Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, adventurers across the globe are searching for safe, socially-distant ways to escape the four walls of their homes, which are becoming increasingly suffocating after nearly a full year of quarantine. The deadly pandemic, combined with chilly winter temperatures, has forced most travelers to stay inside, stifling their desire to explore the great unknown, and promising that virtual experiences can be just as good, if only you use your imagination. But what if there was a better way to reunite with the rest of the world, while simultaneously keeping your distance from others?
Enter: Panorama Glass Lodge, a Scandinavian company based on the shores of the river Ytri-Rangá, that offers travelers an incredibly intimate rendezvous with nature by renting out tiny, glass cabins perched smack in the middle of the vast Icelandic countryside, surrounded by an active volcano (located in nearby Reykjavík), black sand beaches, rumbling waterfalls, and the northern lights.
According to Sabrina Dedler, founder and CEO of the family-owned small business, Panorama Glass Lodge doesn't sell accommodations—they sell once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The tiny homes are made of steel, glass, and thermally modified wood—the kind used in saunas—by ÖÖD home. And while you might know ÖÖD for building $22,000 homes that can soon be shipped anywhere in the world via Amazon, these designs are exclusive to Panorama Glass Lodge. Each cabin is equipped with a hot tub, a private hammock, temperature controls, curtains (for comfort, should guests feel overwhelmed by the abundance of nature in their proximity), and full privacy, despite the glass walls. The property is enormous, spanning nearly 12.5 acres—you'd be hard pressed to run into another guest simply by accident.
Thanks to the super-remote location, Dedler says, guests have felt extremely safe pursuing their travel plans to the Panorama Glass Lodge. In 2020, the small business had an astonishingly high occupancy rate of 98%. At the moment, they're accepting guests from all over the world, though Dedler notes that they're currently seeing a lot of locals due to Iceland's extremely strict triple-test COVID-19 entry policies.
Like a regular hotel, Panorama Glass Lodge accepts bookings online, and they start at approximately $547 per night, with the caveat of a minimum two-night stay due to the remote nature of the property. Thanks to high demand, they're booked out months in advance, so this summer, Dedler plans to double the number of cabins by adding two more to her fleet, offering more guests the opportunity to experience nature the way it was meant to be experienced.