I have been excited to write about our visit to Deplar Farm ever since we first stepped foot inside the hotel. I almost made it the very first Iceland blog post, but my minor OCD could not handle the posts being out of order. Tor and I have been to many places around the world, but we have never been anywhere as special as Deplar Farm, and if we could stay there for a month then we would have happily done so.
Look 1: The North Face coat, Patagonia sweater jacket, Splendid turtleneck, Madewell jeans, Barneys hat (on sale!), Danner boots (on sale!)
Look 2: Gloverall coat (last seen here), Barneys hat, Vero Moda turtleneck (similar here), J Brand jeans, Sorel boots c/o
Look 3: Vero Moda turtleneck (similar here), Sweater leggings, Fair isle socks
Look 4: Solid & Striped swimsuit (also available here, bikini version here and here)
Look 5: Ellen Tracy coat (on sale!), ASOS fair isle sweater, Barneys hat (on sale!), Madewell jeans, Sorel boots
Look 6: Vero Moda faux fur coat (similar here), Leith sweater, ASOS earmuffs, Madewell jeans, Frye boots (on sale!)
If you’re looking for luxury in Iceland, look no further than Deplar Farm. It is owned by Eleven Experience, which has several properties around the world that focus on adventurous outdoor activities outside and ultimate comfort and luxury inside. It is primarily a ski lodge, with it’s most popular outdoor activity being skiing and heli-skiing. Deplar Farm is in northern Iceland on the Troll Peninsula, about 40 minutes southwest of Siglufjörður and 90 minutes northwest of Akureyri, located in a beautiful valley surrounded by snow covered mountains. It was the perfect, isolated place to call home for the next few days. We arrived at Deplar Farm on Halloween. Since the only other guests were two families with young (and ADORABLE) children also staying on the property (there’s only 13 rooms total at the hotel), the staff had decorated the hotel with Halloween decor and provided costumes for the kids to dress up in. From the decor (Halloween decor included), the incredibly scented candles throughout the property giving off the coziest of scents, and the inviting welcome from the staff, we immediately felt like we were guests in someone’s home. It did not feel like a hotel at all, and so it feels weird to even call Deplar Farm a hotel.
Not long after checking in, we were escorted to the grand lounge where we were introduced to our guide, Alan. One thing that happens when you book activities at an Eleven Experience property is a guide gets assigned to you. That was actually something we didn’t know, so when we met Alan we were ecstatic! He would be around to take us out for whatever activity we were up for (with some advanced notice, of course). It was mid-afternoon and we were feeling ready for a hike, so we all suited up in warm clothes, jumped in one of Deplar Farm’s trucks, and drove about 20 minutes out to a mountainous valley overlooking the Arctic. This was the longest hike I have ever done in my life (90 minutes… I know, I know, I am not a very active hiker) and it was also probably the most beautiful. Alan took us through a more scenic hike which meant trekking through grass, rocks, and even streams. When we reached the top of one mountain, we had the most breathtaking view of so much out ahead of us. If we looked to the left facing the ocean, we could see all the way out to the Westfjords. We could also see clouds starting to come in, so we made our way back to the truck. But before we could get toasty warm back in the truck, I miscalculated a step while crossing a stream, and half of my leg went deep into the brutally cold water! Luckily back at Deplar Farm, they have a drying room with shoe drying racks so that’s where my hiking boots were going to spend the night.
Before dinner, Tor and I headed to the lounge for a drink. This was where we met two more of our favorite staff at Deplar Farm – Raven our bartender and Kristinn. We also met the two families also staying at the property during our first night by having drinks with the parents while the kids played fuse-ball and attempted to play pool. Usually at Deplar Farm, guests all dine at the one long table in the dining room. Since the families would be eating in the dining room, the staff arranged for Tor and I to have dinner at a private table in the lounge by the massive fireplace and large floor to ceiling windows. There are no menus at Deplar Farm. Each course is a surprise. Tor thought this would make me a bit nervous since I have so many allergies and I’m the kind of person who always needs to see a menu before deciding on a restaurant, but in Iceland I like to be adventurous. So we gave the chef a list of my allergies and I was excited to see what he would whip up. For every single meal we would eat at Deplar Farm, breakfast and lunch included, he did not disappoint once! With each course, Kristinn would come by with a different bottle of wine to pair with our meal. With our bellies full of the most amazing cod we’ve ever had and our wine glasses full, and with our sweaters smelling like a campfire thanks to the roaring fire nearby (my FAVORITE scent!), we headed off to bed to prepare for another long day of activities.
The next morning, we all woke up to a light dusting of snow on the ground. Since EVERYONE at Deplar Farm knew I was anxious for it to snow, they all came running over to me at breakfast to see my reaction at the dusting outside. I told them I was a bit disappointed, only because the weather forecast said 5 inches of snow and we only got a dusting. They laughed and told me to just wait since more snow was on the way. After breakfast, Tor and I went outside to shoot our Christmas pictures as well as watch the young families we befriended to depart. One family was departing via helicopter back to Reykjavik (talk about traveling in style!), so we all waved them off. After that, it was just Tor and I and the Deplar Farm staff, so we did some exploring around the hotel.
