The Retreat at Blue Lagoon

Body: 
We spent three great days in Iceland!  We flew on WOW Airlines in the BIG seats. Otherwise I wouldn't really recommend the airline: you get what you pay for and from Los Angeles it's a long non-stop flight! 
 
We rented a car and drove straight to The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon, which is not far from the airport.  If you want to splurge for a night or two, this is the ticket! The resort just opened in April and it's attached to the Blue Lagoon, so that makes it even more amazing. It's a very sleek and luxurious wellness hotel. They have their own private thermal pool, but you can go directly to the Blue Lagoon main pool from the hotel, too. As Iceland is generally short on 5-star resorts, The Retreat is a welcome addition.  
 
The in-room amenities and skincare products are wonderful.  We had our robes on for the entire stay - even ate dinner at the casual restaurant in them!  The food was excellent.  I would describe it as healthy fresh spa cuisine. The hotel has a beautiful spa and several complimentary treatments called "The Ritual", which is guided by the spa attendants. You do not need reservations for this and it's really fun!  I did my first In-water massage!  You're on a mat in the thermal pool outdoors and it's such a unique experience! 
 
The actual Blue Lagoon is quite large and pretty amazing.  The lagoon is the by-product of a geothermal power station - trippy.  You can also book day passes for The Retreat.  Adults only.  Even though it's expensive, it is worth the splurge.
 
The accommodations are in muted colors and relaxing. They have one of the best showers I have seen in a room,  plus a freestanding tub.  The products they offer are wonderful, too.  Each unit has a balcony that is protected from the wind and gets great sun.  The temperatures in Iceland reaches about 55 degrees at best, but it was very warm in the sun and in the pools.  The hotel is luxury all the way, with rates running around $1900 a night in August.  I would recommend one or two nights.
 
We then went to Reykjavik and stayed at a pretty basic hotel, Centerhotel Midgardur, but it served its purpose.  Mid-range around $300 per night in peak season.  We explored one day on our own with a car and had a good time.  I think renting a car is a good way to discover Iceland, because transportation is rather expensive and this gives you flexibility.  Roads are well marked and easy to get around if you have GPS.  We also took The Golden Circle and Glacier tour one day.  This is a great way to see a few highlights in one day.  You visit  waterfalls, a geyser, learn some history and take a snowmobile tour on a glacier!  That was a wonderful and unique experience.  They provide snowmobile suits, gloves, boots and face masks, so you're super toasty. There were kids and adults on the tour, so it's not for everyone!  
 
Theresa Wain