The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

The best hotels in Reykjavik for Icelandic culture, local dining and a clean conscience

After exploring the best of what Iceland’s capital has to offer, rest your head in style

Wrap up warm for your trip to Reykjavik: only Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, is further north than Reykjavík
Wrap up warm for your trip to Reykjavik: only Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, is further north than Reykjavík

Visitor numbers to Iceland grew in just one decade by 500 per cent as the backdrop of Game of Thrones revealed the wonders of this isolated nation. With accessible otherworldly landscapes positioned like they’re in a geographical theme park, visitors can hike between tectonic plates, bathe in natural steaming hot springs, peer into volcanoes, walk glaciers see more than 200 tumbling waterfalls. Reykjavik is an ideal base for exploring the best of the nation, and the boost in visitors has led to a boom in places to lay our heads...

The best hotels in Reykjavik are:

The bar area at the sociable Kex Hostel

Best for a social scene: Kex Hostel

Neighbourhood: Mioborg

Kex is branded as a hostel, but this renovated biscuit factory offers a range of stylish accommodation options, including private doubles with en-suite bathrooms and ocean views. Ample communal space – a guest kitchen, gym, barbershop and heated outdoor patio that fills up when the weather is nice – creates a buzzy atmosphere that encourages mingling; and the gastropub Saemundur attracts as many travellers as it does working locals who come for wifi, coffee and craft beer.

Price: Dorms from KR4,216 (£26), doubles from KR12,976 (£80)

Book now

The Art Deco Hotel Borg dates back to 1930

Best for luxury: Hotel Borg

Neighbourhood: Mioborg

Located in the heart of downtown, the 99-room art-deco Hotel Borg has set the standard for Reykjavik luxury hotels since it opened in 1930. It’s since been renovated, though many original fixtures, vintage accents and black and white photos of Reykjavik remain. Rooms feature lacquered tables, heated bathroom floors, high ceilings and stylish Bang & Olufsen TVs. There’s an onsite Jamie’s Italian and a spa with a steam bath, sauna and hot tub.

Price: Doubles from KR32,115 (£198)

Book now

Sleep easy in the knowledge that the Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel is committed to environmental sustainability

Best for a clean conscience: Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel

Neighbourhood: Hlemmur

Set a few steps off Laugavegur, the city’s main shopping street, is the 65-room Eyja. It's part of Guldsmeden Hotels, a Danish group with a focus on sustainability. It’s the first Icelandic hotel to be Green Globe certified. Rooms feel earthy and organic, with rough-hewn-wood four-poster beds, sheepskin throws and natural fabrics like cotton, wool and leather throughout. Eyja uses at least 90 per cent organic produce in the food it serves and employs a 360-degree sustainability management system with an emphasis on environmental responsibility.

Price: Doubles from KR23,513 (£145)

Book now

One of the suites at the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina

Neighbourhood: Harbour

The quirky nautical-themed Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina is set on the edge of the downtown harbourfront, has rooms with sailing knot diagrams and maps as wallpaper, life rings on the balconies and a mini climbing wall in the gym. It’s also home to the chic bar and seasonal restaurant Slippbarinn (named after the adjacent dry-dock), a perennial favourite among locals. Serving breakfast, brunch and an all-day menu of modern Icelandic fare, such as langoustine flatbread and soup with the day’s catch, it’s a popular spot any time; but especially during happy hour, when creative cocktails are served at a discount.

Price: Doubles from KR25,301 (£156)

Book now

Canopy by Hilton, Reykjavik City Centre, used to house a furniture factory

Best for Icelandic culture: Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre

Neighbourhood: Mioborg

Composed of six interconnected houses that were part of a furniture factory from 1937-1963, the Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre has been fully renovated, but still nods to its past – and Iceland’s unique natural setting. Rooms are decked out in muted versions of the country’s natural colours: slate grey reminiscent of volcanic rock, pale blue the colour of the sea and pastel green like the moss-covered countryside. Local artwork lines the walls, the snack shop sells Icelandic artisanal chocolate and the library is stocked with books from Icelandic authors.

Price: Doubles from KR27,083 (£167)

Book now

The Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel is ideal for business travellers to the city

Best for business: Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel

Neighbourhood: Mioborg

The 88-room Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel is set in a century-old building in the heart of downtown, within easy walking distance to visitor attractions like the Harpa concert hall and Reykjavik Art Museum, as well as the city hall, parliament and the prime minister’s office. Rooms offer all the modern trappings, and there’s a fitness centre, three meeting rooms and the 1919 Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Price: Doubles from KR25,790 (£159)

Book now

History buffs will appreciate the heritage of the Sand Hotel

Best for history: Sand Hotel

Neighbourhood: Mioborg

The 67-room art deco-style Sand Hotel is built around three historic buildings on Laugavegur Street. Sandholt Bakery and Gudsteinn Eyjolfsson men’s clothing shop, which have been serving Reykjavik for more than a century, are on the ground floor; the former provides the hotel’s continental breakfast, while the latter offers in-room shopping with delivery to the hotel. Out front, a small plaque commemorates the most important historical aspect: behind the hotel sits the small house where Nobel Prize-winning author Halldor Laxness was born in 1902.

Price: Doubles from KR22,705 (£140)

Book now

The snowy exterior of the Reykjavik Marina Residence

Best for a home away from home: Reykjavik Marina Residence

Neighbourhood: Harbour

Located next to the Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina hotel, the Residence offers a homely environment with all the conveniences of a hotel. Set in a 20th-century townhouse, it includes one two-storey suite and six one-room Residence Suites, each with balcony, minibar, Sóley Organics Icelandic toiletries and Lin Design linens. Breakfast is included and all suites share access to the Residence Lounge where complimentary refreshments are offered every evening.

Price: Doubles from KR58,960 (£367)

Book now

Reykjavik isn't cheap, but the colourful rooms at the Loft Hostel are a budget option

Best for budget travellers: Loft

Neighbourhood: Mioborg

Another genre-crosser, Loft offers both hostel and hotel accommodations. The Double Deluxe Rooms are basic but cosy, with large windows overlooking Laugavegur, soft beds and small-but-functional tiled bathrooms. Guests also have access to the top-floor balcony cafe for breakfast and light bites, and a self-catering kitchen to save even more on the high cost of dining in Reykjavik.

Price: Dorms from KR6,976 (£43), doubles from KR19,142 (£118)

Book now

Read more on Reykjavik

Reykjavik travel tips

10 things to do in Reykjavik

From Boston to Reykjavik: These are the world’s best-looking cities

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in