The most relaxing night of my life started like any other…. no actually, scrap that. I had high expectations of our night in Reykholt – a small village located about an hour away from Reykjavik in the Golden Circle, but I had not idea how truly amazing it would actually be.
We stumbled upon the new Bubble Hotel before we left Australia, looking for amazing things we could do while we were in Iceland (as if there weren’t enough already!). By chance, we stumbled across an ad for the place – a single inflatable bubble located in the middle of nowhere (or seeming that way), where you could sleep among the stars. We were sold. On speaking to the owner, he mentioned a Secret Lagoon where you could float for hours – again, lock us in Eddie!
So the time came for us to check in to our Bubble, with our few necessities and a strong sense of anticipation for the night to come. Even in the daytime, it was a truly beautiful place, enclosed by a small wooded area and only bordered by a couple of farms, giving you a sense of complete privacy, despite the complete lack of it through the clear plastic frame.
Before night fell though, we headed to the Secret Lagoon at Hveraholmi, a geothermal area 10 minutes away. There, we were greeted by an amazing naturally heated swimming pool – and in fact, the oldest in Iceland – for our Aurora Floating experience.
We eased ourself into the hot water and donned some truly sexy swimwear – a cap and anklets – to maximise our floating experience. And did it just. Minutes seemed like hours and vice versa in the pool, giving you a complete sense of weightlessness and relaxation. Thoughts left your mind the second they entered and waves of calm washed over you as the warm water enveloped you.
I recently read that ‘floating’ is the new meditation, and I’m an instant convert after our night at the Secret Lagoon. There was something magical about the plumes of mist rising from the hot water and being able to gaze up at first the sunset and then the emerging stars as you floated serenely in the ancient pool. Towards the end of our floating session, we were treated to a burst of colour from the Northern Lights, an amazing way to cap off an already other-worldly experience.
Eventually the time came to leave our liquid cocoon and rejoin the fully-conscious – and bloody cold – world. To ease the sting – and the cold, we were treated to another unique geothermal experience – cooking our own midnight snack of boiled eggs in one of the nearby geothermal springs which averages around 100 degrees. Surprisingly quick and delicious, I can imagine Icelanders of years past sharing the same experience – albeit likely without the professional equipment we had on hand.
A true Icelandic nightcap concluded our Secret Lagoon visit – fermented shark and shot of Brennivin (which translates to literally mean Black Death). Our group recoiled at the scent of the shark, which can take three to six months to be ready to eat, but it was surprisingly tasty, or palatable at least (I think the shot definitely helped).
Relaxed and ready for bed we headed back to our Bubble, though definitely not to sleep. With the lights on, the bubble was hardly inspiring, just a plastic tent filled with warm air just a comfy and certainly unique way to spend the night. But then turn off the lights and BAM! It was like a switch was flipped (well, it was) and the entire sky was ablaze with stars. The bubble disappeared and instead we had constellations and galaxies, planets and stars at our fingertips. Our cosy bubble had become a telescope to view the night sky, dancing above us, the comfy bed, a platform for us to gaze into another world.
Finally, we passed out while the stars continued to swirl above us, before our bubble experience was popped by the morning sun shining its greetings through our 360 windows. Perhaps not the most restful hotel in the world, our night in a bubble was one of the most relaxing – and amazing – experiences of our lives.