Review: ION Adventure Hotel, A Member of Design Hotels, Nesjavillir, Iceland

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Review: ION Adventure Hotel, a Member of Design Hotels, Nesjavillir, Iceland.

We ended up selecting this place to enjoy a little visit to rural Iceland. The fact the property happened to be affiliated with Starwood Preferred Guest was a bonus.

The history behind this hotel is that it used to be staff housing for the sulphur plant. The sulphur plant happens to be right next door and is on full view when you arrive as the hotel shares a driveway with the sulphur plant. The marketing team conveniently left that part off the brochure and website! What this means for the visitor, is that aside from the view on the drive in, the ex-employee rooms are quite small and institutional. However, ION Hotels has attempted to jazz up the experience and they have done that quite well for the most part.

The ION Adventure Hotel:

“The ION Adventure Hotel is an interesting hotel dormitory conversion that allowed visitors to stay in the wilderness of Nesjavillir. While not luxury accommodation, it’s one of the easiest ways to be close to nature, despite sleeping in an actual bed”

Some photos from throughout our stay…

As we arrived to the ION Adventure Hotel in Nesjavellir, We were given a glass of Cava at check in. We were assigned to room #205 – which is pretty much as good as can be hoped for. It faced the lake away from the sulphur plant, whereas some others on the opposite side of the building would face the plant. There are no suite upgrades here and no included platinum breakfast since Design Hotels is exempted from this arrangement for some reason (despite usually having restaurants in their hotels).

A small but quaint restaurant. If you find yourself to this hotel during supper hour, this is the only eating facility for miles around.

The hotel seemed to have many tours booked in here as there were several white tour vans parked outside.

The Room: A Standard Room

The rooms were small dorm like accommodations consistent with this property being employee housing for the mill. The facility was converted over to a hotel in 2011.

The room itself was quite dark for my tastes but perhaps that is the point when the stars are outside on full display.

Very tiny with an espresso machine.

Food and Bevarage:

The hotel had a Northern Lights bar which was quaint and cosy. It featured a glass wall that had full view of the outside. There won’t be any late nights here since it closed at 11 PM.

The on site outdoor pool:

We had already had dinner so we headed down to the lava pool for a nice dip while watching the sun go down.

Given the remote nature of this place, there is not much to do here at night. There is only the restaurant, the pool and the Northern Lights bar. The only other comments that I’d make is that it is super quiet at night sleeping here. Not a word of a sound. This is what comes of sleeping in the middle of nowhere.

Other Comments:

In other stay comments, I had lots of challenges getting the Marriott points owed from this stay. In a post integration world, I had to write Marriott no less than 3 times through the period of October 2018. Even then over 28 days, this effort didn’t get any love on Marriott’s part. I ended up calling in and the call center agent manually added the points while I read back folio information from the paper bill. It was obviously not a seemless transaction and worth mentioning as this may be part of your experience if you stay here. I can’t say for sure how much this was related to the Marriott / SPG Integration experiences but it was a hassle nevertheless for sure.


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