At once striking and serene, The Retreat at Blue Lagoon in Iceland emerges from the surrounding moss-enveloped Illahraun lava field in a way suggesting it’s always been part of the landscape. The luxurious and intimately sized hotel comprises part of the complex associated with Iceland’s famous and well-loved Blue Lagoon thermal pools. Designed and built with the simple objective of “harmony, not contrast,” the 62-suite hotel is a model of sustainability, utilizing geothermal energy for 100 percent of its heating, electricity and hot water needs. Lighting elements employ the concept of human -entric lighting, which seeks to enhance feelings of balance and wellbeing through lighting calibrated to address the biological process of the body’s natural circadian rhythm.
Set within the Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark, The Retreat’s architectural design incorporates many natural lava-rock features, regarded as too unique to alter during the construction process. Adjacent to the light-soaked lobby and its views of lava and water, Gallery is home to a rotating display of 20th-century Icelandic ceramic art. Guests can relax in front of the crackling, wood-burning fireplace in the Library or settle onto the outdoor Terrace with a drink to enjoy the midnight sun or Northern Lights.
Built on two levels, suites are encircled by a river of the same tranquil blue, mineral-rich waters that fill the soaking pools. Ground-floor suites are equipped with terraces, while upper-level suites are fitted with balconies. Select ground-level suites provide direct access to the soaking pools. Bespoke furnishings created by B&B Italia, luxurious linens, heated floors, turndown service, blackout curtains and a selection of Blue Lagoon skincare products are just a few of the amenities. Guests also enjoy daily group yoga, á la carte breakfast, afternoon Icelandic coffee in the lounge, concierge service, valet parking, use of the fitness center, unlimited access to both the Retreat Lagoon and Blue Lagoon, access to the Retreat Spa and access to the Blue Lagoon Ritual.
Linger over a robust gourmet buffet breakfast or a selection of fruits served up with creamy skyr (a sort of yogurt) while gazing out at the dramatic landscape. Later, book a Chef’s Table experience or a table for dinner at Michelin-recommended Moss, the property’s fine-dining restaurant. Locally sourced ingredients and traditional dishes feature front and center at Moss, where Executive Chef Aggi Sverrisson taps into his own Icelandic heritage to create seasonal menus showcasing the best of this island nation’s fare. Global vintages and Old World wines selected to complement both traditional and vegan menus are stored in a subterranean lava chamber created during an eruption that occurred in 1226.
No stay at The Retreat is complete without experiencing the property’s namesake thermal waters and cavernous underground spa. Spaces include the Spa Terrace, Steam Cave and Cold Well, along with relaxation rooms and the Ritual area. Here, the silica, algae and minerals that infuse the lagoon waters with healing properties are celebrated in a self-automated circuit through a series of chambers, including a self-administered full-body silica scrub, mineral-rich exfoliation and an application of blue-green algae. Guests can book a private (or couple’s) beauty treatment or massage, or enjoy the newly introduced Float Therapy. Developed in partnership with Flothetta water therapy products, Float Therapy takes place in a private inlet and provides hands-on massage therapy delivered in a weightless water environment conducive to relief from pain, tension and stress. For the ultimate in luxury and intimacy during your Retreat stay, book the Lava Cove private spa suite, which includes its own private bathing lagoon, kitchen, dining area and wood-burning fireplace.
IHG Hotels & Resorts is thrilled to announce the launch of a new mobile product feature for members: IHG Wi-Fi Auto Connect. This feature is now available exclusively in the IHG One Rewards mobile app for both iOS and Android users and will automatically connect IHG One Rewards members to WiFi upon arrival at more than 5,000 IHG hotels worldwide — no separate passwords or log-ins needed. This is in addition to the exciting benefits of being an IHG Business Edge member. IHG Business Edge provides small- and medium-sized businesses access to a user-friendly portal that displays comprehensive spending and savings data while providing the convenience of direct booking with a guaranteed discount.
As another phenomenal year of travel comes to an end, it’s time, as always, for Global Traveler to celebrate and award those who do it best as we announce the 2023 winners of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards. But that's not the only cause for celebration here: We've hit another major milestone, as this marks our 20th year honoring the best of the best inn world of travel!
The highly anticipated GT Tested Reader Survey has more reason to celebrate in 2024 than ever before. This year marks the 20th anniversary of our GT Tested Reader Survey awards, with many of the winning brands earning milestone accolades for years of dedicated and consistent service.
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Global Traveler Announces the Winners of the 2023 Outstanding Diversity & Inclusion in Travel Awards
For its third year, Global Traveler awards the airline, cruise line and hotel brand best representing diversity, equity and inclusion within the travel industry. Over the past year Global Traveler analyzed many airlines, cruise lines and hotel brands to determine which companies prove most committed to changing the world through diversity and inclusion.
The Mondrian Bordeaux Les Carmes recently opened in Bordeaux’s elegant Chartrons district, bringing 97 upscale rooms to France’s southwestern city. Occupying a 19th-century house that once held the wine cellars of Maison Calvet, the hotel marks Mondrian’s first European property for celebrated Japanese chef Masaharu Morimoto, who helms the menu and concept for the hotel’s restaurant, Morimoto Bordeaux.
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London welcomes its newest boutique hotel just in time for the holiday season. The Chelsea Townhouse, located on Chelsea’s exclusive Cadogan Gardens, sits within proximity to its sister hotel, 11 Cadogan Gardens, and joins the Iconic Luxury Hotels portfolio.