s definitely next on my list.

    • November 25, 2015 / 11:01

      thanks!! i honestly think that the name is just a bit misleading. it’s a great boutique hotel, but i’m not sure they’ve nailed the luxury side of it yet 🙂 iceland is amazing, i hope you make it there soon!
      Lazy Travelers recently posted..autumn in south iceland // part oneMy Profile

  2. November 28, 2015 / 15:15

    I think there is a lot of this going on right now with this Glamping trend. Boutique hotels set up in the middle of nowhere and charge pretty high amounts for the experience, but the service and amenities do not really add up to the price being paid. When you complain they say the roughing it part is part of the experience. If I am going to pay high lodging rates and not get much in return, I would rather just camp and really rough it.

    Beautiful pics btw.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..How to book an Amazon jungle tour in LeticiaMy Profile

  3. December 1, 2015 / 09:44

    Always enjoy Iceland posts. That country is absolutely mystical. Can’t wait to read about West Iceland. Barely scratched the surface there and would love to see more!
    Lola recently posted..My Favorite Finds in Pretty Porto, PortugalMy Profile

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