Editors' Picks

Deplar Farm

Remote, adventure-centric, pampering

Deplar Farm, Ólafsfjörður, Iceland


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Indagare Adored

At a Glance

One of the world’s most fabulous far-flung adventure hotels, Deplar Farm by Eleven is an arresting grass-roofed, glass-walled playground in the Icelandic hinterland. Year-round, travelers come here to ski summit-to-sea slopes, observe celestial marvels and fish exclusive salmon runs—all in the company of the world’s best guides. After days in the great outdoors, the party rolls on, with games, music, storytelling and even scavenger hunts for such goodies as Macallan scotch filling the evening hours. At night, it is a particular pleasure to return to one of the 13 plush rooms, all designed in cozy textures and earth tones and touting treats like complimentary craft chocolates and beers and Aesop bath products. Exhausted and exhilarated, guests can drift off to sleep under the glow of the Arctic night sky—in preparation for another day of immersion in a Narnia-like wilderness.

**The Standout:** The world-class adventure activities, from heli-skiing and fjord excursions to outdoor laser tag, and guides, who ensure no two visits are the same **Don’t Miss:** Paddleboarding in the Arctic Ocean with seals or hiking to search for nesting puffins, followed by a beach picnic

Indagare Loves

  • Geothermally heated indoor-outdoor pool, with a swim-up bar, ideal for Northern Lights viewing
  • State-of-the-art amenities, like a Viking sauna, I-sopod float tanks and geothermal rain showers
  • A party loft with a stage, instruments, disco ball and smoke machine


Located on a former sheep farm in a Narnia-like wonderland on the Troll Peninsula, the 13-room Deplar Farm blends into the dramatic mountainous landscape with a grass roof and enough glass walls that it is camouflaged almost entirely when viewed from the right angle. Interiors are designed to perfection thanks to the owner’s wife, Blake Pike, who owns No. 12 Interior and styles each of the group’s properties as though they were her own home. For instance, the dining room wall is home to a collection of taxidermied Icelandic birds, the bar is made from reclaimed Siberian driftwood that the staff scavenged at a nearby beach, and the plush rooms, all designed in soft earth tones, tout complimentary mini bars with craft chocolates and local beers, Mr. Steam showers and Aesop bath products.

And while this is without a doubt the most pampering hotel in Iceland, Deplar is, at its core, about exploring the outdoors. Eleven Experience has hand-picked some of the world’s best wilderness guides, who skillfully lead intermediate skiers down runs commensurate with their ability, demonstrate the proper technique for skeet shooting, and who also entertain in the evenings with a heavy dose of wit.

During the spring months (March to June), the focus at Deplar is on heli-skiing. The property has two helicopters that shuttle guests to any of the surrounding peaks, many of which tower at 3,000 feet above sea level. While you won’t find waist-deep powder here, Iceland is known for summit-to-sea skiing, wherein skiers finish runs by the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean. Also revered for its exclusive salmon beats, northern Iceland is an angler’s paradise during fly-fishing season, which lasts from June through September.

Open year-round, Deplar has many seasonal farm-based activities. Outdoor laser tag, fat-tire biking and snowmobiling can be arranged upon request, as can day trips to the fjords for whale-watching, surfing and sea-kayaking. Leisurely pursuits also abound, beginning with the spa, which features an indoor/outdoor pool complete with a swim-up bar, hot and cold plunge pools, a steam room and treatment rooms, as well as two i-sopod float tanks. These sensory deprivation tanks are filled with skin temperature salt water, so users float and most fall asleep or into a meditative state. A haven for kids, the media room comes stocked with Nintendo, PlayStation and a full snack supply. The gym is well-equipped; a yoga studio looks over at the beautiful countryside; and the upstairs bar area has a darts board and pool, Ping Pong and pool tables. Deplar is designed so that kids, and young-at-heart adults, can game in style.

The last piece to any successful hotel puzzle is the culinary program, and the one at Deplar excels on all fronts. Breakfast begins with your choice of hot items (think Icelandic pancakes and huevos rancheros), supplemented by the buffet bar, which offers such healthy fare as overnight oats with blueberries and chocolate shavings, skyr (Icelandic yogurt) and granola, plus a savory spread of smoked salmon and charcuterie.

Lunch is enjoyed either in the field (skiers eat mid-mountain, but Ghost House will open later in 2017 and offer après dining on the slopes) or at the resort. A typical field lunch might include grilled steak with Israeli couscous and roasted carrots, a light salad with croutons and dates and chocolate-almond clusters for dessert. Guests and guides usually dine together in the main dining room, which boasts stunning sunset views of the striking landscape, but private dining can be arranged anywhere on property. Dinner tends to be more upscale, with two courses and dessert, but guests can request simple fare or pizzas from the pizza oven.

Who Should Stay

Deplar Farm is appropriate for families with children of all ages, couples and groups of friends. All of the activities are tailored to the guests' skill levels and interests. Deplar Farm is particularly well-suited for a takeover; the house party atmosphere, array of activities and on-site landing strip that can accommodate large jets make it perfect for a big celebration trip.

— Emma Pierce

Written by Indagare

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