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ION Adventure Hotel
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All reviewsdeluxe roomgeothermal plantnorthern lightsspa poolgolden circleoutdoor hot poollight barhiking trailsmodern designmixed reviewsfloor to ceiling windowsunique hotelsparkling winelava fieldsrental carhot springswake up call
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624 - 629 of 901 reviews
Reviewed 27 March 2014

Tucked away on the border of Pingavalaten lake is an ultra-modern hotel in a stunning isolated location. Friendly staff, top notch food and comfortable rooms (if a tad small). Northern Lights bar is a great place to relax and take in the surrounding views (in our case a frozen lake and snow covered mountains). Only 40k from Reykjavik - probably a little difficult to get to if the roads are not cleared - and only a stones throw from the national park. Lots of added extras including spa and hot tubs. My only advice would be to request a lake view room when booking

Room Tip: Ask for a lake view room
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank williamsjd4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2014

We have just returned from 3 nights at the Ion. I was slightly nervous after booking because of the mixed reviews here but we were not disappointed. The location is amazing at this time of year - a snowy wilderness peppered with mountains in the distance and a frozen lake in the foreground. Getting there in winter takes a lot longer than during the summer months when the roads are open but it added to the sense of isolation and feeling that you had escaped from the world. It did mean we had to cancel the booking I had made for a restaurant in Reykjavik as it was too far to travel in snowy conditions. We had been given the deluxe room featured on their website as I had requested a room with a lake view. The view did not disappoint. The first morning I looked out of the window as the sun was rising and I actually gasped in delight. It was quite magical and went someway to make up for the lack of a light show. The food was excellent but as mentioned here before the lack of variety on the menu might be a problem if staying longer than a few days. The staff were helpful and utterly charming. The spa pool is slightly disappointing as it does not really look like the picture on the website and is quite small. Breakfast was great the first morning but staff were pushed to their limit when the hotel filled up at the weekend and the standard slipped slightly. All in all a great place to stay and one where I would be happy to return to in future - hopefully the next time with a showing of the northern lights.

Room Tip: Deluxe room with lake view but we did not find the power station at all offensive as it is in keeping with the landscape and only pumps out hot steam!
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Emma M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2014

Pretty unique place. The outdoor hot pool allows you to sit outside surrounded by snow and mountains. Great location to view the northern lights! Really neat interior. The northern lights bar is an amazing place to work, or hang out and have a drink and surrounded by glass with a stunning view. Make sure you have a rental car and you can go for a drive to some of the beautiful sights, and also to the little town of Selfoss, there is a really cute restaurant with top food called Tryggvaskáli that is perfect for lunch or dinner. A bit further on is a great sea side restaurant called Rauda Husid (The Red House) in Eyrarbakki that had amazing lobster soup. Even saw an incredible northern lights display all the way back to the hotel. It's a real experience here and even have local artists Tolli's work hanging on their walls which adds more beauty to the already modern/cool decor.

Room Tip: Highly recommend a lake view room but volcano view also has an interesting view.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank jaydmusic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

I’ve read the recent reviews and really, it seems that many guests feel the hotel and the experience doesn’t quite live up to expectation; an opportunity missed as it were. In some ways, they are right but in many ways they are not.

If you just want the executive fast-reading summary to the question whether you should put the ION on your list of prospective hotels, then it’s an absolutely firm YES.

Sure, it’s not the cheapest hotel in the world, but Iceland is not a cheap destination. We live in London and as the world knows, that’s not particularly cheap, but when even a Waitrose supermarket is made to feel good value, you know that Iceland is an expensive country! When you try and count how many staff are available 24/7 you can see that the staff/guest ratio is high for such a tiny place in the middle of pretty much nowhere. They’ve all got to be paid and so, in many ways, just on the staffing levels, ION is reasonable Icelandic value for money.

I need to deal with the kitchen output. You know, there are just a few restaurant meals you’ll have in your life that you’ll remember for ever. Well, I can truly say that the lamb fillet has finally displaced a lamb dinner I had in 1978. That’s not a typo. It was fork-in-mouth jaw-droppingly lovely. In fact, I was so terrified that it wouldn’t be as good the next time, that the following evening I went for the pan-fried tenderloin. Short answer - also fantastic. Look folks, I can eat steak tartare and am not frightened at giving the chef carte blanche on how it’s cooked. Rare to medium is how it came and it was perfect. I can understand that some people might find it a bit underdone, but it was a big chunk of meat presented sliced and so re-cooking isn’t really an option.

