The most popular tourist destination in Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is well known to just about anyone who visits the island-nation. As I discovered on my most recent trip though, there are many different ways visitors can experience the thermal pool, from the basic to luxurious. On my first trip to the Blue Lagoon I left unsure if I really enjoyed myself. That’s why on my second attempt to like the spa facility I decided to maximize my chances for having fun and coordinated a half-day visit in the most luxurious way possible. The results were perhaps predictably positive, but I thought I’d introduce what may not be a well-known side to the Blue Lagoon, the luxury version of this bucket list experience.
You always have options
Groups can at times literally arrive by the busload, and the Blue Lagoon is ready for them. Most of those people though enter choosing just the basic package, which only includes entrance to the famous Blue Lagoon itself. As I was researching my second trip to Iceland though, I soon discovered a whole host of options, from that basic package to options that guarantee a much more civilized and relaxing visit. The luxury package, which has to be booked in advance and is the one I chose includes a lot of perks including:
- Visitor Pass
- Entrance to Blue Lagoon
- Entrance to the Exclusive Lounge
- Use of bathrobe, towel and slippers
- Complimentary drink
- Algae Mask
- Reserved table and pre-drink at LAVA Restaurant
- Spa Journey Product Set
The one perk that meant the most to me though was the private dressing area.
The Exclusive Lounge
Most visitors to the Blue Lagoon file into one of several group locker rooms, shoulder to shoulder as they put on swim trunks and lock up their valuables. It can be busy and hectic at times and is certainly anything but private and relaxing. The luxury package maintains privacy in a few ways. First, the experience is limited to just 6 groups of two – no more than 12 people will ever in the Exclusive Lounge area, and that’s on a busy day. The lounge area includes 1 private dressing room/shower facility for each group of two, which are locked and secured using individually keyed wristbands. The rooms are in what the folks at the Blue Lagoon call the Exclusive Lounge, which is a private lounge area adjacent to the main Blue Lagoon. Inside is a roaring fire, plenty of places to lounge about, snacks and drinks and a couple of different private entrances to the lagoon itself. In the middle of a chilly winter, this meant I didn’t have to run from the locker room in my trunks into the freezing air before walking into the spa itself. Instead, I slowly acclimated using the private entrance, a James Bond-like secret door that leads directly into the pool.
The exclusive lounge experience is restricted to just three hours, so showing up on time if not early is best in order to maximize your time there. At first I thought that was a ridiculously long length of time, but believe me it absolutely flew by. Led by the lounge concierge we were indoctrinated into all things Blue Lagoon luxury, given our spa amenity kit and left to relax on our own. In my opinion one of the hallmarks of a great luxury experience is the service, and having a dedicated staff member attuned to our every need elevated the experience into something wonderful. Having just arrived into the country on an overnight flight, I was exhausted and desperately needed to recharge. The Blue Lagoon provided that, and immediately made me swear to always start my Iceland trips there, instead of tacking it on to the end. There’s nothing quite like standing there in the Blue Lagoon, watching the mist rise off of the oddly colored water. It’s peaceful and since it was still early, it also wasn’t that busy.
The private dressing room was a wonderful perk, and a much-needed shower to wash off those hours of flying was worth it all by itself. It was also nice to have a private space. I’m a private person and I especially hate public restrooms and locker rooms and will usually go out of my way to avoid both. To have a bathroom and changing area all to myself was pure heaven, and instead of stressing out about lockers down in the main changing areas, I was able to relax and decompress, which is what the Blue Lagoon experience is all about after all.
Included with the luxury package is an algae mask, which I lathered on as I meandered around the pool as well as a complimentary bar drink, no small perk in a pricey country like Iceland. Choosing a healthy blueberry smoothie, I slowly slurped it while leaning back in the pool, algae mask on and not a care in the world. It was cold out, but the Lagoon was warm and I couldn’t have been any more content than I was at that moment. We did have some commitments though and those 3-hours were ticking away. Once I decide to go luxury, I usually go all the way and with that in mind I also booked in-water massage treatments. The Blue Lagoon may be a mega-tourist attraction, but it’s also an important health facility and I wanted to include some elements of that during our time there.
Not surprisingly the spa offers several options, but the in-water massages seemed to be the most popular, and with good reason. I was led over to a floating mat by a Viking-looking fellow who gingerly helped my on the “table,” an odd but instantly relaxing set-up. Placing a thermal towel over top to protect me from the chilly wind, what then started were 30 of the most blissful minutes I have ever had. Eyes closed, the Viking slowly massaged away my tension, moving the floating mat around the in-water spa area and once in a while, refreshing that warm towel with more healing water from the Blue Lagoon. It was heaven and I didn’t want it to end – ever. I don’t normally love massages, but I would go back again for that one without any hesitation.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and so did those surprisingly short 3-hours in the Exclusive Lounge and of course the Blue Lagoon itself. It’s funny, the first time I visited I was ready to leave within an hour or so, but this time was different. It was a total experience and I certainly didn’t want it to end. It was lunchtime though, and keeping in line with the healthy morning we had enjoyed, we decided to have lunch at the Lagoon’s Lava Restaurant, reservations for which were also included in the luxury package.
The restaurant itself was a nice mix of healthy staples, with some not-as-healthy-but delicious options. It was also convenient, and gave us a chance to refuel before finally making the drive into Reykjavik and our hotel for the evening.
My second experience at the Blue Lagoon was so much more positive than my first, and it’s entirely because of the luxury package we selected. The individual dressing room, private access to the lagoon itself and the extra perks all made for not just a nice stop, but a total experience. It was one of the highlights of our time in the country and is something I know we’ll do again. It’s also just a smart use of time. Arriving from the US early in the morning, our options were frankly limited and instead of sitting around a hotel lobby waiting for our room to be ready, luxuriating at the Blue Lagoon was a much better use of our first day in beautiful Iceland.