Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel
240 Grindavik, Iceland
+354 420 8800
My Rating: 86%
Price Rating: $$$$
Summary of Stay: I had a 25 hour layover on an Iceland Air flight - an attempt to get people to visit Iceland which actually works. So in my researching I was looking for a hotel near the airport, Reykjavik and the hot springs. The Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel is one of the few luxury hotels on the island and it was the only one with the proximity I was looking for.
At first the name threw me off - Clinic Hotel sounds like a fabulous destination you stay when you go to get a face lift or tummy tuck. But it is named the Clinic Hotel because of the spa and the healing qualities of the geothermal pools. The water is rich in sulphur (not the most pleasant smell but you don’t notice it after a few minutes) and lined with silica mud. The lava field pools are known to help many skin conditions but namely psoriasis. But be warned, sulphur can damage hair so condition heavily before and after the hot springs.
Couple of things to know about the destination - it is about half hour away drive from Reykjavik. Iceland requires a vehicle to properly enjoy. I read about the transfers that go from the airport to Reykjavik and even to the Blue Lagoon but just get a car. They are inexpensive, the roads are great and things are relatively easy to find. Secondly - there is no entertainment at the hotel so come prepared with a book and the need to relax.
Just for clarity - there is a huge thermal pool complex that tourists visit that is a 10 minute walk from the hotel and guests have free access to it at certain times of the day. This complex has a restaurant - Lava, lounge, cafe and gift shop. It is a nice modern facility but it is busy and is one of the main tourist attractions of Iceland. But if you’re staying at the hotel, the only real reason to walk over to this complex is if you are hungry. I went to Lava for lunch - it is a beautiful room with exquisite food. However, I was the only one in the restaurant that wasn’t in a bathrobe. I’m not sure if the scene is different for dinner but I have to say it kinda ruined the experience.
But lets not get ahead of ourselves. The Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel is small - with only 35 rooms. Self parking is easy and close. Check in was a breeze and I had arrived late after an evening of shopping and dinner in Reykjavik. I asked the attendant if I could still go for a quick dip in the hotel’s private lagoon - and she said of course. It was bliss after a long day and a flight. And I had the pool to myself.
The room was extremely clean and minimalist. It was flooded in light with floor to ceiling windows that overlooked the lava fields. Everything was very comfortable and the bathroom had a massive shower. Other than that, the room was rather nondescript.
The common areas of the hotel continue with their Icelandic simplicity. Comfy chairs with blankets dot the lounge with views of the lagoon or the fireplaces. I'm certain that there isn't a better place on the island to curl up with a book. There is a gym and yoga studio and a refreshment bar that serves breakfast in the morning but you can get a drink throughout the day.
Highlight of the Hotel: You stay at this hotel for it’s access to the private geothermal pools - and they do not disappoint. 2 out of the 3 times in the pool, I had the expansive springs to myself. They have a supplies of silica mud that you can mask your body with and you can also enter the pool from indoors if the weather is cold. There are several different areas of the private lagoon so if you are looking for privacy or just a place to float undisturbed, it won’t be difficult to find. You can easily spend hours in the perfectly heated pools.
The changing rooms are very spacious and have everything you could need. And remember to condition!
Highlight of the Stay: I’m a spa fan so when I was reading about the different services that was offered at the Blue Lagoon I was most interested in the in-water massage. As it was winter, it was still very dark out and the heat rose off the lagoon in a very mystical way. My therapist was Ilsa and I booked the earliest appointment that they had which was at 9 am. She met me in the pool and asked me to float on my back as she placed a short pool noodle under my knees. She cradled my head in her hands and proceeded to give me one of the best back massages ever. The water relaxes you and gazing up, the northern lights put me in a trance. Ilsa moved the pool noodle behind my neck and began to work on my legs and feet. For the entire hour in the pool, we were the only ones there and she actually roped off a section of the pool just for my treatment.
One thing to be aware of - I had reserved the treatment months in advance and the hotel originally booked me down at the main tourist complex. When I checked in they reminded me and told me it was down there. I had assumed that it would have been at my hotel - and they were able to have it changed up to the hotel’s private pool. I would very highly recommend for the ultimate in privacy and relaxation. So be very clear when you make your reservation.
Drawbacks: I had a wonderful stay at the Blue Lagoon Clinic Hotel but there are a few things they could improve on. The bathrooms really need heated floors. I was there in the winter but when I first stepped on the slate floors in the bathroom in the morning, I nearly had a heart attack. Secondly they need to invest better bed linens - there is a duvet (which is great) but then a scratchy comforter over it. Your first impression of the bed when you first walk in is that it looks like a lumpy overstuffed mattress. I like a comfortable and nice looking bed. Finally, the reservation process it a bit of a headache. You can’t reserve on their website - you have to send a reservation request via email and wait for a reply back which took a few days. I actually had to make a phone call because I hadn’t received a reply. But if you want exclusivity and tranquility, these are minor issues of a really amazing hotel.