Experience Deplar Farm’s luxurious adventure at the edge of the earth [Iceland]
The unmistakable sound of a champagne cork popping marks our entrance as we step foot into Deplar Farm’s front door. This is the first of many impeccably timed touches that seem like mere coincidences, which in fact have been curated to make your experience unforgettable.
Stepping into Deplar is like coming home… If your home was exquisitely furnished; and you had fully stocked minibars in every corner, a yoga room, state of the art gym, geothermal spa, steam room, four massage rooms, an in-ground Viking sauna, plunge pool, geothermal heated pool complete with swim-up bar, and a couple of floatation tanks thrown in for good measure.
And if it was at all possible, looking through the floor to ceiling windows, the view outside is even more incredible than the view within. Embraced by snow-capped mountains at the four edges of the property, Deplar Farm lies in the Fljot valley next to a shimmering lake, and miles away from anything else. The property is remote. So much so it feels like the place at the edge of the earth, in the best way possible. Get here and get ready to be pampered, entertained, and delighted. The helipads give us something of a clue of what’s to come…
Up until recently, Deplar farm was a sheep farm and the original building still stands. In the style of traditional Icelandic turf houses, the expertly considered design touches within the property marry Scandinavian sensibilities with cosy Aspen-cabin charm. No wonder, given its owners are Colorado-based Eleven Experience – a renowned adventure travel company with properties around the world. In each destination, world-class farm-to-table food and lodging are combined with guided outdoor activities on mountains, in the backcountry, and on the water for guests of all ages and all skill levels.
Eleven Experience has a knack for picking people that create a truly exceptional experience. A mixologist from Mexico, a sommelier from Croatia, a Swedish chef and a Welsh survival guide and of course an Icelandic host are but some of the professionals that enhance your time at Deplar. They’re there if and when you need them, and stay well out of sight whenever you feel like retreating to the spa or curling up next to the fire.
Our guide, affectionately known as Griff, tells us he only catches what he eats. Since the puffins have migrated south for the winter, he’s kind of hungry these days. Salt of earth, Griff takes us on a horseback ride that afternoon, cheerfully regaling us with the history of the Troll Peninsula. Stories of Icelandic traditions that carry on to this day – including wild horse herding – and bizarrely, a widely held belief in elves.
At Deplar, your every move is gently anticipated, – the staff, casually dressed and genuinely friendly, know your next move before you do. After a day of horse riding we retreat to the geothermal spa and lazily swim up to the pool bar as two Negroni’s are placed before us. ‘Thirsty?’ they ask. Dinner is farm-to-table with most ingredients sourced locally, wines expertly paired, and later on that evening we’re treated to a lesson in Icelandic digestives. We decide to try them all. Later that night we head back to the infinity pool, floating on our backs we try to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights dance in the sky above.
The next morning we awake to a hearty breakfast of Icelandic pancakes, cold pressed green juice, traditional salmon and local skyr. After that we go foraging for Icelandic wild plants and come across a thundering waterfall. For the more adventurous, and during March to May when there’s enough snow – and enough light – Griff takes groups heli-skiing down a top class ski run onto the beach below, where the team wait with your wetsuit and boards to surf some of the best breaks Iceland has to offer.
Written Nadia Woodhaus.
This is experiential, laid back, luxury, all-inclusive hospitality at its finest. Next time we go back, we’ll be doing a buy-out of the entire place.