Having recently returned from a site visit to Iceland to make sure our Weekend a la Carte breaks to Iceland are as good as they can be I wanted to share what an amazing country it is . So much to offer in terms of dramatic landscapes, beautiful scenery and natural phenomena and many SuperJeep and Snowmobile adventures . I cant tell you everything – The Blog will go on for ever but here are the highlights- and as it is i have split it into 2 blogs on 2 different days!
Reykjavik Centrum Hotel in Reykjavik
What a great hotel only opened in 2005 with part of it situated in a building dating back to 1764. Perfectly situated right in Reykjavik centre overlooking Parliament Square but on the right side of the square to distance yourself from noise. Reykjavik is a party town and at weekends can get very noisy!
Restaurants are close by with a very quirky one just across the square. The breakfast room is transformed with clever lighting and revolving shelves into an intimate dining room which offers a great tasting menu as well as a la carte. For the more informal lunch is served in the bar – and I would particularly recommend the carrot and ginger soup!
The Team are friendly and helpful and there are 2 styles of rooms. Modern and the more traditional feel with panelling. Both have a great feel and space, but for me the more traditional ones had the edge. The Museum next door should have been their carpark but as they were digging it out Viking remains were found and so it was converted into a museum with the quirky name Reykjavik 871 +/- 2 which of course relate to the date of the exhibits! As a result CarParking is Metered Parking on the Street – Though it is free at night.
And if you are looking for a quirky local restaurant just across the square is The Icelandic Bar which offers traditional Icelandic ware in an authentic laid back atmosphere with plenty of old style photos. On offer are Puffin, Reindeer and Minke Whale though less controversial fish stews and lambs are also on offer. The Creamy Seafood soup is excellent and filling. Starters are @ 2,000 isk and main courses range from 3 – 4,000 isk.
Surprisingly as it is THE tourist destination in Iceland the Blue Lagoon was only signposted in Icelandic “ blå lagunen” until very close. However it was easy to see across the eerie lava field of jagged moss covered rocks as it is right next to a geothermal station with steam belching out. It is quite a desolate but strangely entrancing sight.
Having visited once before, I decided to go one step further and have a In Water Spa Treatment- Oh what a joy!! – I am so glad I did! The feeling of drifting around on your back on a Lilo as you have a gentle massage is so relaxing. The warm thermal water of the Lagoon heats you and the blanket you have over you. Every 10 mins or so the Massager dips you back into the water (Still on the Lilo) so that the warm water flows over the blanket keeping you warm throughout. Afterwards I swam around the Lagoon and as it started to rain the feeling of the cold rain on my face invigorated and awakened me from my post massage state. (Tip: Pre-booking is essential)
I watched as couples bought a drink from a Waiter in just a BowTie and Swimming Trunks – but the luminous blue drink colour put me off from trying it myself. I did though find the Silica Mud and plastered myself with it hoping its magical qualities will transform me into a new woman!
I still had time to sit under the waterfall, have a sauna and a session in the steam room before it was time to get changed. I spent just under 3 hours there which felt relaxed with plenty of time. I did not eat there but there is a choice of a café or a restaurant