Perfect for a long weekend escape, a base for exploring the nearby beautiful countryside or even just a night’s sleep on a stopover between Europe and North America, Reykjavík has plenty of comfortable beds to rest your head.
The colourful and eclectic city of Reykjavík is jam-packed with an overwhelming number of rooms at trendy hostels and upmarket Nordic design hotels. Pick your stay at this volcanic island with the help of Culture Trip’s guide to the best hotels in the Icelandic capital.
A slice of Reykjavík history – Konsúlat Hotel
The Reykjavík Konsúlat Hotel lies in the oldest part of the city | Courtesy of Reykjavík Konsúlat Hotel / Hotels.com
A welcome addition to the hotel scene is the Konsúlat Hotel. The entire establishment is a celebration of the prominent Reykjavík character Ditlev Thomsen, a successful entrepreneur and consul in the city at the turn of the 20th century. Occupying the same impressive three-storey building in the heart of downtown Reykjavík where Thomsen built Iceland’s first department store, the hotel is like entering another era. Rooms are all decked out in warm hues of gold and brown and feature mid-century furniture such as chesterfield sofas and vintage desks. The hotel restaurant, GOTT Reykjavík, serves burgers, soup and fresh fish in a minimalistic yet sophisticated interior.
Iceland’s first luxury hotel has long since cemented its place among the architectural landmarks of Reykjavík. Facing the pleasant Austurvöllur Square, and with neighbours such as the Icelandic parliament and the cathedral, this Art Deco hotel is one of the best locations to spend a night. Visitors will experience royalty treatment at this lush hotel – which is used to accommodating celebrities (both Yoko Ono and Lady Gaga have stayed in the luxurious suites) – and also have access to the gym and spa.
Centrally located, Reykjavík Lights is a Nordic-style hotel with bright rooms decorated in Scandinavian style. Inspired by light, the hotel aims to reflect everyday life in Iceland with colourful rooms with parquet floors and a reference to the Icelandic calendar. Reykjavík Lights is the ideal place for first-time visitors looking to get the most out of their visit as the hotel 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 in the early 20th century, it was recently the home of the nightclub and live-music venue Faktory. Canopy’s design acknowledges and pays homage to all that came before it, with large and contemporary rooms, custom-made furniture and artworks by local artists. Visit the self-service café 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 elite international group Design Hotels, 101 hotel is an exciting and luxury entry into the world of Icelandic fashion and design. Sleek, modern and with black-and-white minimalist tones throughout, the entire hotel itself feels like a work of art. On show are the latest works from both established and up-and-coming local artists, and there’s a stylish lounge bar on the premises as well. As it’s just a block away from Laugavegur, it’s no wonder Kim Kardashian and Kanye West chose this as the place to stay on their 2017 Icelandic getaway.
Located on Aðalstræt, one of the oldest streets in Reykjavík, Hotel Reykjavík Centrum is a classic lodgement with a lot of history. Originally built in 1764, the hotel – which opened in 2005 – has a great central location, with numerous museums, restaurants and bars surrounding it. The rooms here are bright and modern, and there’s a bar-cafe that serves dishes such as fish and chips and burgers.
Right next to the working harbour of Reykjavík at the western edge of downtown, the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Marina celebrates the city’s colourful and creative side. The interior features eye-catching furniture, striking wallpapers and plenty of odds and ends 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, media and art showings, as well as literature events and readings at the in-house café. Located next door to Slippbarinn restaurant, the hotel also has a gym on-site while offering fair prices for its central location.
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 focus on light wooden furnishings and a carefully curated selection of sustainable products and amenities. The large in-house restaurant is all about organic and fresh ingredients, and there are plenty of comfortable nooks to relax in after a day of exploring. The Eyja Guldsmeden was the first hotel in the country to be awarded Green Globe certification, recognising its commitment to sustainable development within the hospitality industry.
On the eastern end of Laugavegur, you’ll find the trendy yet affordable Hlemmur Square hotel and hostel. Accommodation options range from dorms to luxurious suites on the top floor, which has resulted in a diverse clientele of families, couples and backpackers. The downstairs restaurant-bar is casual and well priced, with welcoming staff and weekly live music. When in need of food, you can head down to the new food hall, Hlemmur Mathöll, that’s located across the street – it offers an exciting collection of dining and drinking options in the old bus terminal.
Overlooking Elliðavatn Lake and just 15 minutes from downtown, this family-run hotel is perfect for those looking to experience both the beautiful Icelandic nature and exciting 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. With elegantly furnished rooms, the hotel also has homely common areas decorated with multiple bookshelves and comfortable lounge chairs. The unobstructed mountain views and minimal light pollution make Hotel Kriunes the ideal place for watching the Northern Lights during the winter months, and its location means that you’ll get your money’s worth.