An Abandoned Inn Becomes an Eco-Conscious Hotel in Iceland

06.07.16 | By
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With a past that involves housing workers at the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant, this former inn was sitting vacant in 2011 when it was acquired. With the help of faraway Santa Monica-based design studio Minarc, the abandoned building was renovated to become the eco-conscious ION Adventure Hotel, represented by Design Hotels™, in Selfoss, Iceland. For this month’s Destination Design, we visit this luxurious Icelandic hotel.


The easily accessible hotel blends modern design with the natural landscape of Iceland in its background. The 45 rooms are a mix of industrial concrete and warm natural elements, like locally salvaged driftwood and lava.


The hotel’s location allows guests to enjoy the best that Iceland has to offer – with its close proximity to Reykjavik for city fixes and the Mount Hengill volcano for various adventures, there’s plenty to enjoy in the quaint town.


A new wing, made of a prefabricated panelized building system, was added, jutting out from the original building, housing a lounge and seating area.


The hotel also has the Silfra Restaurant & Bar for farm-fresh foods, the Northern Lights Bar, and the partially exposed Lava Spa that’s situated under the above ground hotel.



The comfortable guest rooms feature fair trade organic linens, water-saving shower systems, along with beds and chairs made from recycled materials.




What: ION Adventure Hotel
Where: Nesjavellir, Selfoss 801, Iceland
How much? Rooms start at approx. $432 per night
Highlights: A dream-worthy Icelandic location with the best offerings the country has to offer.
Design draw: Modern design that’s a mix of industrial concrete and warm natural elements, like locally salvaged driftwood and lava.
Book it: Visit their Design Hotels™ site or email [email protected]

Go virtually on vacation with more design destinations right here.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.