5 hours from Boston or New York is “another world”
I just returned from West Norden Travel Mart in Iceland and explored the beautiful resort of Deplar Farm. Here is just a bit about my journey in case you are thinking about Iceland!
Once in Iceland, I flew North to Keflavik and was met by a charming private driver who drove me about an hour to Deplar Farm. The resort was remote, situated between two magnificent mountains that were already covered with snow in October.
Like all Eleven Experience properties, Deplar Farm is unique to the locale. The resort features an old luxuriously renovated farm house with thousands of acres around it, rivers, lakes and privacy. The rooms are very comfortable and exude a rustic luxury farmhouse feel. The rooms are all different so it’s important to pick the right one!
Activities include:kayaking, clay shooting range, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, birding, paddle boarding. The excellent Spa features a workout room with great windows, yoga room with classes and a pilates reformer. Fly Fishing for trout and salmon is available in multiple rivers and lakes depending on the season.
The cuisine is outstanding! The chef is young and has already won “chef of the year” 3 times for Iceland. He was trained by the owner of the Fish Company, a restaurant in Reykjavik that should be on your list if you are staying in the capital. Dining is served at a community table in a beautiful room with large windows looking out on the fabulous scenery. They can also arrange for private meal locations. I ate with a couple from Texas in the living room with a huge fireplace and great windows. The bar is large and well equipped. All but premium liquors are included.
Experience Guide: Each person or group is assigned an Experience Guide who helps plan all activities. I also hired a fly fishing guide who was great. We fished 5 different sections in two rivers. I can just imagine how good it is in July and August!
This resort is one of only 2 luxury properties in all of Iceland. As with all Eleven Experience properties, it has a kids bunk room complete with TV, snack bar and 2 showers and 2 toilets. Right next to the kids bunk room is a Media Room with comfy seats and a big screen for watching movies.
The pool, hot tub and steam room are inside with access to going outside via the pool. The hot tub out on the stone deck is the best where you can watch the scenery or the Northern Lights when the conditions are right.
In total, this resort can handle 26 to 34 guests, depending on configurations. There is a tiny ancient Nordic like chapel on the property which would make any wedding spectacular or any remote group getaway memorable with lots of activities. The staff is well trained and excellent; they can handle family reunions, anniversaries and small corporate incentives.
From Keflavik, where the West Norden Travel Mart was held, the Whale Watching is close by and great. We went out in a boat from a small village just 15 minutes away from Keflavik, Haugenes. It took us only 30 minutes to find the whales. In the Fjord there are also Icebergs which break off in Greenland and float to Iceland. I’ve never been close to an iceberg but it is thrilling to see this huge amount of ice floating around in the ocean.
After observing the whales and iceberg, we went Sea Angling which is just dropping your line over the edge of the boat and quickly 4 Cod and a Sea Trout were caught. The Captain filleted them and took them back to the pier where the owner had been waiting to add them to a soup for us.
This particular company has been family-owned for 5 generations. The owner showed us how the Cod is salted, dried, washed and prepared for shipment; it’s all done by hand.
The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon is a brand new property, opened in April 2018. This is the first truly 5-star luxury resort in the country. Its modern sleek designed building boasts 63 rooms. The price is from about $1,800 per room per night. The best suites are the one bedroom suites with direct access to private Blue Lagoon pools. They start at about $3,000.00 per night with a 2 night minimum. The rooms are lovely with great linens and a tub looking out the window at the lagoon which surrounds the property.
Don't forget to check out Moss, an intimate restaurant for guests only.
The signature Blue Lagoon treatments at the spa gives you access to a private Blue Lagoon pool with secret access to the Public Blue Lagoon area. The public can book the Spa for a day; 4 hour segments which will run about $800.00 for the spa room plus treatments.
There is also a large restaurant open to the public overlooking the Blue Lagoon.
Though my visit to Iceland was brief, I was able to get a sense that Iceland certainly has something for everyone. Whether you seek an activity-filled adventure, or a few days in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon, Iceland, with its luxurious lodging, delicious cuisine, endless adventures and breathtaking views, is a destination not to be missed.