Iceland is famous for its cool and at times irreverent approach to design, something evident throughout the boutique hotel offerings in the northern city of Akureyri.
Iceland’s second city, Akureyri (pronounced ah-koo-rare-ee) is known as the ‘capital of the north’, although with a population of just 19,000, it feels more like a small town than a city. Nestled at the foot of Eyjafjörður, Iceland’s longest fjord, Akureyri is backdropped by magnificent snow-capped mountains and sits just 60mi (97km) south of the arctic circle. Visitors drive the 155mi (249km) from Reykjavik to enjoy the Hlíðarfjall Mountain and its superb ski resort, the tranquil Lake Mývatn area and excellent whale spotting opportunities. Despite its diminutive size, Akureyri offers a lively café and bar culture, world-class restaurants and impressive architecture. Read on for our tips on the best boutique hotels in town.
Meaning ‘Grandmother Guesthouse’ in Icelandic, Amma is a small, conveniently located guesthouse with 10 rooms. Cosy and inviting, just like your grandma’s house, the guesthouse is a 5-minute walk from the Akureyrarkirkja church designed by Guðjón Samúelsson, whilst the colourful Botanical Garden is also nearby. In Summer, the gardens are a favourite attraction to tourists and locals alike, offering an enclave of tranquility in the city centre.
This cosy farm guesthouse comprises 22 simple bedrooms and a restaurant. Situated only 10km (6mi) south of Akureyri, it is surrounded by Eyjafjörður Fjord, which is famous for its beautiful views overlooking neighbouring farmlands and mountain ridges. There are a lot of activities to do on-site and nearby, such as hiking, horse riding, golfing, skiing, birdwatching and lounging in the hot tub. The Lamb Inn Restaurant is a converted barn, with the speciality being lamb dishes, of course.
This family-run guesthouse is located 5km (3mi) north of Akureyri, along a creek that flows into the bay. Aside from accommodation, the hotel also offers horse-riding tours in the countryside. You can rent bicycles for exploring the region and afterwards relax in the outdoor hot tub while hopefully catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights. The restaurant, open only during the summer, offers traditional local dishes of fish and lamb. In the guesthouse shop, you can find reused furniture and art objects made from antiques by the owners.