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Reviewed October 1, 2014

I loved this unusual, boutique hotel in its unique setting. Great staff, great food, awesome bar, nice spa and lovely pool. Worth 1 or 2 nights max (we stayed 1 night as part of a 3 night tour of Iceland) and definitely worth hiring a car to get to as the surrounding countryside is well worth exploring. Very good base to visit the "Golden Circle" too. Watch the gravel roads but we survived in a very small hire car! Rooms a little on the small side and a bit draughty in certain places in the restaurant but that's struggling to find genuine faults. Loved it.

  • Stayed: September 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank OHurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 29, 2014

This hotel is in a really beautiful part of the world. Or at least a bit further down the road from some stunning views. On pulling up we were a little disheartened at how close the hotel was to the power plant- half the rooms look straight at it. Getting past this and admiring the hotel from the outside, we were greeted by a receptionist I would describe as indifferent as best. We checked in to our room (luckily we were on the good side - our friend got the power plant side), and although smart and minimal on first inspection, it quickly became apparent that it was the product of a (not great) renovation at some point. The bathroom was not of a standard I would expect from this type of hotel and at these prices. We went for a drink at the bar, which is in the modern extension at the end. This was really cool and a nice way to end the day. We then wen t back up to the restaurant for dinner and this was AVERAGE and super expensive. As my friend commented, you are a captive audience...there is really nowhere else to go, so you have to pay these astronomical prices for food that was not worth it. We slept fine in the room, but breakfast in the restaurant was another let down. I don't know how long the food had been on the buffet, but the eggs were basically baked in to the tray (they were meant to be scrambled). We had to ask them to clear us a table, and we also had to ask for coffee repeatedly. Such poor service for a 'luxury hotel'. We asked the waitress about the age of the hotel and she disclosed that we were right - it was a different hotel that they have renovated to look modern at one end. Anyways, such a beautiful area, and Iceland in general was amazing, but this hotel was a real lowlight on out trip.

Room Tip: You need to be facing the lake side...
  • Stayed: September 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank michaelL375BD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 26, 2014

My friend and I stayed at the Ion Hotel for three nights in September (one of which was my birthday). The hotel's location near Pingvellir National Park was stunning and made for a great base camp for the sights on the Golden Circle. The hotel itself is beautifully designed and everything seemed to be of excellent quality. Our room had a lovely view and though it was small, it was well equipped. The restaurant was of good quality (though expensive as most of Iceland) and the service there was also good. The service at the front desk was another matter. Many times there was nobody there and I'd have to wait for someone to show up. Other times there would be one or two persons at the desk who would not acknowledge my presence until I had to be quite direct.

For my birthday I booked a massage which was adequate but felt more like a "spa" massage than an actual therapeutic massage. The masseuse was lovely though and I enjoyed the experience.

Overall it was a very memorable experience. With a bit more attention to service at the front desk this would be an excellent hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank babychoby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 23, 2014 via mobile

The Ion is fabulous -- located in the middle of a national park, luxurious yet laid-back and all-around amazing.

Came for a long weekend with one of my closest a girlfriends, I'd come back in a heartbeat. Location's gorgeous too!

Highly recommend!

Stayed: September 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank viv_s_2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 22, 2014

Think the website and media hype for this hotel had set me up for disappointment as my expectations (like the coverage) were high. I had booked in to the hotel with a friend for three nights during a trip to Iceland.

First of all, if you are looking to stay in a modern design focused hotel outside of Reykjavik then this really is your only option. Not to say other hotels in the countryside are bad, but rather that they are more traditional.

However, my main gripe with this hotel was the level of service and quality it was promoting that fell short. The "ION Luxury Adventure Hotel" isn't really an accurate name for the hotel, a more accurate name would be "ION Luxury Design Mediocre Service Make Your Own Adventure Hotel". Here's a breakdown of our stay:

THE GOOD

Design - Design of the hotel is great, very nice and for the most part very clean, but don't expect the standard of a Swiss Alps Design Hotel, this is more like a well designed Lodge.

Food - Not the best food we had in Iceland, but food overall in Iceland is amazing. Breakfast was very nice with a wide selection to choose from, dinner was also good, but this was down to the quality of the produce more than anything. The wine list here is extremely overpriced even by Iceland standards. Their cocktails however are AMAZING!!!

THE OK

Service - All the staff were very friendly, but can't say the same about their attentiveness. Checkin staff seem to be more puzzled about any request you make, takes forever to get a waitress's attention in the restaurant and often times forgot about my requests for water, butter, salt and pepper, etc (despite not being very busy). I think this is mostly due to a lack of any real hospitality training, something that a "luxury hotel" should really have invested in.

Room - The room is nice enough, clean, with very comfortable beds. The view (if you have a north facing room) is breathtaking. The only issues were that the interiors are already showing signs of wear and the bathroom is TERRIBLE (see below)

Area - Beautifully remote, but there is a giant power plant right next to the hotel that will ruin your view if you have South facing room (something that they don't mention in the brochure)

THE BAD

Bathroom - Design of the bathroom is obviously a refit and is completely windowless, whilst it is clean there are some huge no nos. Our air vent was duct taped shut so we had to shower with the bathroom door open and the room windows open to get the steam out. This would have been fine it if were not for the smell!! The hot water in the hotel is extremely sulphurous (stinks of rotting eggs)!!! Its a familiar smell in Iceland that you have to put up with in the countryside, but this was the only hotel we stayed in where it affected the hot water.

Activities - Perhaps the hotels biggest failing. The hotel pitches itself as a base to do all sorts of fun adventure activities such as rafting, scuba diving, super jeeping, whale watching, etc. However, the extent of organising these is limited to referring you to overpriced third party tour operators. Most of which will require you to head back into Reykjavik to take advantage of the tour operator's "hotel pickup service", or alternatively you drive direct to the location in your own rented vehicle.

Spa - Checked this place out upon arrive and nobody was there (not even staff). The design is very nice and clean, but the beautiful pictures fall short of the experience. The sauna can fit maybe 3 people in it and was not very hot, and the pool was not warm enough (maybe 30degrees) and bottom of it is full of slime mold. For a country that prides its self on spas this should be an embarrassment, suffice it to say can't comment on the treatment as the initial experience had me leaving within 10minutes.

WARNING - WHAT THEY DON'T TELL YOU

View - Make sure you get a North facing room, otherwise your view will be ruined by the power plant right next door

Northern Lights - We didn't see the Northern lights while we stayed, its a rare occurrence, but when it does we were told that the Northern lights bar (which is already quiet small) gets packed by a lot of people who drive over from Reykjavik.

Smell - Again if you are sensitive to bad smell do not stay here as the smell of sulphur in the bathroom will turn your stomach.

OVERVIEW

Aside from the issues I've mentioned above, overall I had an alright stay at the Ion. Its definitely not one of those luxury design hotels that you'd want to check into to "chill out" in and enjoy the facilities as you'll be bored out of your mind. It is very much a base hotel for you to come back to after you've been out exploring the Icelandic countryside. I had an amazing time in Iceland and definitely will be visiting again, but will not be staying at the Ion again, instead opting for a Reykjavik central hotel.

If the hotel sorts out is patchy service and spa though it be the perfect one night "relaxation getaway" for a couple visiting Iceland in need of some pampering after all the sightseeing.

Room Tip: Insist on a north facing room to avoid the power plant view!
  • Stayed: September 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank EuroAsiaJetter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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