The best places to stay in Iceland in 2019
When planning a trip to Iceland, you may suddenly realise that you’ve struck the destination jackpot. Wherever you’re in the nation, there is something breathtaking nearby, whether that’s great food, dramatic and rocky mountainous landscapes, strong waterfalls or charming fishing villages. What can be much harder to figure out is the place to stay in Iceland, based on your priorities. Northern lights? City life? Dramatic landscapes? Fear not – when the planning gets a bit overpowering, that’s where we come in. We have compiled a list of the top places to stay in Iceland, depending on which tantalising facet of Icelandic life you are in the mood for.
Best for Reykjavík’s cultural cool
Despite being isolated from the Atlantic Ocean, Reykjavík is a city on par with some of the trendiest on Earth. It is daubed with road art and provides mouth-wateringly fantastic restaurants plus cute cafes and colourful buildings. Considering all the Icelandic culture we’ve come to appreciate internationally, you’ll be missing out if you do not invest some time . What is more, it actually does make a fantastic foundation for getting out into nature.
While Iceland is undeniably an expensive destination, that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank when looking for lodging here. Kex Hostel is part of the rise of a trendy hostel motion, where style and character are just as important as comfort. This all comes in on budget (but a little more expensive than you will find at your typical back-to-basics hostel). Kex Hostel includes dorms or private rooms and plenty of amenities, like a cafe-bar, lounge that hosts local gigs and a gym. It is also in a place for city exploration.
Radisson Blu Saga Hotel
Located 10 minutes from the historical city centre in the west-town region of Reykjavik, Radisson Blu Saga flawlessly provides you intimate proximity to the city as well as some calmness if audiences become overly much. Add to this their simple but contemporary rooms and famous restaurant, Grillið, which sit Round the hotel, providing panoramic views of the town, and you have one of the best places to stay in Iceland.
Best Akureyi, for Iceland’s second city
Sure, Reykjavik gets the main global airport nearby and can be effortlessly cool, but it is not the only city to stay in that will provide you an insight to Icelandic life. Take Akureyri, the 2nd most populous town in Iceland (yet still just with a population of less than 20,000). Situated at the bottom of a fjord in northern Iceland, this pulsing town of the north provides excellent winter skiing, eclectic cafes and restaurants, an impressive church, Akureyrarkirkja, and stunning surroundings like Lake Mývatn and Dettifoss.
Resort Kea is right in the middle of Akureyri, positioned in the bottom of Akureyrarkirkja (Akureyri Church), with some rooms with breathtaking views of the Eyjafjördur Fjord. It is worth checking out the Múlaberg Bistro & Bar, where you can get your fix of Icelandic dishes with a French influence. Hotel Kea can be only a short stroll from Akureyri Botanical Garden.
Icelandair Hotel Akureyri
The comfort has all the over-bed breakfast tables which come with every room, meaning if it is cold in Iceland’s capital of the North, you don’t even have to escape bed to enjoy the views over a cup of coffee.
Best for your northern lights
The northern exactly what? Just kidding — Iceland is pretty much synonymous with the northern lights, and for good reason. Between November and March, you’re in with a pretty good prospect of seeing the vibrant, wispy curtain hanging from the sky that makes up the sought-after Aurora. And as long as you keep away from too much light pollution (and therefore are blessed with some luck from the weather gods), you can choose from resorts all around the nation where a focus on viewing the northern lights makes them some of the best places to stay in Iceland.
Just a two hour drive in the Keflavík global airport in Hella, Hotel Rangá is renowned as an excellent location from which to view the northern lights. Anyone who’s attempted to see the Aurora screen, simply to be left frozen and shivering in the chilly, will be happy to hear that Hotel Rangá makes the viewing experience as comfortable as you can. This includes a balcony that wraps around the pub, thick blankets and a wake-up call once the lights seem.
Found in the Western area of Iceland in the end of Borgarfjordur Valley, you’ll be discovering a different pair of landscapes to enjoy to your northern lights experience at lodge-style Hotel Húsafell. The screen can appear several times a week (in the winter, if conditions are appropriate ), making this one of the safest bets in an Aurora display is your aim. With an elegant Nordic style, renewable energy-saving ethos, outside hot tubs and northern lights wake-up requires, it’s a lot to recommend it.
Greatest for dramatic landscapes
From craggy mountains to thundering waterfalls, Iceland’s landscapes are one of the key reasons people visit the nation, so it just makes sense to stay within close vicinity of them. We advise that you pick your must-do attractions and proceed from there. By sticking to these, you can ensure that you’re the first on the scene and have the magnificent scenery to yourself at least until the tour buses arrive.
ION Hotel doesn’t just have an unbelievable background in Thingvellir National Park, set against mountainous lava areas. The building juts out of the rocks, balanced on pillars for a dramatic look, and its sleek interior is nature-focused using driftwood sculptures and furnishings made from recycled materials. The natural attractions on your doorstep make this easily one of the best places to remain in Iceland. The Geysir, diving in the Silfra ramble, the Kerið volcanic crater and the Golden Circle are within reach.
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
Located between two quite popular attractions in Iceland, Skaftafell National Park and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is surely up there when it comes to looking for your foundation to breathtaking landscapes in the nation. The modern hotel with a slick design means and a decent restaurant means you are going to have a comfy and stylish end into a day in the wilderness, whether that is among the massive ice cubes at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon or viewing Svartifoss Waterfall at Vatnajökull National Park.
Best for Iceland’s geothermal hot springs
In winter, they supply a cozy respite from the cold, and also in the summer, they are just pure luxury. Iceland’s hot springs, powered with the geothermal activity that is so abundant on the island, are well worth visiting any time of year. The kinds of springs may range from huge, famous attractions such as the Blue Lagoon, to secret hideaway pools dotted in the countryside.
Section of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon resort, this really is the greatest relaxation escape for anybody seeking to benefit from this geothermal activity where the nation is so well known. A stone’s throw away from mineral-rich waters and mud-mask paradise, the rooms themselves in Silica Hotel are minimalist, modern and comfy. If you are worried about if the Blue Lagoon is really worth the trip or it’s too active, this hotel has its very own, not as crowded lagoon, just for guests.
Situated on the Snaefellsnes peninsula, on a beach near a lava area, the romantic and tasteful Hotel Budir has an wonderful restaurant, top service and feels completely remote. For all of us, it is a winning combination. The proximity to a hot spring here’s a stark contrast to Silica Hotel: Hotel Budir serves as a fantastic foundation for Landbrotalaug pool, a small and romantic all-natural spring only big enough to fit two or three people. It takes a small effort to locate, but it is well worth it when you do.