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Explore glacier-capped mountains, thundering waterfalls and active volcanoes from these top hotels in the Icelandic capital.
The colourful, eclectic city of Reykjavík is jam-packed with upmarket Nordic-design hotels and trendy hostels. Explore the Golden Circle or hunt for the Northern Lights while staying in Reykjavík. Read on to discover Culture Trip’s best picks.
The Konsúlat Hotel was once home to Iceland’s first department store, build by prominent Reykjavík character Ditlev Thomsen. Inside the impressive three-storey building, rooms are decked out in warm hues and feature mid-century furniture such as Chesterfield sofas and vintage desks. The hotel restaurant, GOTT Reykjavík, serves contemporary Icelandic cuisine in a minimalist yet sophisticated setting.
Iceland’s first luxury hotel has long cemented its place among the architectural landmarks of Reykjavík – facing the pleasant Austurvöllur Square, Icelandic parliament and cathedral. Expect royal treatment at this luxury, art deco hotel – which has previously accommodated celebrities, like Yoko Ono and Lady Gaga. The spa is a real highlight here – warm up in the hot tub, steam bath and sauna after a cold day of sightseeing.
Centrally located, Reykjavík Lights is a Nordic-style hotel with bright rooms decorated in Scandinavian style. The hotel aims to reflect everyday life in Iceland with colourful rooms that represent specific days in the country’s ancient calendar. A complimentary breakfast is included with your stay. Reykjavík Lights is the ideal place for first-time visitors looking to get the most out of their visit as it offers many tours.
Right in the middle of downtown Reykjavík is the Canopy by Hilton, a self-billed lifestyle hotel. Spanning six buildings that used to house the city’s most well-known furniture factory, it was more recently home to the nightclub and live music venue, Faktory. Large, contemporary suites pay homage to the building’s past with custom-made furniture and local artwork. Visit the self-service cafe in the lobby for breakfast, or stop by the connected Geiri Smart Restaurant, one of Reykjavík’s finest places to eat.
A member of the Design Hotels group, 101 Hotel is a luxury insight into the world of Icelandic fashion and design. Sleek and modern with black-and-white minimalist tones throughout, the entire hotel itself feels like a work of art. The latest works from both established and up-and-coming local artists are on display, plus there’s a stylish lounge bar for a late-night tipple. As it’s just a block away from Laugavegur shopping street, it’s no wonder Kim Kardashian and Kanye West chose this as the place to stay on their Icelandic getaway.
Right next to the working harbour of Reykjavík at the edge of downtown, the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Marina celebrates the city’s colourful and creative side. The interior features eye-catching furniture, striking wallpaper and plenty of antiques picked up at the nearby Kolaportið flea market. It’s also a champion of local culture, regularly hosting live music gigs and pop-up concerts, as well as literature events at the in-house cafe. Head for drinks at the neighbouring Slippbarinn – the cocktails are the best in Reykjavík.
Just outside of the city centre in the quickly gentrifying 105 neighbourhood is the Reykjavík branch of the Guldsmeden hotel chain. It’s cheaper than your average hotel in the country, and the bright rooms feature rustic four-poster beds designed with a Balinese twist. The large in-house restaurant is all about organic, fresh ingredients. Eyja Guldsmeden was also the first hotel in the country to be awarded Green Globe certification, recognising its commitment to sustainability.
Overlooking Elliðavatn Lake and just 15 minutes from downtown, this family-run hotel is perfect for those looking to experience both Iceland’s natural surrounds and city of Reykjavík. The lake is teeming with birdlife in the summer and there are plenty of walking and biking trails that delve into the surrounding parkland. Elegantly furnished rooms are complemented by homely common areas decorated with bookshelves and comfortable lounge chairs. Unobstructed mountain views and minimal light pollution make Hotel Kriunes the ideal place for watching the Northern Lights during the winter months.