One thing the staff encourages you to do is to make the hotel feel like home, so that’s what we did. Our room didn’t even have a key, since why would you have a key to your own bedroom in your own home? One indoor activity I was anxious to do was curl up in the library with a hot chocolate and a book, so that’s what I did. Around 1 pm, we were informed lunch was ready to be served and so we were escorted back to our dining table in the lounge to eat. We had a gorgeous view of the snow dusted valley and mountains as we dined on a delicious spicy chicken risotto cooked by our new favorite chef. At the end of our meal, Alan came by to ask if we were ready to go horseback riding, so we jumped to our feet and donned our coats. This was our second time horse riding in Iceland. Once again, it was one of our favorite rides. Our super friendly guide took me, Tor, and Alan on a lovely scenic route through the valley underneath snow capped mountains. It was a crystal clear day, which made the winter landscape look even more breathtaking. We got several good rides in before calling it a day as the sun began to set and the chilly wind began to come in.
Back at Deplar Farm, Tor and I put on our swimsuits and headed down to the hotel’s famous pool. The pool water was as warm or even warmer than bath water! Since the air was getting chilly, the super warm water felt amazing. Within minutes, we saw Raven appear at the swim up bar and he brought us two incredibly delicious hot chocolates. We stayed in the water until it became dark out. We then went back inside, took a shower, and then curled up by the fire in the lounge with some delicious wine as we awaited dinner. It was just us that night, so we dined in the lounge again. At dinner, after some begging by me, we decided we wanted to stay an extra night. We were only supposed to stay for two nights, but we weren’t ready to say goodbye to Deplar Farm yet and they had availability, so we decided to stay.
The next day, we slept in a bit as the wind roared outside. And when I say roared, I mean ROARED. It’s actually a good thing we decided to stay an extra day because the winds were pretty dangerous. After lunch, which consisted of a perfect roasted tomato soup, Alan asked us if we wanted to head out to Deplar Farm’s other property – Ghost Farm. Always up for an adventure, we hopped into one of their heavy duty trucks and drove 20 minutes to Ghost Farm. In warmer months, you can actually hike from Deplar Farm over the mountain to Ghost Farm (takes about 4 hours). It’s a bit of an adventure to get there in a truck too, as you need to drive through streams, rocks, and some mud to get up to the little cabin. But once we arrived, we remarked on just how quaint the property is. Our guides Alan and Tim set up fruit, cheese, bread, and wine in the cabin’s living room while Tor played guitar. There’s a bedroom for those who want to stay, but since the cabin is a bit isolated and difficult to get to, I don’t think I would be able to stay there. But I can imagine if the weather was nicer, we could have sat outside in the chairs in the grass and looked up to watch the Northern Lights. That evening, we had the honor of having drinks in the lounge by the fireplace with two lovely couples who had just checked in earlier that day. One of them happened to be the mayor of nearby Dalvik, and when we explained what our purpose in Iceland was, they all began giving us suggestions on where we should go and where we should stay. They were really excited to hear we had a genuine interest in seeing Iceland and learning more about the Icelandic culture. During dinner, we dined on yet more delicious seafood and wine just in time for it to begin snowing outside. Tor and I immediately put on swimsuits and ran to the pool where we swam in the warm water as the snowflakes began to dance around us. The other couples liked our plan that they ended up joining us too. We spent some time in the water before feeling a bit tired and heading to bed.
The next morning, we woke up to a beautiful sight – it finally snowed! Tor opened the curtains and smiled, knowing that I would be ecstatic when I looked out the window. There it was – several inches of fresh powder all over the valley and the mountains. It was completely white outside and so incredibly gorgeous. After a quick breakfast of eggs and Icelandic pancakes, we put on our coats and ran outside to frolic in the snow. I never stopped smiling – this was exactly what I had wanted! Everyone at Deplar Farm laughed as I squealed like a little girl. They all probably thought I was nuts, but I live in a city where it never snows so I was so happy to get my fix!
The only bummer was we couldn’t spend all day there (actually, the real bummer was we couldn’t spend all year there!). Sadly, we had to check out and drive 7 hours out towards the Eastfjords. Since we stayed an extra day, we lost a day in the Eastfjords and we needed to catch up with our itinerary. Tor and I have never been more reluctant to leave a place before. I could have happily moved into Deplar Farm with my cats. It’s probably the most exclusive, luxurious, comfortable, and friendliest place we have ever visited, and we can’t believe we found it in Iceland. When people travel to Iceland, not many consider traveling to the north. They stick to the south coast because it’s close to Reykjavik and the airport. But if you want an adventure, northern Iceland is the place for you and Deplar Farm is your perfect home away from home. I’m glad I got a romantic experience at Deplar Farm with Tor, but we both agreed that the next time we make our way back (oh yes, we are already talking about going back!), we need to bring our friends. It’s just that perfect place that works for families, couples, and friends.
Watch our vlog below highlighting our entire stay at Deplar Farm!