The colorful capital of Reykjavik is the place most visitors to Iceland begin their exploration of the country, taking in the panoramic view from the top of Hallgrimskirkja Church and visiting the unique shops, galleries, museums and the world’s most famous hot dog stand. But where to base your stay? These hotels are particularly ideal.
Hotel Borg (Prices & Photos)
The historic Hotel Borg was the very first luxury hotel to be built in Iceland. It combines high-end Art Deco elegance with modern flair in one of the most picturesque squares in the city center. The hotel provides a range of amenities that include a spa and a restaurant headed up by award-winning local chef Volundur Volundarson with a menu focused on Icelandic dishes like langoustine, beef tenderloin and arctic char. Plus, there are numerous eateries and bars throughout the surrounding area, while Tjornin lake and the beginning of the main shopping street can be reached with just a two-minute walk. Rooms include custom-made furnishings as well as turn-of-the-century paintings, black-and-white photos of the city, and bathrooms with heated marble floors.
Hlemmur Square Hotel and Hostel (Prices & Photos)
This hotel offers a unique upscale hostel/luxury hotel experience right on the city’s main street, Laugavegur, yet at the quieter, eastern end, providing the best of both worlds for a more tranquil experience just steps away from numerous attractions, less than a half-mile from Hallgrimskirkja Church while the waterfront is just a few blocks away. It features stylish rooms as well as spacious dorms, and is a popular spot for mingling with locals over craft beers at happy hour, as well as dining on gourmet sausages at the onsite restaurant, Pylsa. The friendly knowledgeable staff are an excellent resource for insider tips on things to do both nearby and throughout the country.
Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina (Prices & Photos)
Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina sits by the harbor in one of the city’s prettiest areas, just steps away from a fun flea market, while offering a restaurant, bar and cafe of its own that all provide gorgeous views of the mountains and the sea. Dining provides the chance to discover tasty Nordic cuisine near the warmth of a roaring fire as well as to enjoy frequent live music that draws locals on the weekends, while the nautical-themed rooms offer scenic city and harbor views. The 24-hour gym called the Boiler Room has its own climbing wall along with treadmills and yoga mats, and there’s also a screening room that shows kids’ movies on the weekends.
Hotel Holt (Prices & Photos)
This elegant hotel hosts a gourmet eatery and the largest private art collection in the country, which includes some famous pieces of Icelandic art. You’ll find many of the city’s main attractions just a short walk away, while spacious suites include separate living areas and some provide outstanding city views as well. The intimate Gallery Restaurant has been open for nearly a half-century, serving tasty food and exquisite wines, while breakfast is free and includes a good range of hot and cold dishes. Wine enthusiasts appreciate the tastings offered to guests, and the cozy bar provides an excellent happy hour.
101 Hotel (Prices & Photos)
101 Hotel is not only one of Iceland’s coolest hotels, it’s truly one of the coolest in the world. It has its own art gallery with contemporary works from renowned local artists, while rooms are generously sized with high ceilings and are immaculately appointed featuring large, comfortable beds and bathrooms that even have a selection of Blue Lagoon toiletries and products – some include freestanding baths. The restaurant/bar serves fabulous European and Asian fare, along with tasty cocktails under a dramatic glass ceiling. Guests can request in-room massage, and in the basement take advantage of the Jacuzzi, sauna or plunge pool.
Radisson Blu Saga Hótel (Prices & Photos)
The Radisson Blu is jam-packed with amenities that include three restaurant areas, a spa with a sauna, steam room, seawater whirlpool tub and range of beauty treatments, a gift shop, and smart rooms with breathtaking views. All this and it boasts an excellent location just a 10-minute walk from the city center. You’ll be steps from some of the best nightlife, galleries and museums, including the National Museum which is right next door. Rooms come with mountain, glacier and sea views, and there are themed suites for families with kids too.
Reykjavik Residence Hotel (Prices & Photos)
The Reykjavik Residence Hotel was once the Norwegian embassy, and today it evokes old-style elegance with spacious apartment-style rooms that include small kitchens that come stocked with breakfast items like juice, milk and cereals. Plus it enjoys an ideal location with a number of attractions nearby, including a trendy art house cinema and shopping on Laugavegur Street. Hallgrimskirkja church is about a five-minute walk, while the famous Sun Voyager Sculpture on the waterfront can be reached in under 15 minutes by foot.
Kvosin Downtown Hotel (Prices & Photos)
This charming boutique hotel sits within a historic building that dates back to the late 19th century, and it offers an ideal downtown location along with top notch amenities like an upscale restaurant that offers a tasty Mediterranean menu and the adjacent Klaustur Bar which is a popular local hangout with an outstanding selection of wines, gins and whiskeys as well as Spanish tapas with an Icelandic twist. Right in the middle of the city, guest have numerous cafes, bars, museums, and other popular attractions right at their doorstep, along with lake Tjornin and the Laugavegur shopping street. Rooms feature organic toiletries, kitchens with Nespresso coffee machines, and some include balconies as well.