Reykjavik is proof that good things come in small packages. Even though it’s relatively small in comparison to other European capitals, the city packs a real punch. Whether you want to spend your trip indulging in Icelandic delicacies, broadening your horizons in museums, or letting your hair down in the city’s nightclubs, there’s always something fun and exciting to do in Reykjavik!
In spite of its reputation as being a cosmopolitan hub, Reykjavik also has its fair share of wildlife. Not only are there incredible whale-watching opportunities right off the coast, but it’s the only capital in the world that boasts a major puffin-breeding colony. Just take the 15-minute ferry ride out to Akurey Island, where you can see 20,000-30,000 breeding pairs of puffins!
Take some time to walk around the city and you’re sure to spot tons of cats meandering around the streets. From 1924 to 1984, dogs were considered to be farm animals and banned from the country’s capital – so it’s no surprise cats took over the city.
There is now said to be around one cat for every 10 people in Reykjavik! Residents love the city’s cat population so much that you’ll discover cat statues on the streets, cat decorations in shops, and even cat cafes where you can make a new friend.
After you’ve spotted Reykjavik’s local wildlife, be sure to learn about Iceland‘s 1,200 years of human history at the National Museum of Iceland, go to a concert at the iconic Harpa concert hall, and sample Icelandic cuisine at one of the restaurants along the Old Harbour. After that, you can party the night away at one of the city’s many clubs, sip cocktails at a trendy bar, or head back to your hotel for a lazy movie night.
It’s no surprise that Reykjavik is home to a huge variety of hotels, from luxurious all-suite hotels to chic eco-friendly retreats. In fact, there are so many great places to stay in Reykjavik that you might have a hard time choosing the right one for your trip. So, we’ve created a list of the top 12 best hotels in Reykjavik to make things a little easier!
Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 12 Best Boutique Hotels in Reykjavik, Iceland
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Where to Stay in Reykjavik, Iceland
Despite being Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik is a fairly small city that’s easily explored on foot or by using the local bus service. This means no matter where you stay, you’re always within easy reach of everything the city has to offer.
If this is your first visit to Reykjavik, we recommend you stay at Midborg. This neighborhood is the very heart and soul of the city, where you’ll find the best landmarks, shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants, as well as many of the coolest hotels in Reykjavik. Perfect for families, Midborg is a very compact area, and everything is just a short walk away.
Laugardalur is another great place for families to stay. It’s still centrally located, making it easy to see all the biggest and best sites, but it’s more of a residential neighborhood with a tranquil atmosphere.
If you’ve been to Reykjavik before and you’re looking for a new part of the city to explore, consider Vesturbær. One of the most up-and-coming areas, this neighborhood encompasses the Old West Side and is home to lively bars and nightclubs, trendy restaurants, whale watching opportunities, and some of the most unique hotels in Reykjavik.
The 12 Best Hotels in Reykjavik
One of the coolest hotels in Reykjavik, Tower Suites Reykjavik offers incredible views that you won’t find anywhere else in the city. This hotel is made up of eight luxury suites set on the 20th floor of a staggeringly tall building. If you want to go all out, book the Full Concierge Service, so you won’t have to lift a finger during your trip.
Each suite boasts its own unique style, as well as remarkable panoramic views you won’t be able to get enough of. Stretching for miles across the sea, all the way up into the impressive mountain range, you’ll never find a view as spectacular as the one you’ll get from these suites.
To help you get the most out of your view, each suite features a king-size bed facing the floor-to-ceiling windows, so you don’t even have to get up to admire your surroundings. You’ll also have access to high-quality binoculars so you can see everything close up. Other fantastic in-room accessories include a Nespresso machine with free coffee, herbal bath products by Sóley Organics Iceland, and fluffy bathrobes and slipper sets.
Enjoying a prestigious location where the city meets the sea, Arnarhvoll is found on the harbor side of Reykjavik, overlooking the peaceful bay and far-off mountains. The hotel is strikingly modern, with a stylish, Scandinavian feel, extending from the lobby and restaurant to the guest rooms.
When you’re here, you’ve got to make a reservation at Ský Restaurant & Bar. The stunning venue on the hotel’s top floor will reward you with unbelievable sea views framed by icy mountains or grass-covered peaks, depending on when you visit.
The menu is just as modern as the rest of the hotel and is made up of iconic Icelandic dishes with cutting-edge flair. If you’re not in the mood to eat, there’s a great range of classic cocktails to choose from – and they’re just as gorgeous as the food!
The Arnarhvoll Spa provides you with a much-needed retreat after hours spent exploring the city on foot. The unassuming wellness center includes a secluded sauna, hot tub, and cozy relaxation area where you can re-energize for the day ahead. Only guests aged 20+ are allowed to enter, so you can be sure of total peace and tranquility.
Just off Reykjavik’s main shopping street, Thingholt by CenterHotels is your boutique downtown escape. Small in size but big on style, the hotel embodies a welcoming, vibrant atmosphere, which will win you over the moment you step foot through the door.
