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Quick keep: Antarctica Suite, Lodge Rangá, Hella, Iceland

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You possibly can be forgiven for questioning how a resort that’s largely constructed from wooden, in a rustic that’s comparatively devoid of bushes, has come about. It’s due to the unimaginable imaginative and prescient of proprietor Friðrik Pálsson and wooden sourced from Canada’s pine forests that the 4 star Lodge Rangá enjoys its homely log cabin façade and in depth picket interiors. Learn on to be taught why this Nordic boutique resort and member of Small Luxurious Lodges of the World can also be one in every of South Iceland‘s most interesting luxurious resorts…

The welcome

Our preliminary greeting is from resident polar bear, Hrammur (which implies ‘paw’ in Icelandic); he was salvaged from a bankrupt shopping center and stands in a brand new a part of the Lodge Rangá foyer that needed to be specially-designed to accommodate his 13-foot stature.  As we flip to the reception desk, it’s a gentleman named Egill who warmly greets us and advises us that there’s a welcome drink ready for us on the bar as soon as we had settled in.

The room

We stayed in Room 60, a Grasp Suite. There are seven suites on the property that depict every of the seven continents. With penguin paintings above the tremendous king mattress, there aren’t any prizes for guessing that we have been within the Antarctica Suite.

The cool and quirky Antarctica Suite has all of it – from a white-tiled ground that resembles an ice floe to a ceiling with the mural of a wandering albatross with a 12-foot wingspan.

Within the case of the opposite suites, furnishings and decorations have been sourced from the respective continents. That’s a bit more difficult within the case of Antarctica, in fact, so items have been sourced from the world over, be it sofas from Italy or carved penguins from Canada.

Futuristic black and white décor, alternating black and white lamps and lighting fixtures, and floor-to-ceiling home windows with black-out blinds full the look.

And if all that wasn’t sufficient, two life-sized Adélie penguins guard both aspect of a giant two-person Jacuzzi tub.

There are many in-room facilities, too, comparable to a Nespresso espresso machine and complimentary Kristall water.

There’s even a glass chess board – made by the Samvek glass producer in Hella simply 10 minutes away – with polar-themed items.

The suite has two balconies and, being an finish suite, treats visitors to views in three instructions. Two sides look out over the Rangá River – one of many best-known salmon rivers in Iceland – the place fishermen can typically be seen casting their flies.

The lavatory

The theme continues within the lavatory, designed to seem like a bit hut within the Antarctic, the place the partitions are adorned with black and white tiles; there’s a spacious walk-in bathe, a large basin with a big oval mirror surrounded by frosted glass above it, and LED downlights that resemble stars.

Eco-friendly toiletries – one thing we additionally encountered in different resorts – are additional testomony to Icelanders’ ardent look after the surroundings.

The services

A world-class eating expertise at Lodge Rangá is among the highlights of any keep on the resort. With an environment that’s each intimate and convivial, The Glass Corridor restaurant enjoys views of the gorgeous Rangá River and the majestic Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano (well-known for its 2010 eruption that prompted huge disruption to air journey throughout Western Europe). With its full size home windows, your eating expertise is heightened by the wild Icelandic panorama outdoors as you savour fashionable farm-to-table fare.

Led by Head Chef Péter Jóni, the restaurant affords a menu with Nordic traditions at its coronary heart, with an emphasis on the freshest, top quality native substances.  Wild mushroom soup (villisveppasúpa) with assorted mushrooms and pickled native mushrooms is one in every of quite a few signature dishes at Rangá, the receipe for which yow will discover on their web site – so tasty that my spouse had it two nights working!

I used to be stunned to learn that reindeer aren’t truly native to Iceland however have been imported as a part of an experiment within the late 18th Century. However, you will see a scrumptious reindeer (hreindýr) carpaccio with Parmesan, truffle oil and rucola on the menu.

Pescatarians will benefit from the cured salmon (graflax) with toasted bread, salad and dill sauce.

A favorite of mine was the pan-fried scallops (hörpuskel) with apples, baked garlic, langoustine crumble and rucola powder. So succulent and scrumptious!

