The compass needle in the logo of Pursuit, an innovative travel company based in Denver, Colorado, points North-North-East. It may therefore not come as a surprise that they have now extended their frontier from North America to Iceland with the new Sky Lagoon, thus adding the elevated wellness experience to its collection of attraction and hospitality experiences in the northern hemisphere. Ideally located just minutes from Reykjavik’s vibrant city center, the relaxing and restorative retreat brings a modern approach to traditional Icelandic bathing culture.
Features of the geothermal lagoon include an ocean-side 75-metre, (246 ft), infinity edge showcasing expansive ocean and sky views, a sauna boasting Iceland’s largest window, and an overall design inspired by historic turf houses. "The traditions of bathing culture are integral to the Icelandic way of life and are at the core of the Sky Lagoon experience," said Dagny Petursdottir, General Manager.
This rejuvenating and transformative experience will enable guests to connect with mind, body and spirit through the radiant powers of geothermal waters.
Iceland has a strong tradition of making good use of its geothermal water and increasingly popular natural hot springs can be found far and wide in the wild to be enjoyed by adventurous hikers. For a century now the hot water has been harnessed in towns and villages across the country, heating dwelling places directly and providing relaxation and rejuvenation for natives and guests in Iceland’s numerous swimming pools. There is a rich heritage to many of Inspired’s properties and locations, celebrating the past and striving to keep history vibrant and meaningful. This is vivid in the design of Sky Lagoon, paying tribute to a beautiful little hot spring known as Snorralaug, thought to have been used by locals in Reykholt since the 12th century, making it possibly the oldest human-used hot spring in the country, first mentioned in the medieval writings of Snorri Sturluson, a poet, historian and politician, himself a beneficiary of its comforts.
The Lagoon’s design elements, thus influenced by Icelandic culture, create a distinctive guest experience with Icelandic turf houses and a restorative SPA-like ritual rooted in Icelandic tradition. It is these traditions of bathing culture that are integral to the Icelandic way of life and are at the core of the Sky Lagoon experience. Whilst Icelanders have traditionally favoured the warm springs in their bathing habits given the cold climate, they have of late found it increasingly beneficial to dip into cold water, aware of its stimulating effect on the immune system. This is, not surprisingly, well catered for in the Ritual Experience of Sky Lagoon, a seven-step experience inspired by the traditions of Icelandic bathing culture, combining the healing powers of warm and cold waters, warm steam, dry heat and fresh air.
After entering through the cave-like entrance to the Lagoon, we stepped into the warm waters and relaxed, breathing in the refreshing ocean air. Floating through a breathtaking canyon to the infinity edge with a view of Mount Keilir across the bay, you enter a state of serenity and calm. Time stands still but when you are ready to step out, you have two choices of cold therapy, wandering in the fresh Icelandic air, or, if you’re brave, take a quick dip in the cold plunge pool before entering the turf house, visiting the sauna. There we allowed the heat to open pores, remove toxins and cleanse our skin. While the heat worked its magic, we enjoyed breathtaking views across the bay to the Reykjanes peninsula catching a glimpse of the active volcano Fagradalsfjall.
Halfway through the Sky Lagoon Ritual, we now balanced the heat by stepping slowly through Sky Lagoon’s cold fog-mist space, stimulating and rejuvenating for mind, body and soul. Then it was time for applying Sky Lagoon’s signature Sky Body Scrub, leaving your skin exfoliated and soft, after which steam once more worked its wonders, allowing the skin to absorb the key therapeutic elements and maximize the hydrating benefits of this unique treatment. After rinsing off the scrub there was only one thing left: To lean back, close our eyes, breathe deeply, enjoy the moment. We let the benefits of the journey set in, feeling every single muscle in our body relax. And this, we found, was a good time to head to the Lagoon Bar for refreshment.
“The restorative nature of wellness experiences such as Sky Lagoon will become much more meaningful as we begin to emerge from what has been an incredibly challenging year,” comments David Barry, President of Pursuit, “the need to re-energize, relax and restore is integral to both our physical and mental well-being.” When leaving Sky Lagoon, we felt we had achieved just that, set to return under starry skies and hopefully Aurora Borealis. One can only dream.