Designed by famous Icelandic architect Gulla Jonsdottir, the 52 rooms at Thingholt combine rustic nature-inspired design with modern-day comfort. Crisp white bed linens and clean lines combine with thick black curtains and gray accent walls, creating an industrial-chic vibe.
For some extra space, book the Loft Suite. Divided over two levels, this spacious room comes with the added bonuses of floor-to-ceiling windows and free spa access.
If you’re not staying in the Loft Suite, you can still pay a little extra to enjoy the Ísafold Spa, where you can indulge yourself with rainwater showers, a hot tub, and a variety of relaxing treatments. Thingholt Bar is another place where you can unwind. This lounge boasts a beautiful setting and a selection of handpicked wines and original cocktails to deliver a truly relaxing experience.
4. Sand Hotel
A luxury property found in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, Sand Hotel offers you the best of both worlds. The relaxed atmosphere and beautiful design make Sand Hotel one of the best boutique hotels in Reykjavik, with the hustle and bustle of city life and fascinating culture just around the corner. The famous Hallgrímskirkja Church, tempting Hlemmur Food Hall, and fascinating National Gallery of Iceland are just a short walk away.
Despite the modern appearance of the hotel, Sandholt Bakery and Gudsteinn Eyjólfsson haberdashery (both of which are located on the hotel’s ground floor) have been in business for over 100 years. At the front of the hotel, you’ll also find an engraved stone dedicated to Nobel Prize writer Halldor Laxness, who was born in one of the buildings in the hotel’s backyard.
As well as an intriguing history, the hotel is also brimming with beautiful artwork. Unique pieces from contemporary artists adorn rooms and public spaces, while intriguing sculptures add a touch of class to the backyard.
From small solo rooms to spacious family suites, you can choose from a variety of guest rooms. No matter which you choose, you’ll love the plush Serta beds, parquet veneered floors, and deluxe baths with Sóley Organics toiletries.
Wonderfully located in the buzzing downtown part of Reykjavik, Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel boasts fantastic views over the city and the emblematic Esja Mountain. Just steps away from the main shopping street at Hlemmur Square, the hotel is also close to the old bus terminal, which will soon be transformed into a vibrant local food market.
Incorporating a modern boho-chic style into an industrial building, Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel has its own one-of-a-kind personality, which makes it stand out from the crowd. All guest rooms come with lavish four-poster beds, organic bathroom amenities from iLoveEcoEssentials, and a rustic Icelandic design.
The Guldsmeden signature breakfast is an absolute must-try while you’re there. Every single option – from the eggs to the croissants to the cheese – is completely organic. The hotel also makes its own special yogurt, topped with homemade whole-grain cereal, acacia honey, and almonds. If you overdo it on breakfast, there’s a small gym on site where you can burn off a few extra calories!
6. 101 Hotel
One of the most stunningly unique Reykjavik hotels, 101 Hotel is like a secret art gallery. Plainly minimalist on the outside but ostentatiously extravagant on the inside, this hotel is sure to impress!
The public spaces of 101 Hotel are decorated with all sorts of artwork, from simple landscape paintings and textured walls to larger-than-life monochrome statues and humans made out of brightly colored materials. There’s so much to see inside the hotel that you’ll struggle to tear yourself away to visit Reykjavik’s real art galleries!
One of the trendiest places to eat in town, 101 Restaurant and Bar is just as magical as the rest of the hotel. Featuring tall, dark walls emboldened by a glass ceiling, this eatery is where you’ll find simple burgers rubbing shoulders with creative Icelandic fare. 101 Hotel also boasts a spa where you’ll find a pampering steam bath and hot tub. Or, if you don’t feel like getting out of bed, the staff also offer in-room massages.
You’ll love the stylish rooms, which are outfitted with black and white décor, designated workstations, and deluxe baths with Aveda toiletries. The underfloor heating, plush bathrobes, and well-stocked mini-bars are thoughtful added touches.
Influenced by Iceland’s ever-changing light and how it reflects the everyday life of the country’s residents, Reykjavik Lights Hotel is a beautiful example of clean and simple Nordic design. Whether you’re a solo traveler choosing a simple single room or a couple splurging on a superior room, you’ll be treated to the same fresh, bright colors, great city views, and complimentary amenities you need to enjoy your stay.
One of the best things about the Reykjavik Lights Hotel is its excellent location. Set right on the border of the city center, the hotel is just steps away from a huge variety of bars, cafes, and restaurants, as well as museums, churches, and shops. The must-visit Laugardalur outdoor activity park, which boasts the largest outdoor thermal pool in Iceland, is just behind the hotel.
The breakfast buffet is one of the best in town and the perfect start for an adventure-filled day. Brimming with freshly baked pastries, fruit, salad items, baked goods, and all the classic American favorites, you definitely won’t go hungry here.
For the opportunity to enjoy a quiet piece of nature in the middle of a high-octane city, stay at the Icelandair Hotel Natura. Offering a welcoming atmosphere inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds the property, this hotel is proud of its Icelandic roots and doesn’t care who knows it!
