A unique resort in Iceland where guests are encouraged to reconnect with nature

A unique resort in Iceland where guests are encouraged to reconnect with nature

Iceland’s newest natural, geothermal nature resort, Hvammsvík Hot Springs, merges sustainable modern materials with a rustic, biophilic design to create a unique resort where guests are encouraged to reconnect with nature. Spanning across a 1,200-acre estate in the Icelandic wilderness of the Hvalfjörður, Hvammsvík encompasses eight different-sized, naturally formed hot spring pools, a small bar and bistro, and four rustic, high-end lodges and farmhouses, all of which have nature embedded in every element.

Gríma Thorarensen, Creative Director and Co-Owner of Hvammsvík Hot Springs, has been involved in the planning and executing the resort’s design development since its inception. Here, she shares her passion and success in creating an atmosphere that is welcoming, relaxed, honest, down to earth, and strongly connected with nature and the surroundings.

“We envision Hvammsvík as a never-ending story that will continue to evolve gradually as nature itself. We have been renovating the old farmhouses and barns for several years, always carefully allowing each house to keep its original character and charm. The old

original hot spring had been a secret hidden destination for ages; however, during COVID, we decided to evolve and expand it further.”

At the beginning of the design process, Grima set her sights on a more significant, traditional, high-end spa: “However, after bouncing ideas around, a luxury pretentious resort didn’t feel like it belonged in Hvammsvík.”

In keeping with the extreme elements, magnificent nature, and wildlife, the owners decided to downscale the resort and design it more honestly to make it feel at one with nature.

“In the end, simple, understated luxury felt perfectly right and aligned with our ambition of creating a unique destination for our guests. You can’t compete with nature,” says Grima.

Hvammsvík Hot Springs merges sustainable modern materials with a rustic, biophilic design to create a unique resort where guests are encouraged to reconnect with nature. “Firstly and foremost, my inspiration came from the magnificent nature and landscapes that

we are so fortunate to enjoy here in Hvammsvík,” Grima says. She spent countless hours walking around the property and taking photos throughout the seasons, across all different weather conditions. “The color palette, the materials, the textures, and overall concept all came from the surroundings,” she tells us.

Hvammsvík was taken over by the Allied forces in the Second World War, and the Hot Springs facilities were built on an old barrack foundation. Therefore, history also played a huge part in Greta’s inspiration behind the design.

“During the Second World War, thousands of soldiers lived in barracks in Hvammsvík, which is where my idea of using an old barrack as guest accommodation came from. To this day, visitors can find remains from the allied forces in Hvammsvík and the Whalfjord at large.”

All of the houses are unique, with their own characteristics and architecture, because they were built in different eras, from the 1920s until today.

“To create synergy between the properties and to fit with the atmosphere of the wider resort, I used a natural color palette of green, blue, white, and grey, alongside the use of natural materials, including reclaimed wood, linen, leather, and stone,” Grima explains.

All houses provide guests privacy and great views over the mountains and ocean. To encourage relaxation, intimacy, calmness, and peace: “It was hugely important to me to try and choose Icelandic design and craftsmanship where possible, along with opting for sustainable, natural, and local materials. Throughout the resort, there are many examples of how we have successfully done this, with unique and interesting stories behind each that connect us with the local community and the Icelandic culture.”

The floors of the hot springs have a beautiful, natural terrazzo effect from where the concrete has been mixed with shells, stones, and sand from the beach.

“We are so happy with the final outcome and the relationship and combination of the different artwork together. From old and new, materials and colors, refined and rough, light and shadow, depth and contrast, all together, it creates something special and interesting to the eye.”

This story is a part of the 100 Stories from Iceland.

About Hvammsvík Hot Springs

Hvammsvík Hot Springs is an Icelandic natural geothermal spring that launched in 2022. Located within a 1,200-acre estate and on the edge of the Hvalfjörður, a 45-minute drive from Reykjavik, Hvammsvík offers visitors a unique bathing experience in the Icelandic wilderness.

Eight different-sized hot springs have been carved out of the natural geological landscape across various levels. A geothermal well fills the pools, and the Atlantic Ocean moves with the tides.

Guests can also enjoy the onsite Bistro & Bar, Stormur, renowned locally for its delicious seafood soup and Alges shots. Additional experiences include paddle boarding, steam baths, Wim Hof breathwork sessions, and hiking. At Hvammsvik, you can book four rustic, high-end lodges and farmhouses for overnight stays for groups of four to nine guests.

For more information, visit: https://hvammsvik.com/

276 Mosfellsbær
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