I am the luckiest girl in the world.
It was those eight words that came into my head the moment I first submerged myself into the waters of Sky Lagoon, Reykjavík’s newest luxury pool. The spa revolves around what they call “The Ritual”—a seven-step relaxation process that begins with a soak in the lagoon, followed by a cold plunge, sauna, cool mist, exfoliating scrub, steam bath and a gentle shower. It may seem like a lot of steps toward relaxation, but it’s delightful.
I was lucky enough to visit the Lagoon pre-opening, which meant that I—the aforementioned luckiest girl in the world—got the entire pool to myself. This is a feat that I daresay will only ever occur again in my wildest dreams, so I made sure to savour every moment. Because, let’s be fair, if you’re going to enjoy a spa in absolute, total, meditative solitude, there’s none better than this locale, hidden in the depths of Kópavogur, far removed from the hustle and noise of the city.
Rewind… let’s enter the Sky Lagoon!
The interior of the Sky Lagoon is cosy. Bathed in soft mood lighting, you’re treated to individual pods in the dressing room, which allows you to change and shower in seclusion. When you’re used to other Icelandic pools, which often involve many people showering in the same area, this feels extremely luxurious. Immediately, I loved this place—who doesn’t want to feel this special?
Exiting the dressing rooms, you stroll into a small outside enclave with stairs that lead down into the azure waters of the lagoon. The whole experience so far was so meticulously designed that I already felt like I had left my normal life as my toes touched down into the water. Usually, I’m more of a calm mosey-about swimmer, but the swirling toasty waves of the lagoon were so inviting that I immediately relaxed and dunked my head beneath the surface.
The pool is massive, I came to find. There’s a little waterfall, ample seating areas, a bar, lots of open water and, of course, its infamous view over the ocean, which, due to smart design, descends smoothly from the Lagoon’s waters straight into the horizon, so you really do feel like you’re swimming down into the Atlantic—despite being toasty warm.
I spent my time luxuriating in all the little nooks and grottos of the Lagoon. The weather was perfect; the sun shined bright and there was almost no wind. In between my floats around, I took two dunks into the cold plunge (step two of The Ritual), causing any remaining tension in my body to completely evaporate. I did decide at one point that—were I to pull a ‘Where The Heart Is’ heist and live in secret somewhere for the rest of my life—it’d be the Sky Lagoon.
Welcome to the Turf
On the far end of the pool is a large Turf house, which is where the other Ritual’s actions are performed. The first (or third step of The Ritual) is the sauna, which has a view that, to be frank, rivals that of the pool.
Built into the side of the house, the large sauna looks right out over the sea. Basically, imagine the sky cells from ‘Game Of Thrones’ except hot, gorgeous and calming instead of cold, windy and terrifying. The view stopped me in my tracks and I took my time inside, staring out at the waves and cloudless sky as the dry heat cleaned out my skin of any stress and worry. Being alone meant I could really be present and I took advantage of the silence to just breathe and be mindful.
Step four is a cold mist, which takes the form of a rectangular room with high ceilings from which descend cold droplets that swirl down and around you like a tropical rainforest. I had never experienced anything like it before and, while it wasn’t my favourite step in the process, I enjoyed it all the same.
After that, I was given the Sky Lagoon’s special scrub (step five), which one rubs all over themselves before entering the steam room (step six). I’ve been in many stream rooms before, but this was truly a full-on experience. Seriously—you can barely see the hands in front of your face when you sit in the misty box, and I could feel my body softening down as the scrub combined with the steam. Next, you rinse off the rest of the scrub (and any remaining worries) with a gentle shower in the turf house, afterwhich you’re allowed to journey back into the Lagoon.
I took advantage of this and spent my time meandering around the cosy oasis until it was time to go back to real life. And it was only as I was journeying back to the dressing rooms that the first patrons of the day began to enter the pool, looking just as excited and hopeful for their Lagoon day as I had an hour previously.
Of course, I had already completed The Ritual but was still anxiously waiting for when I could return. Whatever religion created The Ritual, I’d be lucky—no, ecstatic—to convert.
Check out the Sky Lagoon at their website.
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