Less than an hour’s drive from the cultural landmarks of Reykjavik and set against a backdrop of majestic mountainous lava fields, stands the new Ion Hotel. Designed by the Santa Monica based architecture firm Minarc, the Ion exists in a land of myth and legend, on an island where fire meets ice, surrounded by hot springs, glaciers, and the mystical glow of the Northern Lights.
In early moments of the design phase, the architects at Minarc became overwhelmingly inspired by the environmental surroundings of Mt. Hengill, near Thingvellir national park. This inspiration manifested in a piece of architecture that incorporates innovative materials, sustainable practices, and the natural features of Iceland into its design.
The prefabricated, panelised building system exceeds environmentally safe building standards. In addition to the use of sustainable materials, Ion is surrounded by hot springs, which provide geothermal hot water and energy.
Driftwood and other natural materials are used extensively in furniture throughout the hotel. Beds and chairs are built from recycled materials. Mirrors are framed with indigenous Birchwood. Lights made of lava and found-wood illuminate the rooms.
Relevant images of the Icelandic horse, the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and other Icelandic outfit the walls of the hotel rooms. Each guest room is detailed with restrained lighting effects and subtle color palettes, as well as an abundance of natural daylight. Large picture windows in each room offer breathtaking views of Lake Thingvallavatn and the surrounding mountains, over which nature’s own theater unfolds as the most spectacular light show, the Northern Lights, comes to life.
On the deck of the hotel, a rectangular heated pool stretches out from the building, toward the hilltops, where guests can admire the colorful lights rushing through the sky above them.
Lastly, Ion offers its guests a perfect viewing room at the Northern Lights Bar. A unique place to experience the night sky. The double height windows and the comfortable lounge area gives travelers the perfect spot to experience the views over the dramatic landscapes and the night sky.