Experience Wild Wellbeing at The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland

The Retreat Lagoon add to the Retreat’s inviting and serene experience.

No trip to Iceland is complete without a visit to the famed Blue Lagoon Iceland (Grindavik), which deserves a space on any spa enthusiast’s bucket list. One of the most visited attractions in Iceland, the spa is set on a lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula. The water, which hails from a nearby geothermal power station, is rich in minerals like silica and sulfur. While the warm waters and other-worldly landscape have long attracted spa-goers, the Blue Lagoon isn’t resting on its laurels. Instead, it’s upping the ante with the debut of the Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland, which features the 62-suite Retreat Hotel, the subterranean Retreat Spa, the geothermal Retreat Lagoon, and Moss Restaurant. “The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland was a longtime vision of founder and CEO Grímur Sæmundsen as well as the partners who helped make the Blue Lagoon what it is today,” says spa director Anna Karen Sigurjónsdóttir. “Nothing like the Retreat existed in Iceland, and as a company and country, we weren’t able to fully cater to the luxury traveler. With the opening of the Retreat, we’re now able to achieve that level of luxury.” 

Blue Lagoon Hotel’s lobby

The highly anticipated expansion took four years to complete and was designed to give visitors a private space in which to relax. “Most guests of the Retreat Spa are looking for a more intimate experience that capitalizes on the fundamental components of the Blue Lagoon’s water while providing true serenity and peace,” says Sigurjónsdóttir. “With the addition of the Retreat Spa, guests now have a sanctuary that fosters and enhances wellbeing.”

One of the underground chambers at The Retreat Spa

Upon arrival, Retreat guests are greeted by an individual host, who serves as a guide and attendant throughout the duration of their stay. Hosts provide individualized service, which may include managing itineraries, confirming tour bookings, offering insight into local culture, and more. With unlimited access to the Blue Lagoon facility, Retreat guests are also invited to participate in yoga each morning or take advantage of guided hikes exploring the geological features of the volcanic surroundings. “Built into an 800-year-old lava flow on the south shore of the Blue Lagoon, the Retreat Spa transports the mind and body to new dimensions of peace and rejuvenation through nature, design, and the radiant powers of geothermal seawater,” says Sigurjónsdóttir. A highlight of the spa is a steam room built into the lava rock. “Personally, my favorite part of the spa is the Retreat Lagoon,” says Sigurjónsdóttir. “I love floating peacefully while surrounded by the large lava cliffs.” 

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The sauna at The Retreat Spa

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to enjoy the spa, which was greatly impacted by its unique setting. “The design and size of the Retreat Spa were fully determined by its surrounding landscape,” says Sigurjónsdóttir. “The design teams had a rough idea of the final product when they started building, but the lava fields often surprised them with unpredictable building conditions and weather patterns. The goal was to build the spa into the lava while preserving the natural surroundings, and the result proves they made the right decisions throughout the construction period, because now we have a truly beautiful and unique spa.”

The fire room at Blue Lagoon

Spa-goers will be immersed in the extraordinary setting as part of the Blue Lagoon Ritual (complimentary for hotel guests; $667 for a four-hour day pass), the spa’s self-guided signature experience. It incorporates the Blue Lagoon’s three natural wonders—algae, minerals, and silica—and takes place in three interconnected underground chambers. In the first chamber, guests exfoliate their skin with a lava salt scrub and a rain-shower rinse. In the second chamber, spa-goers don a silica-based mask to draw out impurities before washing away the silica mud beneath a relaxing rain shower. Finally, guests apply a specially created algae extract to the face and body in the final chamber. It is the spa’s most popular treatment. Relying exclusively on products from the Blue Lagoon Skin Care line, the spa also offers a range of services, including facials, massages, body treatments, and manicures and pedicures. Most guests, however, gravitate toward the spa’s specialized services, such as the Signature In-Water Massage ($284, 2 hours), which begins with a salt glow exfoliation using Blue Lagoon mineral massage oil. Guests are then cocooned in a silica or algae wrap while laying on a floating mattress, and their face and scalp is gently massaged. The treatment concludes with a 60-minute full-body massage.   

The stunning other-worldly setting sets the stage for a relaxing yoga session

With 45 employees on staff, the Retreat Spa is a haven for those looking for a relaxing and all-encompassing visit to the popular attraction. “One of our primary goals is always to enhance customer service to provide a unique and welcoming experience for guests,” says Sigurjónsdóttir. “I feel very strongly that we will continue this journey, always finding new ways to enhance the experience.” 

SPA STATS

Owner: Blue Lagoon Iceland hf

Spa Director: Anna Karen Sigurjónsdóttir

Opened: April 2018

Client Base: 50% female, 50% male

Most Represented Countries: U.S., UK, Canada

Space: 44,300 square feet; 2 treatment rooms
Retreat Lagoon: 9,687 square feet

Products and Equipment: Blue Lagoon Iceland Skin Care

Architect: Basalt Architects (Reykjavik, Iceland)

Interior Designer: Design Group Italia (Milan, Italy)

 

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