For many hotels, it can sometimes be difficult to follow up on a splashy debut, but not for the Ion Hotels group, which has just opened its follow-up to the Ion Adventure Hotel. While the latter is set in the lava fields of the Thingvellir National Park, the more sedately monikered Ion City Hotel is located on Reykjavik’s main Laugarvegur drag, a buzzy neighbourhood heaving with eateries, hipster bars, and galleries.
Like its sister property, the 18-room Ion City was designed by the California-based Icelandic design studio Minarc, which has contrived to blend a homey local vibe with Scandi-chic interiors – the former courtesy of a zig-zag motif on the façade inspired by a traditional patterned hand-knitted wool jumper, which is also sold in the hotel’s gift shop, and a birch tree behind the reception desk.
The Icelandic motifs are judiciously scattered through the Ion City, whether abstract landscapes in the courtyard, salvaged driftwood and local art, a warm palette of whites and greys, timber floors, spa therapies based on volcanic ash and clay, walls of recycled wood, or even an indoor sauna in the suites.
Meanwhile, at in-house restaurant Sumac, chef Thrainn Freyr Vigfusson presides over a North African menu paired with local ingredients.