Bathe in warm blue waters at The Retreat, Blue Lagoon, Iceland.
Words by Jonathan Whiley
This effortlessly cool hideaway has picked up a raft of awards since opening in 2018.
Just a 20-minute drive from international airport Keflavik, it has made a sizeable section of the famous Blue Lagoon private.
So now it’s possible to bathe in these milky-blue waters far from the madding crowds.
You can even take a dip at midnight and, cradled by floating aids, relax under a canopy of stars.
Strike it particularly lucky and you might even encounter the Northern Lights or aurora borealis.
Day or night, the steam that rises from the lava fields makes for a dramatic landscape.
There is ample space to immerse yourself in the geothermal saltwater (preferably with a glass of champagne in hand).
Treat your skin
First discovered by curious locals in 1972, the lagoon remains hugely popular.
It is particularly beneficial for those with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
A research and development centre opened next to the power plant and the hotel works to curate the best spa experience possible.
Its signature three-part treatment, christened ‘The Ritual’, is open to all guests and involves chambers of minerals, silica and algae all found in the lagoon.
Quirkier still, I tried the out-of-body floating massage with a therapist called Thor.
Then I explored the steam room (hewn from a cave), sauna and relaxation room.
While wellness is the biggest draw, there is plenty of decadence too.
Friendly staff serve a daily ‘high tea’ (Icelandic doughnuts with caramel are particularly good).
Veuve Clicquot greets you on arrival and restaurant Moss serves up oustanding tasting menus that span sorrel granita to king crab with saffron risotto.
Suites from £1,029 per night.