Iceland Part 6: Deplar Farm + Vlog

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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. 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. 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.

I won’t beat around the bush – Deplar Farm is a splurge and can be extremely pricey depending on the package you choose. The heli-skiing packages can cost up to 5 figures, whereas the other packages are much less expensive but still not cheap. No matter which package you choose, they are all all-inclusive. Your package includes all meals, activities such as horseback riding, hiking, clay disk shooting, and more. 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.

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About Deplar Farm

Nestled between snowy mountains in the dreamy Fljot Valley not far from the northernmost tip of Iceland, Deplar Farm stands out from a distance with it’s black siding and turf-camouflaged rooftop. Originally an 18th century home on an Icelandic sheep farm, Deplar Farm is now a luxury, cozy escape from the world with beautifully decorated suites, a rejuvenating spa, the most magical swimming pool, authentic Icelandic cuisine, numerous spaces for play and entertainment, and all with uninterrupted views of the surrounding snowy mountains and the spectacularly magical Northern Lights.

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Getting to Deplar Farm

Personally, I think the best way to arrive at Deplar Farm is by car (4-wheel drive required) after a small road trip around western Iceland. If you’d prefer to drive straight to Deplar Farm from Reykjavik, the drive is about 5 hours (if weather is clear). However, if you are crunched for time, there are other ways to arrive.

Akureyri is about a 2 hour drive away that has an airport served by Air Iceland Connect with a couple of flights a day from Reykjavik. Deplar Farm provides a car service to and from the airport should you choose to arrive by plane.

If you really want to arrive in style (and have the bucks for it), Deplar Farm has a helicopter pad for those who want to fly in direct from Reykjavik (note that your luggage would still be sent to the airport to be flown separately on Air Iceland Connect).

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Accommodations

There are 13 en-suite bedrooms at Deplar Farm. All are extremely private and are styled differently, with no two rooms being the same. Kids will probably like the Álfahóll room, since there are two sets of bunk beds. Each cozy bedroom has their own private bathroom (complete with heated floors!), and enough space for your luggage. If you have brought ski equipment, don’t worry – there’s a separate store room for all your gear.

We stayed in the Guðrún room, which was decorated in traditional Icelandic style.

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Amenities and Activities

You’d think being somewhat in the middle of nowhere that there wouldn’t be much to do at Deplar Farm, but you’d be greatly mistaken. Aside from an amazing list of amenities at the hotel, the hotel itself provides a plethora of activities to keep guests entertained. From sun up to way after sunset, your days will be filled to the brim with adventure.

At Deplar Farm, not only do you have a dreamy outdoor pool perfectly heated at 37 degrees Celsius, but you can also enjoy the gym, the spa with massage studio, the outdoor sauna and cold pot (a small dipping pool of ice cold water), the yoga studio, the saltwater floatation tanks, and a media room with countless movies to curl up and watch. There’s also a great room with a pool table, a telescope, an amazing bar, and a dartboard, as well as a nearby library filled with all kinds of books (including Icelandic) which you can read by the giant fireplace surrounded by floor to ceiling windows.

Activities beyond the hotel (and included in your accommodations package depending on which package you selected) include hiking, horseback riding, heli-skiing, snowmobiling, clay pigeon shooting, and more.

Alyssa Campanella of The A List blog visits Deplar Farm in northern Iceland

Day 1

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.

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Hiking The Troll Peninsula

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.

Hiking Outfit

The North Face coat (old, similar here and here) // Patagonia sweater jacket // Splendid turtleneck (old, similar here) // Madewell jeans // Barneys hat (old, similar here and here) // Danner boots (on sale, also available here)

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.

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Dining at Deplar Farm

There are no menus at Deplar Farm. Each course is a surprise by a resident chef who locally sources their ingredients. 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.

All meals are included in your room package.

Day 2

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.

Outdoor Outfit

Gloverall coat (last seen here, similar here and here) // Barneys hat (old, similar here and here) // Vero Moda turtleneck (old, similar here) // J Brand jeans // Sorel boots c/o

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.

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Swimming at Deplar Farm

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.

Day 3

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.

Ghost Farm Outfit

Ellen Tracy coat (old, similar here and here) // ASOS fair isle sweater (old, similar here and here) // Barneys hat (old, similar here and here) // Madewell jeans // Sorel boots