What else? We tried the pan-roasted scallops. Perfectly cooked and loads of them. The soups were also interesting and delicious.

I read a couple of the complaints about the breakfast but that wasn’t my experience. I find that if you treat people in the service industry like human beings, smile and just ask for something politely, it invariably appears. Chips and TommyK in the room, freshly cooked crispy bacon, dinner served in hotel reception so we could watch our Champions League game on a larger screen, broom to sweep 20cm snow off the car. It all happened.

On the snow bit, it did. A lot. Our warmest temperature was -1.5°C and it went down to -6.5°C. The outdoor hot pool worked well, although yes, it could do with a bit of maintenance. Its use is included in the room cost and that alone makes it loads better value than Blue Lagoon! One day we could just about see the road 200m away, the next we could barely see the end of the pool. Did I mention it snowed? The driving conditions once you got outside Reykjavik got steadily worse, so add 4WD and snow tyres to your list. ..... But these were the conditions that the staff commuted in twice a day. I’m not sure if they are just laid-back or insane.

The room to be fair was a tad on the small side. More correctly, it lacked storage and we were living out of the suitcases. So, not ideal if you’re thinking of bringing loads of kit for the cycling, fishing and cross-country walking. However, you don’t need to dress for dinner, so you can leave the D-J and maybe even the missus at home, if she’s high maintenance. Interior condensation on the double-glazed window units is to be expected if two of you have showers before bed and then breathe all night without cracking the window open that little bit. It’s basic physics. The solution is to hold your breath all night. One of the reasons the room felt a bit small was that the bed was huge and comfortable.

The walk-in shower was probably the cause of the wet floor complaint in another review. A huge shower head delivering industrial quantities of hot water is bound to splash a bit. And anyway, that’s what the floor towel is for; or have I got that wrong? Absolutely, there is very little horizontal space in the bathroom and most of it is taken up by a decent array of Iceland’s premier Organic cleansers etc, which they charge a fortune for at the airport. Having said that, it was absolutely not true that there was no space for a toothbrush and razor. We were quite able to store the electric shaver and toothbrush without having to move the two large glasses that held the face flannels (ideal for mopping condensation). So, leave your own stuff in the suitcase and use the Soley stuff, or become a slightly more experienced traveller and buy yourself a hanging washbag. There’s plenty of room for that.

I suppose we ought to cover off the Northern Lights bit. In between snow storms we did manage to see a distant glow on one of the nights we were there. I’m guessing that was them, then; on the basis that there’s no ambient light pollution anywhere close by. It’s not the end of the world if you miss it .... or is it?

Things to do in snowy weather at the hotel are limited. You can walk a small way up the hill to the signposted track which is about 100m from the hotel door. Then you’ll beat a hasty retreat back About 400m away, there appears to be some sort of adventure rope-climbing park which funnily enough was closed for winter.. I’m guessing the track behind the hotel is a marked walk which you can get a guidebook for. In the winter, it’s all car-related. The room TV had ITV and BBC News and bizarrely ITV3.

Wi-Fi was fast.

So, there you go. We loved it. The staff were lovely some of the guests, not so. Could it do with a bit of a deep clean? Probably. Would we go again? If we went to Iceland, absolutely; it’s a great place for the Golden Circle malarkey.

Room Tip: Perhaps ask for a Northern-facing room so you can the lights from them?
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank benhuczek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2014

It certainly is an interesting design, bit like a giant insect crawling round a snow filled valley, (ignore the power plant). If you go in winter make sure your car is 4x4 with snow tyres! Loved the outdoor pool, big enough to chat to fellow travellers and exchange holiday experiences and advice.
Food was the usual limited choice, beautifully presented, but the 'medium' steak was so rare it was still mooing! and I reluctantly sent it back to be cooked a little longer. All it needed was a few minutes in a pan. 10 minutes later another steak arrived cooked from scratch and was almost as rare as the previous one, which was a pity! The staff were really friendly, but when we came to check out we waited 10 minutes while the receptionist filled in a form for a manager instead of stopping to deal with us! Just little things, but it made a poor impression. Great place to explore the Golden Circle area though, much better than staying in the city.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SNG1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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