Where To Stay When You're In Iceland

Photo: Getty Images.
Iceland is a true bucket list destination. The country, which is worth visiting during any season, has unbelievable natural vistas, active volcanoes, and seascapes that will blow your mind. The Northern Lights are on view in the darker months, while summer brings adventure activity opportunities like hiking, climbing, and sea fishing.

Whatever your vacation plans may involve, Iceland also offers some of the coolest and most authentic hotel experiences out there. Whether you’re looking for city luxury or remote rustic charm, you can find it here. Ahead, discover a handful of our favorite places to stay. Just don’t blame us if you need to extend your trip just so you can experience them all.
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Photo: Courtesy of Reykjavik Peace Center Guesthouse.
Reykjavik Peace Center Guesthouse
If you’re the sort of traveler who likes to give back, Reykjavik Peace Center Guesthouse is the way to go. The hotel has several guest rooms and apartments, and it’s run by a nonprofit called Peace 2000 Institute, which organizes peace and humanitarian projects. It’s more bohemian than it is luxurious, but you can sleep well knowing your dollars are going to a good cause. The rooms are also incredibly affordable, starting at just 60 Euros per night. That means you can use the rest of your funds to explore the artsy neighborhood where the guesthouse is located.
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Kerlingarfjoll Mountain Resort
Outdoorsy travelers should head to Kerlingarfjoll, a mountainside resort comprised of small, tented houses that allow you to feel like you’re roughing it in nature, even as you relax in the outdoor hot pool. It’s an ideal way to immerse yourself in the scenery around you. Plus, the hotel serves traditional Icelandic cuisine in its restaurant, so you'll also be able to taste what the country is about. And, don’t worry: It may be remote, but there's still a bar.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Borg.
Hotel Borg
Hotel Borg, located in the heart of Reykjavik, boasts an Art Deco style with modern amenities throughout its 99 rooms. The hotel, which initially opened in 1930, has a spa, gym, and on-site restaurant, and will arrange for you to take various local excursions (including seeing the Northern Lights). If you’re feeling especially posh you can book yourself into the two-story Tower Suite, which offers panoramic views of Iceland’s capital city. It's a perfect homebase for exploring the sights, and it's walking distance from numerous restaurants and bars.
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Photo: Courtesy of Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon.
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
Because of its location in Hnappavellir, Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is a great place to stay if you’re looking to go hiking or climbing in the area. It’s remote, but the rooms, which have either an ocean or mountain view, will make you feel right at home. Take advantage of the free Wi-Fi (which you hopefully won’t need since you’ll be so busy exploring), and indulge in the modern Icelandic cuisine served downstairs.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Eldhestar.
Hotel Eldhestar
Hotel Eldhestar is located on a farm called Vellir, which is known for its horse riding tours in the area surrounding the Hengill volcano (Eldhestar, in fact, means volcano horses). The rooms are decorated with natural, local inspiration using local craftsmanship and eco-friendly technology. It’s cozy and comfortable, the perfect place to settle in after your day of riding through the wilderness.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Glymur.
Hotel Glymur
You’ll find Hotel Glymur outside of the city, in Glymur Village. The friendly, relaxed hotel offers six uniquely designed villas, each of which has its own hot tub. They are rustic with amazing views, and the hotel will help you book a hike to the nearby Waterfall Glymur, which will be well worth the Instagram post. Try this spot if you want to experience Iceland’s rural charm and natural wonder.
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Photo: Courtesy of Icelandair Hotels.
Reykjavík Marina Icelandair Hotels
It might seem strange to stay in a hotel run by an airline, but Icelandair’s accommodations are actually quite lovely and well-appointed. This one, located in the main city, has a unique design, with guest rooms that offer harbor views, and a cool, contemporary vibe that feels very European. The hotel also claims to have the best breakfast buffet in town, if that’s a factor in your booking choice.
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Photo: via @kexhostel.
Kex Hostel
On a budget while in Iceland? Luckily you don’t have to give up on the cool factor just to save some cash thanks to the Kex Hostel, which has individual rooms as well as communal ones. There’s laundry, a gym, a gastropub, a hair salon, a small library for your reading pleasure, and bicycle rentals — basically, everything you’ll need for a fun vacation. The best part is the events, which include live music weekly in the common room.
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Photo: via @IONIceland.
Ion Adventure Hotel
If you’re after a luxury experience where you’re likely to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, book a room at the Ion Adventure Hotel. The modern, cubic building is seemingly situated in the middle of nowhere (although it’s actually less than an hour drive from Reykjavík), and it’s surrounded by lava fields and snow-capped mountains. It’s the perfect base for exploring Thingvellir National Park or just taking a much-needed break from life.
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Photo: Courtesy of 101 Hotel.
101 Hotel
Art is at the center of the 101 Hotel’s experience. The contemporary Reykjavík spot displays a unique collection of Icelandic art throughout, which means you’ll feel cultured as well as relaxed. Enjoy the gym and spa, and allow the concierge to book tours of places around town. It’s perfect for anyone who wants a hip, modern stay with luxurious amenities.
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Photo: Courtesy of Blue Lagoon Silica Hotel.
Blue Lagoon Silica Hotel
Even if you’ve never been to Iceland you know about the famous Blue Lagoon, which is one of the must-do activities when visiting the country. The natural spa is most easily accessible from the Silica Hotel, which is the Lagoon’s on-site accommodation. The hotel has a calm sensibility, with free breakfast, free (premium) access to the Blue Lagoon, and access to the hotel’s own private lagoon. It’s the best place to bed up if your priority is relaxation.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Ranga.
Hotel Ranga
Southern Iceland’s Hotel Ranga is funky and quaint, with a rustic charm that embraces its countryside locale. It’s well-known for its proximity to the Northern Lights, as well as stargazing, and you can head out to discover nearby glaciers, lagoons, volcanoes, waterfalls, and black sand beaches by ATV, horseback, or snowmobile. And if you can’t make it, the hotel even offers a live online feed of the Northern Lights (so you can pretend like you’ve been there).
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Photo: Courtesy of Alda Hotel.
Alda Hotel
Reykjavík has a wide range of options for accommodations, but Alda is a good choice for anyone looking for something low-key but also well-kept. It’s located on Laugavegur, the main drag of town, and much of the best things to see are within walking distance. There’s a sauna, hot tub, and fitness center, as well as the hotel’s Barber Bar, which serves daily happy hour. The decor is simple, but friendly and warm, and you just can't beat the location.
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