The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland now open

by Jane Kitchen | 04 Apr 2018

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland, one of the 25 Wonders of the World, has undergone a significant expansion with the opening of its first luxury opening, the Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland.

A four-year endeavour, the Retreat is the result of a partnership between Blue Lagoon; Basalt Architects, the firm that designed the complex and made significant contributions to its interior design; and Design Group Italia, the agency that conceived and orchestrated the Retreat’s interior, experiential, and product design.

The project includes the subterranean Retreat Spa, the geothermal Retreat Lagoon, the 62-suite Retreat Hotel, and the Moss Restaurant.

Built into an 800-year-old lava flow on the south shore of the Blue Lagoon, the Retreat Spa is offered to both overnight guests of the Retreat and day guests, and features a steam room built into the lava rock; a cold well; in-water massages; treatment rooms offering bench massages and beauty treatments; a spa restaurant; and more.

Exclusive to the Retreat is the Blue Lagoon Ritual, a spacious area of interconnected chambers where guests cover their bodies with the three treasures of geothermal seawater – silica, algae and minerals.

The Retreat Spa also allows guests to access the Retreat Lagoon, a new Blue Lagoon experience where the mineral-rich water flows around the Retreat through a terraced concourse of lava.

The Retreat’s Spa Restaurant is designed to offer guests a place to take a break from the spa journey. With the Retreat Lagoon as the restaurant’s backdrop, guests can relax in their bathrobes and enjoy seasonal light fare including “Sushi Around Iceland”.

Guests can also enjoy shots of thyme and crowberry or algae; beetroot or cold-pressed kale juice; alongside smoothies based on skyr – an Icelandic dairy offering – including skyr and rhubarb, chia, almond and honey.

The Retreat itself, set in the centuries-old lava and surrounded by the Blue Lagoon’s revitalising waters, features 62 suites with a minimalist aesthetic designed to bring the dramatic terrain of Iceland in-room with floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as “human-centric lighting”, set to mimic the phases of the sun.

Arranged on two levels, the suites on the lower level feature private terraces, providing views of the lava and the surrounding lagoon, with some offering guests direct access to the lagoon. The upper-level suites offer private balconies overlooking the moss-covered horizon. The upscale Moss Restaurant highlights seasonal and regional ingredients, including reindeer sourced by a hunter from Eskifjörður.

The Retreat has worked with Icelandic artist Ragna Róbertsdóttir to create a lava-based wall installation for Moss Restaurant, as well as salt-based topographical “mindscapes” for the Moss and Lagoon Suites. Inspired by Iceland’s volcanic, tectonic, and oceanic provenance, Ragna’s work often blurs the distinction between nature and architecture—much like the philosophy of the Retreat.

The Retreat is primarily furnished with classic pieces by B&B Italia and an extensive number of bespoke pieces designed exclusively for the Retreat. These include reproductions of celebrated furniture by Icelandic designers including Sveinn Kjarval, Þorkell G. Guðmundsson, Gunnar H. Guðmundsson, Guðmundur Benediktsson, and Jón Benediktsson.

The Retreat is also home to a rotating exhibition of a 1,600-piece ceramics collection from the Icelandic Museum of Design & Applied Art. Found in the Retreat Hotel’s lobby gallery, the first exhibit will showcase 50 works from the 1960s and 70s, a period characterised by the technique of fastening lava to clay before firing and glazing the pieces.

In addition to unlimited access to the entire Blue Lagoon facility, guests of the Retreat are invited to enjoy yoga each morning. The Retreat also provides guided hikes, allowing guests to explore the striking geological features of Blue Lagoon’s volcanic surroundings.

Also involved in the project are EFLA, an Icelandic general engineering and consulting firm; Liska, an Icelandic lighting design studio responsible for the Retreat’s human-centric lighting; iGuzzini, an Italian lighting company that supplemented Liska’s conceptual framework; Jáverk, one of Iceland’s largest construction companies; Axor of the Hansgrohe Group, the company responsible for the creation of the bespoke bathroom fixtures; and B&B Italia, one of the world’s leading design furnishings companies. Fashionizer Spa has also partnered with the team at The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon to supply organic cotton uniforms for all the departments including spa managers, therapists, reception and housekeeping.

“We’re proud to finally be able to share the Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland with the world,” said Grímur Sæmundsen, founder and CEO of Blue Lagoon Iceland. “Our team and partners have worked extremely hard to bring this luxury experience to life and we are all beyond excited to welcome guests to our new property.”

Blue Lagoon  Iceland  The Retreat  spa  Moss Restaurant  Basalt Architects 
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The Blue Lagoon in Iceland, one of the 25 Wonders of the World, has undergone a significant expansion with the opening of its first luxury opening, the Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland. A four-year endeavour, the Retreat is the result of a partnership between Blue Lagoon; Basalt Architects, the firm that designed the complex and made significant contributions to its interior design; and Design Group Italia, the agency that conceived
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The Retreat features 62 suites with a minimalist aesthetic designed to bring the dramatic terrain of Iceland in-room with floor-to-ceiling windows
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Company profile: Alliance Leisure Services Ltd
The company’s core business is the provision of facility development and support for local authorities, educational establishments and leisure trusts that want to improve or expand the leisure products and services they offer.
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