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This is the ION Adventure Hotel in Iceland. It is the type of luxury boutique hotel I'm most comfortable in. No over-the- top dressed bellman, no porte-couchere lined with exotic cars, no crowded interior lobby spaces with frantic business travelers trying to impress. This Icelandic space welcomes you in like your cool architect friend's modern home you wish was yours. It's quiet like a contemporary museum, not in a “don’t touch the art” kind of way, but in a peaceful “welcome to a space all about design” kind of way.
The 45 room boutique hotel was designed by Erla Dögg and Tryggvi, an Icelandic born and raised architect couple based in Santa Monica, California. Minarc specializes in creative, minimalistic, residential and commercial spaces. Their portfolio of work is beyond stunning.
In addition to designing the ION, the couple owns and founded the company that framed the structure. The project was built using mnmMOD prefabricated panels. The panels are made of Cradle to Cradle certified extruded polystryrene and 30% recycled steel with no waste generated in the fabrication process. The panels are energy efficient and save in time and cost, with efficient on-site construction.
Inside, throughout the guest rooms, hallways, restaurant and bar area are carefully curated local art installations. The interior materials reflect Iceland’s natural and local resources like lava, driftwood and recycled rubber. The simple floorplan of the community spaces, restaurant, hallways and intimate rooms line up perfectly for my rectilinear seeking eye, creating a clean visual aesthetic of minimalism.
Structurally, one of my favorite characteristics of the ION's design is how the new addition sits atop concrete pillars hosting the GRAND main attraction, an all glass rectangular bar lounge area with 20ft ceilings and breathtaking views of the magical Icelandic countryside.
I can't say enough good things about Iceland and this thoughtfully designed boutique hotel. We had a wonderful time there and will definitely stay again when we return. Thank you to the talented duo of Escape to Shape who curated our experience and picked the most special place to stay while we enjoyed the wonders of Iceland.