The famous Blue Lagoon, a steam-shrouded, mineral-rich, lake-sized natural hot pool, features on every Iceland itinerary and can consequently feel a bit overcrowded and institutional. The new and stunning Retreat nearby offers the select few who can afford it an alternative: a private bathing lagoon of their own, along with a spa complete with lava-heated steam room. The design is soberly stylish, the atmosphere serene (no TVs!) and the ethos eco-friendly, and all the supersleek rooms offer dramatic views through picture windows.
Grazing the Arctic Circle and straddling two tectonic plates, Iceland offers a visual feast of volcanic landscapes, spurting geysers and Northern Lights that have not gone unnoticed by Instagrammers or Game of Thrones location scouts. There are some great stopover deals on transatlantic flights, which have contributed to a surge in hotel-building; but demand still outstrips supply and prices are high. Accommodation is concentrated in Reykjavik and the west, but with the increasing interest in outdoor activities and exploration of the island’s more remote, ethereally beautiful regions, lodgings are now spreading far and wide. Many are built in the local prefab style, but remote designer digs such as Deplar Farm and ION Adventure are upping the architectural ante.