Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Exploring Iceland

The Little Magpie Iceland
Ohhh Iceland. Where do I even start. If you've been around these parts for long enough you might remember that I visited once before a few years ago (read the posts here, here and, uh, here) and it quickly because one of my favourite countries I'd ever been to. The landscape's like nothing else I've ever seen before, the people are wonderful - and so, so proud of their country - the food is delicious... I could very easily go on for hours on why I love Iceland. So when the chance came up to go back with Small Luxury Hotels of the World - who you all know already I absolutely love - I jumped at it. SLH have recently added three Icelandic hotels to their collection - all unique and all amazing in their own way - so the idea was that we'd go out to experience each of them with a few exciting activities thrown in along the way. What more could you want? So, here's what myself, Liv, Emily and Abi got up to.

The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland Tower Suites Hotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland IMG_0752
We had an early start on our first day - we had to get up at 3am for our flight and when the alarm went off I though, 'oh right, ok, this is how I'm going to die' - but after a lovely, and very short, flight over with Norwegian Air we arrived at the Tower Suites Hotel which well and truly woke us up from our slumber. It's INCREDIBLE. I'm using capitals here to show how incredible it really is. The hotel is made up of only 8 suites - each as good as the next - as well as a big communal area near reception where you can hang out and have drinks, popcorn, biscuits and just generally chill. We actually spent a couple of hours there working one afternoon and worked our way through, roughly, 18 biscuits and two jars of popcorn. But who's counting. But apart from the complimentary popcorn, what's so good about this hotel, huh? The view of course! The hotel is only located right at the very top of the tallest building in Iceland. You either have a mountain view or a city view - both amazing - and in my suite there was both a free-standing bath (is there anything better than a free-standing bath?) as well as the bed which face the floor to ceiling windows so that you can relax and soak up the view. If you're looking for a hotel to add to your bucketlist then make it this one! Also if anyone out there is thinking, 'I'd love to take Amy away somewhere amazing and surprise her', then please make it here. Anyone? No? Ok. Think about it.

After a half an hour of gasping and taking photos we left the hotel and had a little wander into the centre of Reykjavik for some lunch and a walking tour with I Heart Reykjavik, which was a lovely way to get to know the city, it's history and the best places to go as well, as to get our bearings. I'd forgotten quite how much I loved it there till we were walking around and my little heart felt like it could burst with happiness. Iceland ilu. Later that night we had dinner at Kopar, which serves up some very tasty traditional-meets-contemporary seafood and meat dishes, and then headed back to the Tower Suites for an early night before we collapsed. And what did I do? I stayed up watching the view. It was so beautiful that night though, look at the moon! I was also kind of hoping the Northern Lights would make an appearance that night but, alas, they were feeling shy. 

The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review Photo 08-11-2017, 03 02 31 The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland Tower Suites Hotel Reyjkavik Review Photo 08-11-2017, 04 56 54 The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review Photo 08-11-2017, 03 37 06 The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland Tower Suites Hotel Reyjkavik Review
The next day we got up bright and early. Oh no wait, it wasn't bright because the sun doesn't rise until 10am at that time of year. Crazy, huh? Anyway, we got up and got ready and headed out to meet with the lovely Soley Organics, a company who specialise in beautiful all-natural skincare filled to the brim with Icelandic herbs. We headed up to Fontana Spa (where you can see me in a swimsuit, above, trying to pose before quickly being defeated by the cold. That second photo, I can only assume, is my body trying to pull me back into the foetal position) and had an amazing couple of hours in the thermal baths. Myself and Abi even ran into the lake - which you can see in the photo below the one of me freezing my ass of in the swimsuit. It even looks cold in the photo, doesn't it? Well believe me, it's even colder than that. You're supposed to go in as deep as you can before going back into the warm baths but I think we made it to about knee-deep before we abandoned all hope and ran back in a desperate bid to save our lives. One of us did a really loud, long, high-pitched scream but my memory is a little fuzzy on who that was.

Oh yes it was me.

After that we did our own little version of the Golden Circle tour, seeing the Geysirs, Gullfoss waterfall and Thingveller National Park... all the goodies. Ooh, now, the question I was asked most was what to wear. The most important thing you'll need at this time of year is waterproof boots with a good grip on them. I moaned about how ugly my boots were on the flight over (to be fair they aren't the kind of thing you want to make eye contact with for too long) but they were an absolute life saver out there. I didn't have a waterproof coat with me - it was bitterly cold most of the time but we only got caught in one snowstorm - but I would say you're best to pack one. And layers. Lots and lots of layers. Fill that suitcase with knitwear!

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We came back that evening and checked into Sandhotel, which is an extremely cool hotel right in the centre of Reykjavik that's actually been transformed from a collection of art deco townhouses to make one of the few art deco hotels in Iceland. I honestly wish we'd had longer here; its so well located, the rooms all have a very cool vibe to them (they all have Marshall speakers in them too, which I love, as well as a verrry good hairdryer and shower) and the Lauf restaurant downstairs serves up the most delicious food. Even if you don't manage to book a stay here then make sure to visit either the restaurant for dinner (top tip: make sure and leave enough room for dessert) or the Sandholt bakery for some chocolate and a cinnamon bun. In fact, do both! Another couple of things that I loved about the hotel were that no plastic water bottles are provided in the room, as the tap water is perfectly fine to drink, and that the female staff aren't forced to wear high heels. In fact, the entire uniform is actually unisex so that there are no gender differences at all. Again, another hotel with a truly lovely team behind it that I honestly couldn't recommend more! 

And with that I shall wrap things up for now because this post is turning into a novel. I'll fill you in on what we got up to with the rest of our time in my next post! For now I'll leave you with a beautiful photo of three out of four of our little gang.

Amy

The Little Magpie Guide to Iceland SandHotel Reyjkavik Review

13 comments:

Helen said...

Beautiful pictures Amy, looks like a wonderful place!

* Electric Sunrise - Fashion and Lifestyle Blog *

x

Courtney Hardy said...

It looks so awesome there!! I love all the pictures you took.
https://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

Mariya Zafirova said...

Gorgeous pictures!

X MARIYA
WWW.BRUNETTEONDEMAND.COM

Laura said...

Iceland looks so amazing and your photos are super gorgeous! I've been wanting to go to Reykjavik so much for ages now but I'm worried how expensive it would be. Maybe in a few years! x

Laura // Middle of Adventure

The Gold Lipstick said...

Absolutely love it!

Mireia from TGL
https://thegoldlipstick.com/

Frock Me I'm Famous said...

Oh love your pictures are so stunning! I'd love to go back to Iceland; those hotels look INSANE! Hope to see you soon beautiful lady; hope 2018 is incredible for you! <3

Hayley xo
www.frockmeimfamous.com

Kelly said...

Oh, these photos make my heart pound faster! Iceland is so beautiful, I really want to go at some point in my life. Love love love this post

Kelly | kellywestra.com

7SEVENDAYS said...

WOOOOW BUT IT IS SOOOOOO COLOURFUL

http://7-sevendays.blogspot.it/

Laura Rose said...

would absolutely love to go to Iceland! you're captured some beautiful photos of the place. I love that your make cosy still look fashuunn! the tartan trousers are just fab!

Laura | roseandweston.blogspot.co.uk

Lauren Britton Loves said...

I'd never considered Iceland before but when you were all posting snow photos I was like THIS LOOKS INCREDIBLE!

Lauren x
Britton Loves | Cruelty-Free/Vegan Beauty • Lifestyle • Photography

YZ Chan said...

Ahh Iceland looks incredible! It's definitely on my travel bucket list.

www.yzwears.com

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