And when in Iceland, why not strive puffin? At Rangá, they serve smoked puffin (lundi) in a small glass pot, with apple mousse, crowberry powder and garlic mayonnaise

To your most important, you’ll by no means go fallacious with the pan-fried cod (þorskur) with mashed potato, sunchoke three method and white wine sauce. Extensively considered the nation’s key marine useful resource, with an important fishing grounds off the south coast, Icelandic cod tends to be barely sweeter than Pacific varieties.

One other basic dish is the hen breast (kjúklingabringa) with Arctic thyme polenta, crimson pesto, fried mushrooms and a deliciously creamy Albufera sauce.

For one thing a bit heartier, strive the flavoursome fillet of lamb (lambahryggvöðvi) with carrots, pommes ‘Anna’ potato and port wine glaze.

Because the restaurant overlooks one in every of Iceland’s most interesting salmon rivers, it’s a disgrace to not strive the salmon (lax) with candy potato purée, apples, mustard seeds, fried broccoli, granola and white wine sauce.

No matter most important you select, I’m positive you’ll not be disillusioned. The meat tenderloin (nautalund) with potato purée, fried root greens and inexperienced peppercorn sauce is one other nice possibility.

For dessert, strive the chocolate globe (súkkulaðikúla) with mascarpone and fervour fruit sorbet. Your waiter will pour a sizzling ardour fruit sauce on high in a round movement, which melts the chocolate sphere for a show-stopping finale.

After dinner you may get pleasure from the remainder of your night in both the adjoining bar or the upstairs cognac lounge.


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Location

Lodge Rangá will be discovered at Suðurlandsvegur, 851 Hella in Southern Iceland, simply off the nation’s ring street that encircles a lot of Iceland. It’s roughly 100km from Reykjavik and slightly below a 1.5-hour drive. The closest city is Hella which is 10 minutes away and has a inhabitants that’s simply shy of 1,000.

Southern Iceland isn’t solely a beautiful a part of the nation with gorgeous landscapes nevertheless it additionally affords a wonderful number of pure magnificence – from black sand seashores and inexperienced pasture land to glaciers and waterfalls.

Different good touches

The visitor expertise is on the coronary heart of a keep at Lodge Rangá with all method of little extras to make sure your keep is a memorable one. A welcome drink on arrival, a replica of the Rangá Overview in each room, the subsequent day’s climate forecast and hotel-branded goodies left at turndown, and a watch masks and ear plugs to make sure an excellent evening’s sleep, are simply among the many examples.

One other attention-grabbing and touching transfer on the a part of the a part of Lodge Rangá is their coverage on tipping. Briefly, they don’t settle for ideas (in a rustic the place tipping isn’t a convention) however, if visitors are pleased with the service they obtain and would nonetheless wish to make a gesture, any cash raised is handed on to native search and rescue groups. This progressive method has resulted in tens of hundreds of euros being raised for this nice trigger.

Price

Customary rooms at Lodge Rangá begin from € 320 per evening

Grasp Suites – such because the Antarctica Suite that we stayed in – begin from € 1,016 per evening.

One of the best bit

This was a kind of resort experiences the place it’s actually tough to spotlight only one side of our keep. We have been very spoilt with our suite, however must select the gourmand eating as absolutely the spotlight.

The ultimate verdict

Our keep at Lodge Rangá was completely memorable for all the fitting causes – an ideal setting, great workers, a wonderful room and an excellent eating expertise. The one factor lacking was the Northern Lights (however solely as a result of we have been visiting throughout the Summer season when there is no such thing as a evening sky). The Sunday Instances Journey Journal named the resort as the perfect place on Earth to witness the Aurora borealis.

The resort workers present heat snowsuits to mean you can be cosy while having fun with the Northern Lights, or you would sip a glass of Champagne in one of many outside sizzling tubs while marvelling on the spectacle. There’s even an Aurora wake-up service do you have to want to be alerted when the skies are ‘dancing’ above, plus the resort has its personal state-of-the-art observatory with two telescopes, with a neighborhood astronomer who’s available to offer visitors a tour of the dazzling evening sky.  Hopefully sooner or later we are able to return for the complete winter expertise.

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You possibly can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here. Footage from Lodge Rangá seems from 1m 53s to 2m 12s inside the video:

Disclosure: This publish is sponsored by Lodge Rangá. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.



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