Iceland has become quite the tourist destination for world travelers thanks to its ethereal landscapes, amazing history, unique culture, and unspoilt views of the Northern Lights. It’s the Northern Lights that draw eco-conscious travelers to the breathtaking Ion Hotel by Minarc Architects.
The hotel was designed to provide visitors with an unobstructed view of the otherworldy surroundings while itself blending into the landscape. Emerging from the mossy mountain like a natural rock outcropping, the Ion Hotel could almost be mistaken for a body of hardened lava extending out into the mountainous area.
An abundance of floor to ceiling windows were designed to let in natural light while allowing an optimized view of the hotel’s settings. A glassed-in lounge at the building’s terminus lets visitors gaze out on the utterly exquisite Northern Lights after the sun goes down.
But the Ion isn’t all about looks; it is also a decidedly Earth-friendly place to spend a vacation. The luxury hotel uses locally-sourced materials included repurposed natural materials like lava and driftwood. The huge windows cut down on the building’s electricity consumption by reducing the need for artificial lighting.
Local customs and culture inspired the interior design of the hotel; nods to the country’s history and notable features can be seen in every area of the building. When locally-sourced materials are not available, Fair Trade products are used instead. And as a truly exceptional feature, the hotel utilizes the abundant surrounding natural hot springs as a source of clean geothermal heating and hot water.