A hidden gem sitting in northern Iceland’s Troll Peninsula, Deplar Farm is the ultimate luxury lodge. Offering endless outdoor activities, spectacular views of the northern lights and a relaxing respite from the wilds of Iceland, it’s hard not to be awed be Deplar. Find out why Deplar Farm tops the list of Scott Dunn USA President, John Spence‘s favourite hotels in the world…
Though a little off-the-beaten-track, the trek to Deplar Farm is well worth it. If you turn off the coastal road at the small town of Dalvík, you’ll drive into the Troll Peninsula (I did not make that name up). Halfway up the valley the tarmac turns into a dirt road, there, you’ll venture deeper into wilderness, surrounded by steep, impressive mountains; potential troll hideouts dot the landscape and a picturesque pristine river snakes through the valley. At the top of the road, anticipation builds as you slowly roll down the hill, desperate to see what is around the next mountain corner.
At last, you get to see what’s ahead and in to the stunning valley that Deplar Farm sits in. A mysterious dark building with a grass roof is contrasted with the verdant valley around it. I have heard that Deplar Farm is the best place to stay in Iceland by a mile, so I was genuinely excited to see if the property is as impressive as the drive had been. It’s intriguing, but does not scream a whopping wow. It looks small and almost quaint from the outside.
Don’t judge a book by its cover, because really, Deplar is wow. You are met on arrival with a glass of champagne, like all the best places in the world. While our bags were taken and whisked away to our rooms, we were given a tour. To say Deplar Farm is an impressive luxury property is an understatement. The building has been so incredibly well designed with a mixture of traditional and modern styles. Large open windows show off the views to perfection, no matter where you are in the building. Just buy a ticket and get here.
The public areas are jaw-dropping luxurious yet tasteful. Gymnasiums, treatment rooms, float pods (plural, not joking), steam rooms, dining rooms, ping-pong tables, enough instruments to keep an eight-piece band busy, and even a lounge with a swimming pool.
The naturally fed hot spring swimming pool starts off inside the spa area. If you swim under a glass wall you’ll be led to an outside pool. With steam rising off the water, you can sit in this wonderful pool gazing at the surrounding scenery. And with a bar built into the pool, you will not go thirsty. A cocktail paired with the northern lights should be on everyone’s wish list.
The rooms vary quite a bit in size. Mine was in the older part of the house and was very nice and cozy. Perhaps too cozy if I was traveling with my wife, she likes her closet space. After checking out the other rooms, I would recommend staying in the larger ones, for a little extra in cost, they do feel a lot roomier and will exceed your expectations.
You may only have a few days to enjoy Deplar, so you’ll want to try every amenity, activity and even every drink! Much like a kid in a candy store.
Depending on the season, there is so much to see and do. The whale watching was some of the best I have ever done. The northern lights were spectacular, with a shooting star to match. Breathtaking walks, horse riding, world-class salmon fishing, secret picnics, mountain biking all year round, in the winter, snowmobiling, and in the spring, heli-skiing, Deplar really has it all. Experiencing all the wilds of Iceland has to offer is key here.
Yet, if you feel like it, there are tons of options for relaxing inside. Amazing spa treatment rooms and gymnasiums with floor to ceiling glass walls, hot tubs, steam rooms, game rooms, wine tastings and ridiculously delicious meals abound.
I have been very fortunate in my life to visit many incredible lodges, camps and hotels, and I think this one might be fighting for top honours. Until recently, Deplar Farm was only available on an exclusive buyout basis, but now, it is possible to book on a per-room basis making it much more accessible for couples and families. I know that when I have been somewhere magical, I really want to return to the place with great friends, and if they behave, some family.
Everything about this place is jaw-dropping. If you only came to Iceland once and stayed at Deplar for 4-5 days you would be wowed. The scenery and the property itself are both off the charts unbelievable. The staff are incredible and they run it like an exclusive retreat, not a hotel. And the team of guides here are extremely helpful and knowledgeable.
Iceland has really blown me away. The land mass is extraordinary. Our guides throughout and the people I met on route were so warm, sensitive, intelligent and generous with their time. I can’t wait to return.