A Sustainable Eco Hotel in the South of Iceland
When executed well, sustainable hospitality has the ability to speak with your soul.
Tucked away in the hills of baby to adolescent evergreens lies the 360 Hotel, a modern and peaceful sustainable oasis that feels like home. Olafur and Anna are the married couple who own the property in their “retirement”, have sought out to create their vision of the future of hospitality. And the future is divine.
Olafur and Anna are the types of people that you just feel like you’ve known forever, like really good family friends. You can easily tell how much heart and soul they put into their eco-hotel by just spending time there and sinking into the experience. With only 13 rooms, this sustainable hotel in South Iceland beckons community. It’s a place to drop in, have a soak in their geothermal spa, grab a glass of wine in the communal dining area and mingle with other like-minded souls. Or hang with their sweet Icelandic doggie!
Sustainable and Eco Hotel Practices:
- Geothermal spa with natural glacial and sea salt water
- Freshwater to drink straight from the surrounding area
- Locally grown produce and menu for breakfast & dinners
- No plastics (re-fillable glass drinking bottles in-room, no to-go cups)
- Digital shower timer to help you monitor water usage
- Organic, natural grooming products which are wonderful
- Geothermal energy used to power the entire hotel
- 13 rooms providing an intimate atmosphere and quiet
- Communal dining which makes for great mingling and creating connections with other guests
The Sustainably Designed Rooms
I love sustainable boutique hotels so much for the design. The rooms at the 360 Hotel are thoughtfully designed and spacious, with modern touches set in nature. One of my favorite aspects was the wall next to our bed, which was essentially a massive glass pane that slid open. You could view the mountain range from bed with the sun coming up in the mornings while keeping an eye out for the Northern Lights by night. The bathroom offers two sinks (a feature I love) and a deep bathtub that’s perfect for a nice soak should you need one. The modern shower also indicated the exact temperature of the water, with a timer to keep you aware of your time spent in the shower (a handy tool to help you eliminate water waste). But their spa is where I spent most of my time!
The Natural Spa
As an eco-friendly hotel, the 360 Hotel has its own spa steps away from the main hotel that is rustic yet authentic. They provide robes, slippers, and towels for you as well. Every morning and evening I wandered out with my spa gear and just waded into the water. The natural spa has one wading pool of about 3.5 – 4 feet deep filled with water that is partially from the sea, in addition to the natural underground geothermal water that Iceland is known for. So this makes for a nice blend of minerals, and maybe it was in my head but the water just felt like silk. I also applied some essential oils afterward to just inhale and really round out the tranquility that the experience offered. And the best part was how authentic it all was – you felt like you were in a local’s home. No frills, but real.
Olafur said all they had to do was drill 200-300 meters down and up rose this gorgeous natural water, which ran about 140 degrees F. They also have a sauna, though they are in the middle of revamping all within the spa area. It was definitely a happy place; just being still and listing to the river running nearby while gazing out the window into the snow and evergreens as little snowflakes blew in and onto my skin. Peaceful and rejuvenating. Even staying in the water for 15 minutes, I felt incredibly relaxed afterward. My skin felt open and soft. And my muscles felt heavy but in a really good way. Overall, my feeling was just super mellow, grateful, and pretty darn blissful. In other words, my overall sense of wellbeing was just at a peak. And if I were Icelandic, I would do this every single day!
The Sustainably Sourced Organic Food
Being here without a car you are really in the middle of nowhere, so your breakfasts and dinners are typically had here (the dinner comes at an additional cost of about $60 USD per person plus any wine/alcohol). The food is simple yet good and organic. Breakfast is a lovely spread of homemade jams, nut butter, bread and cheeses, eggs and bacon, the best Iceland yogurt (Skyr) I’ve ever had, and a green smoothie that was to die for! So make sure you try whatever smoothie their chef crates in season, it was one of my favorite items. After my week of exploring other hotels around the country, I have it hand it to 360 for having the most top-quality breakfast we had (notwithstanding our very first Icelandic breakfast once we landed at Elfsafur which was jet-lagged heaven on earth)! 360 Hotel has expansion plans too, including a new restaurant that will sit as a second level. I have no doubt it will be stunning. And while amenities and elements of a hotel are noble, the magic of 360 lies in the overall experience.
The Eco Hotel Vibe
I spent a lot of time chatting with Olfaur and Anna and I really connected with them. Mostly, I felt like I’d known them forever or as though we’d crossed paths in another life. They were fabulous storytellers as well so if you go, make sure to ask Anna about her experience at Studio 54 while visiting NYC at 18!
Overall, it is clear that Anna and Olafur see the future of travel as the coming together of others to celebrate our humanity, in the natural beauty of our world. I thank Olafur and Anna for the heart-felt, incredible stay and I hope to be back to experience their world and spend time with them again.
Shop the post:
This post was written in collaboration with the 360 Hotel. As always, opinions are all my own and reviews are fully transparent.