On Friday the boyfriend left me for the weekend to go on a “boys only” trip to Þórsmörk with his friends. Þórsmörk is a wonderful nature reserve in the South of Iceland, not far from Seljalandsfoss, and it’s one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. But since I wasn’t invited (his friends are totally not invited to my birthday next year either) I decided to treat myself and use a gift certificate at Nordica Spa that I got for a job well done last month.
Hilton Reykjavík Nordica is one of the swankiest hotels in town and as such it’s not that terribly expensive. It’s where Tom Cruise stayed only days before he got the devastating news that Katie Holmes was leaving him. The hotel has a really good restaurant called Vox but anyone who’s anyone has been there for their famous weekend brunch. Being a Spa virgin I was a little bit intimidated by the idea of what a Spa in a fabulous hotel would look like and the research I did beforehand didn’t put me at ease either. Apparently Nordica Spa is where all the handsome and successful business types in Reykjavík go to work out.
I should have spent more time worrying because when I arrived I was welcomed by a friendly receptionist that showed me around the place which was more or less empty. There were no handsome business men around and I got the changing room, where I slipped into a complimentary bathrobe I was handed when I arrived, all to myself. I then went to a mildly lit waiting room where I could flip through glossy magazines while sipping on some lemon water and waiting for my massage.
The massage was fine although I can’t say whether all of the methods used were equally effective. I had a hard time trying not to crack up when the tension in my back was being blown away with some heavy breathing but in my attempt to be open to the experience without judging it, I managed to fight off the laugh. It was an 80 minuted deep tissue massage and by the end of it I felt completely at ease.
Since I was there I decided to take advantage of the spa facilities on offer. It consists of a couple of hot tubs, a nice little relaxation pool, a steam bath and a sauna. Unfortunately the steam bath and sauna were closed due to maintenance but the rest I tried. The best thing about the whole experience was by far the fact that if you are lucky enough to get a gray bracelet when you arrive, you also get a shoulder massage in the hot tubs. Another highlight is the fanned room next to the changing room where you can do your hair and make up without it melting with the heat and damp you usually get in changing rooms.
Although Nordica Spa didn’t offer much more than you can find at our fantastic pools for a lot less money (hot tubs and steam baths) I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that I was there more or less on my own. Also, admission to the spa is included with all treatments that cost more than 6000 ISK so it was more an added bonus than something I was actually paying for. So maybe it’s unjust to compare the two. I really enjoyed my visit to Nordica Spa and the wonderfully relaxing afternoon I had with with myself. So if you are looking for some pampering during your stay in Reykjavík – Nordica Spa is definitely a possible contender.
*Since I couldn’t take any photos while I was there, I borrowed some photos from the Hilton Reykjavík Nordica website.