Ideally located for lovers of the great outdoors, Icelandair Hotel Natura is found in one of the greenest parts of the city, where you can spend your days walking, running, and cycling along countless beautiful trails. The Nautholsvik Geothermal Beach area and the famous Perlan are also close by, while the buzzing city center is just a short walk away.
Satt Restaurant is one of the best places in the city to sample fresh, locally sourced produce from talented farmers and fishermen from across the country. All meals are made on-site entirely from scratch with a wholesome approach that keeps both locals and guests alike coming back for more.
When you need to chill out, head for the Natura Spa, where you can indulge in some of the most exclusive massages and beauty treatments in the city. The experience is complemented by superior facilities designed to soothe the mind and body. After your relaxing spa session, you’ll love unwinding in the minimalist room, which is outfitted with a comfy pillow top bed, a large flat-screen TV, and beautiful blank and white photographs.
Tucked away in a fully renovated four-story building, this hip hotel is just a short stroll from downtown Reykjavik and right next to the city’s famous historical dry dock. Blending Iceland’s deep-rooted fishing traditions with Reykjavik’s progressive and creative culture, the hotel aims to celebrate both the old and new faces of the capital.
Guest rooms are designed with the maritime theme in mind. Wallpaper depicting fishing knots, photos taken decades ago at the harbor, and turquoise detailing act as a constant reminder of your location. If you’re traveling as a family, we suggest you reserve the Adalbjorg Suite. Big enough for two adults and two children, the suite is beyond stunning and looks more like a captain’s quarters than a hotel room!
There’s a grab-and-go breakfast available every morning if you’re in a rush, followed by a more leisurely breakfast buffet served in the onsite restaurant and bar. Known as Slippbarinn, this fascinating venue is said to be the birthplace of Reykjavik’s cocktail culture. Be sure to try at least one of their impeccably presented handcrafted cocktails made from fresh ingredients and unique flavors.
10. Hotel Borg
When deciding where to stay in Reykjavik, it doesn’t get much better than Hotel Borg. A luxuriously opulent hotel set in the beating heart of the city, Hotel Borg is hidden away inside a dignified and imposing building, overlooking the charming Austurvöllur square and within walking distance of all the major sites, attractions, and dining venues.
Comprising 99 rooms and suites, the accommodation at Hotel Borg follows an Art Deco-style, which blends comfort and sophistication. Complete with modern amenities, such as Nespresso machines, Bluetooth speakers, and heated floors, alongside parquet floors, oversized windows, and neutral color palettes, the rooms at this hotel are truly sublime.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, go all out with the Tower Suite. The only one of its kind in the hotel, this two-floor suite is adorned with sumptuous furniture, breathtaking views, and more space than you could ever need.
After a long day of sightseeing, take it easy at the Borg Spa. Open every day, this wellness sanctuary is where you can pamper yourself with a hot tub, steam bath, sauna, and relaxation area. There’s also a well-equipped fitness room if you want to get even more exercise in.
Canopy is housed in six connected buildings and pays homage to the buildings’ history as an arts hub, music venue, and furniture factory. Only a short walk away from the city’s center and the fantastic nightlife and shopping you’ll find at Laugavegur Street, Canopy is close to all the action while still being far enough away so you can enjoy a peaceful night’s rest.
From leisurely brunches to laughter-filled happy hours and everything in between, Canopy’s eating and drinking options are excellent. A fantastic breakfast buffet filled with artisanal goodies and local ingredients is served every morning at the Canopy Central Bistro and Bar.
Come mid-afternoon, the foodie venue transforms into a laid-back place where you can enjoy small bites, craft beers, and signature cocktails. You can also grab a light lunch or a snack 24/7 at the Canopy Central Cafe.
As if that isn’t enough, the hotel is home to Geiri Smart, where some of Iceland’s highest-awarded chefs guarantee you an unforgettable dining experience. There’s also the Hotel Bar where you can sip local liquors while making plans for tomorrow.
After a long day on the town, rest up in the Scandinavian-style rooms, which boast plush beds, 48-inch HDTVs, and spacious wood writing desks. You’ll love the extras, including the free Wi-Fi and in-room espresso machines.
One of the few five-star properties in town, the Black Pearl Apartment Hotel is one of the best hotels in Reykjavik if you’re looking for a home away from home. Featuring magnificent suites suitable for 2-6 guests, this hotel is ideal whether you’re traveling as a couple, family, or group of friends.
Each suite features a fully-equipped kitchen, making the Black Pearl Apartment Hotel an excellent choice if you want to cook your own meals. If you don’t feel like cooking, you can order as many in-suite breakfasts as you like and enjoy the most important meal of the day from the comfort of your ultra-comfy bed.
Although there is no onsite restaurant, you don’t have to go far for food. The hotel can arrange for one of the country’s best chefs to come to your suite and prepare meals for you! If that doesn’t appeal, you’ll find a staggering range of cafes, bars, lounges, restaurants, and bistros within walking distance of this one-of-a-kind hotel.
That completes our list of the 12 best Reykjavik hotels! Did we miss any cool hotels in Reykjavik? Comment below so we can add them to the list!
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