Reykjavik is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. Tourism is one of the main industries in Iceland and as such demand is always very high, making the hotel business a very competitive one. Reykjavik has developed many interesting options for an exciting and unusual stay: here’s our guide to five of the best hotels in Reykjavik.
The most stylish of CenterHotels’ six Reykjavik sites, the Thingholt occupies a former Forties printing factory, and has an interior designed by Icelandic architect Gulla Jonsdottir, who has experience in Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Her playful, chic vision includes a distinctive wood-heavy reception, sculpture installations and black leather walls. Facilities include a decent bar and restaurant, downstairs spa area with steam room, hot tub and services such as massage and beauty treatments. The breakfast buffet offers a reasonable array of hot and cold food. The adjacent bar has a very good list of cocktails, wines and beers.
One of Reykjavik’s first-ever boutique hotels is still one of its best. It offers unapologetically chic interiors, a futuristic restaurant and bar, and its own collection of contemporary art. There’s also an on-site spa and business-meeting facilities.
Don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior: every inch of the hotel’s interior aims to impress. Designed by owner and professional designer Ingibjörg S. Pálmadóttir, it’s a riot of contemporary style that incorporates a cool palette of blacks, whites and slate-greys, antique and idiosyncratic furnishings, and a collection of artworks by local artists that’s regularly supplemented by temporary exhibitions in the hotel’s public areas.
Situated inside two historic, refurbished houses, down on Reykjavik’s charming harbourfront, these seven plush suites offer a central location, luxurious interiors and private service. They’re well-suited to families.
The suites lie inside two restored, historic, timber houses, one of which – Daniel’s House – was once the home of shipbuilder and slip-industry pioneer Daniel Þorsteinsson, who built the house in 1905, and contains the main suite. The other building, which dates back to 1928, hosts the other six junior suites, all of which are decorated in a chic, modern style with dashes of tradition in the shape of antique chairs, grandfather clocks, old paintings and photographs.
The historic Hotel Borg — the very first luxury hotel to be built in Iceland — merges high-end Art Deco elegance with modern flair and a range of amenities that span a dedicated spa, restaurant and bar. Although 43 rooms were added in 2015, the hotel still exudes an air of intimacy.
Originally built for famous Icelandic strong-man and adventurer Jóhannes Jósefsson, Hotel Borg first opened its doors in 1930. Despite several refurbishments during its long lifetime, it has managed to maintain its original Art Deco ambiance — especially in the foyer and ballroom but also in details such as the door hinges and room number plaques.