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ION Adventure Hotel
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Reviewed March 3, 2013

Having completed a 500km journey in order to reach the ION hotel, by 6pm, all our hopes had been shattered. As clearly we had taken a road less well trodden, due to numerous pot holes and geothermal power plants of ever increasing numeracy, to which at one point my famous last words were 'I do hope the hotel is not by a geothermal power plant'. Guess what, it is! and in no other literature written about this hotel past and present, is there mention of this whopping, billowing beast of a plant mentioned. Before we had even entered the doors, expectations had been worryingly lowered. Upon check in we were greeted by a pleasant young lady, blonde hair, who showed us to our room, which thankfully was on the side of the hotel which did not look out at the power plant, had it done I certainly would have asked to have been moved. We were then shown all the other facilities the hotel had to offer, which was smart and luxury to some extent. We dined at 9pm but first went for a drink in the northern lights bar, where the fun begins....the young bar man was in attendance, when asked if there was a drinks menu, there was none. When asked what white wine was on offer, there was one only, which came in a mini bottle, with no glass provided until prompted. However, the poor lad had no clue what glass wine should be served in and first of all offered a tumbler, followed by a champagne flute and then asked about the wine glass. Plenty of choice of beer on offer, and again had to prompt for a glass. After receiving our drinks he went back to playing on his mobile phone, which was a common occurrence amongst ION team members. Unfortunately I am paid to make these observations as I have been working in the hospitality industry for ten years. The northern lights bar was beautiful, but one glaring and obvious mistake had been made during the refurbishment. Clearly excuse the pun, the wrong glass had been placed in the Windows as I had fantastic views of ourselves, the Bar and nothing else. What a glaring missed opportunity!! We then went through for our meal, which also had the same problem of glaring glass Windows. The food was of an exceptionally high standard and as the hotel had only been open fully for two weeks, this can only be commended as a triumph, as we had stayed in much more established hotels around Iceland who have failed in this respect. We also visited the spa during our stay which we were the only people in, which made it all the more special and apart from the view of the power plant it was perfect. Breakfast was unorganized chaos, due to a coach load of tourists battering it prior to our arrival. This can only be remedied by good management and organisational skills. In short, once this hotel has all its operating procedures in place and the refurbishment is 100% complete, it will be a good hotel, but you cannot advertise it as luxury due to the proximity of a geothermal power plant.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Integrity2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

Unluckily the weather was really poor during our stay so we weren't able to see the Northern Lights but, when they do make an appearance this would be a great place from which to view them. It's about an hour out of Reykjavik and the views as you turn off the 36 onto the 360 and drive along the lakeside to reach the hotel are stunning.

Our welcome on arriving on a wild and wet night was very warm. The food in the restaurant is delicious but - as other reviewers have mentioned - expensive (2000 ISK for starters and desserts, 4000 ISK for main courses, 6500 ISK for the cheapest bottle of wine). Service is lovely - it can be a little hit and miss as this is a new venture and staff are still finding their feet but any delay or error is dealt with so sweetly that it doesn't spoil the experience at all.

Rooms are very Scandinavian in style (or what I think of as very Scandinavian being British!). Bathrooms are small but the shower was great after chilly days out exploring and the local toiletries lovely (and available to buy at reception).

Finishing touches were still being put to the hotel during our stay but that didn't impact our enjoyment at all. The ION is a super base and somewhere I'd very happily return to.

Stayed: February 2013
Thank ajh8368
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2013

This is a great location for viewing the northern lights. We were unlucky with the weather so didn't get to see them but that didn't spoil our stay.

The food was a real highlight. Every meal was delicious. The staff were also great, Katrinn especially couldn't do enough to help us book trips etc. really lovely.

The room was quite basic and the bathrooms nothing special, but for Iceland I assume they're luxury? They didn't clean the rooms that well each day. They'd leave dirty cups and not refill the tea/coffee facilities in the room. Not great for the price you're paying.

The Northern Lights Bar is a bit of a missed opportunity. Other than on one night, it generally doesn't have staff there so that you can get a drink or any music for a bit of atmosphere. It's a lovely space but we didn't use it much because it wasn't very inviting.

We were out a lot so didn't get to use the spa or not tub.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Niki F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We've just been back from our trip to Iceland a week and missing it already. The Ion Hotel was a very special part of the trip and provided a warm, clean, friendly, comfortable, stylish, environmentaly friendly and delicious place to stay - hopefully that covers everything.

Part of the fun of seeing the Northern Lights is the excitement leading up to a display. The entire hotel was buzzing as the skies changed, and we all mustered to get our warm clothing on, and get an even better view outside.

It's the perfect base for an Iceland adventure - being in the centre of everything, and yet nowhere. The rooms are a good size, even filled with thermals and photographic equipment! Be aware that the standard rooms are all twin beds, but SO comfortable.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a stay here.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank MediaWisdom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Having been made redundant by my employer I decided to splash out on a ridiculously expensive break to take my mind off my troubles. We flew out to Iceland Club class had been booked into this hotel for a couple of nights. We had plans to do the Golden Circle, see the geysers, swim in the Blue Lagoon and go walking on a Glacier. The journey to the hotel was fantastic! On arrival there was a little snow and a bitter wind. To get to Ion we had to drive through Reykjavik then up a mountain. As we got higher and higher the road gradually disappeared under a covering of snow until all that was left was coloured poles sticking up from the snow to tell the driver where the road was.

We could see white mountains looming out of the dark as we drove and the driver told us a grisly story about some poor soul who had slipped on the ice while out walking on them and had plummeted 200 metres to their death the previous weekend.

The approach to the hotel is spectacular. Having driven for 40 minutes through nothing you see a light in the distance. This is the geothermal power station. It is lit up like a Christmas tree and there are clouds of steam being given off. Honest it’s like something from a science fiction movie.

We were one of the very first people to be booked into the hotel after its reopening. I don’t want to be overly critical but it did show. The hotel wasn’t quite finished and the staff didn’t quite know what they were doing but somehow I didn’t mind. They were doing their very best and they did try really hard. I was on a relaxing holiday not a business trip so somehow it wasn’t so important. The rooms have a very Scandinavian feel to them and are clean functional and comfortable. Bizarrely most of the TV channels were from the UK

After a very nice dinner on the first night we were invited for a glass of bubbly and a tour of the hotel by the Owner. I wish I could tell you her name but even though she repeated it several times I was unable even get an approximation of what it was. Suffice it to say that she was Icelandic.

The wifi was OK and free, the breakfast was simple, substantial and very nice. The gym was rubbish. Just a tiny room in a windowless cellar. If I were in charge I would dispense with the gym altogether. It’s better to have no gym than a bad one.

For my wife and I however, the highlight was the hot tub. Hot water from the nearby geothermal power plant is pumped into it and it’s positioned such that you can see the Northern Lights while bathing in the waters (well you could have done if it wasn’t cloudy like it was for our stay). And when they say Hot they mean HOT! The water was as hot as a hot bath and absolutely gorgeous. I could reach out and make snowballs while gently cooking in the water. I threw a couple at Stephanie missed. It was LUSH!

In summary the hotel was very nice but not quite finished for our stay. I am sure it will be just fine once they iron the bugs out and get the spa area finished.

Room Tip: You must take a daily dip in the Hot Tub
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Andy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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