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.
From Costa Mesa and Newport Beach to Corona Del Mar, Dana Point and Laguna Beach, there are no shortages of lavish hotels and full-service day spas spanning Orange County. Spa enthusiasts are spoiled for choice, with so many different flavors of high-end interiors, signature treatments, elaborate services, retail areas and, often, swanky snacks served in cafés and solariums.
Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.
United MileagePlus, The Peninsula Chicago and FXExpress Publications, Inc. welcomed an exclusive group of United Airlines’ most elite customers, Premier 1Ks, to the luxury hotel’s stunning rooftop Z Bar to celebrate United MileagePlus’s multiple 2022 awards from our family of brands, including Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com.
Melia Hotels International grows its luxury brands and expands in Central America with the addition of a Gran Mélia Hotels & Resorts property and a ME by Mélia hotel. The expansion allows Mélia Hotels International to commit to the region and offer its high-quality experiences to travelers and locals.
Copa Airlines is celebrating its 75th anniversary by showcasing a Boeing 737-800 NG in an aircraft livery that harkened back to the airline’s look in the 1990s. During that time, Copa Airlines launched an expansion of their network to become the Hub of the Americas®, changing the way to travel to and connect in our Continent.
Hyatt Centric Congress Avenue Austin recently announced plans to open in the heart of downtown Austin, Texas, Feb. 1, 2023. Boasting 246 guestrooms, including five suites, the hotel serves as the perfect hub for travelers.
Glamping is made more inclusive and effortless than ever at AutoCamp Joshua Tree, 38 miles outside of Palm Springs and a three-hour drive from Los Angeles. The design and layout of this multitasking camp — which can accommodate family groups and corporate retreats as readily as couples — puts guests front and center amidst the natural wonders and phenomena of the Coachella desert, even while providing creature comforts found at better hotels and practical features like well-appointed kitchenettes with basic cookware, towels and linens, and a fire pit with a grill.
Whether you prefer a villa on the beach or an ultra-luxe suite downtown, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Los Cabos.
Sonesta Hotels teamed up with Best Friends Animal Society to support the society’s mission to end homelessness for animals. To celebrate the collaboration, Sonesta Select properties will serve a complimentary, pet-inspired mocktail to guests. These hotels also offer opportunities for guests and team members to donate to help save the lives of dogs, cats and other animals.