Pure luxury amid Iceland’s spectacular natural scenery
Natural world | Northern Lights | Off the beaten track | Winter
Just 70 km east of Reykjavik on the edge of the river Sogid, Hotel Grimsborgir is at the heart of Iceland's stunning Golden Circle. The river Sog is Iceland’s largest freshwater river by volume, and is teeming with Arctic char, Atlantic salmon and brown trout. And, on the doorstep are some of the country’s most renowned attractions, including Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and the roaring Gullfoss waterfall. It's also perfectly placed for sky-gazing and, in winter, seeking the Northern Lights – the lack of light pollution due to its remote location makes for spectacular viewing on a clear night.
Grimsborgir's accommodation ranges from Superior Rooms to Deluxe Apartments – more accurately described as four and five bedroom villas – many with private terraces and hot tubs in the open air. Decor is pure Scandi-chic, all white-panelled walls, warm timber flooring and minimalist accents. Large four poster beds in the suites are adorned with airy drapes, while bathrooms are sleek and modern in black and white. In all rooms, large windows bring the surrounding scenery in, and for those who upgrade, a barbecue on the patio is a great way to enjoy dinner al fresco.
Each day, a generous breakfast buffet spread at the hotel includes everything from fresh pastries and bread to cheese and fruit. By night, the hotel serves up the likes of Arctic char, Icelandic lobster and mountain lamb via a menu of contemporary Icelandic and international dishes. Stay cosy by the fireplace in the main restaurant or head out on to the terrace – weather permitting – for a glass of wine direct from the hotel's cellar. And, if you are headed out for a day of adventuring in the wilderness, you can request a freshly-made picnic to take with you.
The hotel itself is well-equipped for relaxation, with 29 geothermal hot tubs on site, both private and shared. Massages and other spa treatments are available, and there are three golf courses within twenty minutes of the hotel. Rooms come with free WiFi, a well-stocked mini bar, bathrobes and slippers. Of course, the real draw is just outside the hotel. Venture into the Arctic Circle to bathe in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, ride horses across the hills or hike along glaciers. In summer, everything is bathed in the light of the Midnight Sun, but come winter, the Northern Lights dance in the skies above – spot them from the hotel itself.
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