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- Iceland is open to vaccinated travelers or anyone with proof of previous infection or negative test.
- Many hotels also require proof of vaccination but are open to travelers.
- The best hotels in Iceland range from a high-end hostel in Reykjavik to a luxury lodge in the south.
There are few places on earth that capture the imagination quite like Iceland. Known as the land of fire and ice, the country’s ethereal moon-like landscapes, extreme forces of nature, and abundance of design-forward, eco-friendly hotels have helped fuel its popularity.
As of publishing, Iceland is open to travelers and does not require a quarantine upon arrival, however, you do need to take a COVID test (free of charge) upon arrival and before reentry to the US.
“I think travelers can expect a country that is open for tourism and excited for visitors,” Reykjavik local and fellow travel writer Michelle Spinei told me. “In the past year, we’ve had some great destinations open like the Sky Lagoon, which is the newest geothermal spa near Reykjavik, and of course, there is an active volcanic eruption ongoing in the Geldingadalur valley, which is incredible to see in person.”
If you’re eager to get out into the world again, you can’t do much better than Iceland. These are the best hotels in Iceland for every traveler and budget.
Here are the best hotels in Iceland, sorted by price from low to high.
Don’t be scared of the word hostel. This isn’t the kind of gritty place you stayed while studying abroad. We included it because it’s no secret that traveling to Iceland can be a pricey proposition, so for a budget-friendly option, you can’t do much better than Kex Hostel.
Set along the harbor just a hop and a skip from downtown Reykjavik, Kex, which is Icelandic for biscuit, pays homage to its roots as a former biscuit factory and is as quaint and cozy as it is bursting with local kitsch and ephemera.
Kex has all the trappings of a modern hotel with a ground-floor library and event space that is a great place to kick back with an Icelandic beer and a good book.
There’s a variety of room types to choose from including private rooms, family-friendly suites, and dormitory-style bunk rooms. Some higher-end rooms even offer views over Mount Esna in the distance, and there are also women-only dorms available upon request.
Whether you’re solo, traveling with a group, or as a family, this is a great all-around option for the price.
Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik
Set in a historic building in the heart of downtown Reykjavik, Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel has been a longtime staple for its modern meets Scandi-style digs right in the heart of the action.
Surrounded by a variety of popular bars and restaurants along nearby Laugavegur Street, the main artery of the city, this is a great spot for business travelers stopping over for a night on the town or anyone looking to be centrally located.
The hotel’s meeting rooms and 24-hour business center make this a smart option for those traveling for business or on a quick layover.
Many of the 88 recently renovated rooms also come with a desk and office chair set up as well. Rooms run on the spacious side, especially compared to other hotels in town.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Located on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland, Hotel Búdir is without a doubt one of the country’s most enchanting locales.
Surrounded by nothing by sea and lava fields, the hotel’s on-site restaurant is not only lauded as one of the best in the country, but with a three and five-course tasting menu, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience well worth making the trek west for.
The lodge’s vibe strives for rustic elegance and is achieved through scores of antique prints and vintage decor scattered throughout the property. With 28-rooms that include a mix of Queen rooms, loft rooms, standard rooms, and one master suite, there’s no shortage of panoramic views from ocean or lava fields to glaciers. A popular spot for weddings and a favorite for couples looking for a romantic getaway, some rooms come with your own soaking tub.
The hotel is also a great jumping-off point for seeing another one of Iceland’s most popular attractions: the Northern Lights, which can be viewed right outside the hotel with a warm cup of cocoa in hand (weather and season permitting). The hotel can also help arrange helicopter sightseeing trips such as glacier hikes and whale watching.
Canopy By Hilton Reykjavik City Centre
If you’re looking to stay right in the center of the city, Canopy By Hilton Reykjavik City Centre is an affiliate of Icelandair hotels and is a self-proclaimed lifestyle boutique in town, which means it has a robust collection of local art, cultural events, an overall convivial vibe, and inviting interior spaces.
Just steps away from shops, bars, and restaurants, the hotel opened in 2016 and is a short walk from the Reykjavik harbor and Harpa Concert Hall.
Canopy’s signature Just Right Rooms each come with their proprietary Canopy memory foam beds, and the hotel’s layout is unique in that it is set across a series of connected houses.
Accommodations range from a mix of twin rooms and lofts up to King premium suites and every room is designed with a modern-meets minimalist Icelandic aesthetic in mind. The real piece de resistance (and perennial guest favorite) are the signature Canopy Bed’s which were designed just for the hotel in the promise of a great night’s sleep.
The warm and inviting lobby area and living room space is a great place to sip craft beer or cocktails and admire the local artwork. The hotel also offers a nightly happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. where guests can enjoy small bites and cocktails at the central bistro and bar.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Set in the charming seaside village of Sigllufjörður in northern Iceland, Siglo Hotel sits neatly along a colorful marina.
Once dubbed ‘the herring capital of the world,’ today this quaint village and hotel are a great place to kick back and embrace a slower pace of Icelandic life. There’s still a herring and fishing museum in town if you’re keen on learning a bit about the local culture.
Every room at this family-owned hotel offers views over the marina and mountains. Classic Rooms all the way up to Deluxe Suites are spacious and come appointed with local art. Each room offers the choice of a balcony or picture window, either of which is a great place to sit and enjoy the slow pace of village life.
While you’ll feel right at home here, Siglo is an excellent springboard for hiking or skiing at Skardsdalur ski resort. The restaurant on property is also a popular spot for locals and visitors and you don’t want to miss the signature dishes including a local salted cod and lamb.
The hotel’s outdoor spa that includes a hot tub and sauna, which is one of the best reasons to stay here. Soak in the hot spring to end your day in a way that is uniquely Iceland.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Ion Adventure Hotel
Less than an hour outside of Reykjavik, Ion Adventure Hotel is located just a few miles short of Iceland’s picturesque Thingvellir National Park.
It makes a striking first impression, perfectly positioned off the popular Golden Circle (or Ring Road) route in a remote locale amongst lava fields. As such, the hotel offers it a great jumping-off point for exploring some of Iceland’s most beautiful landscapes and natural scenery.
A member of Marriott’s Design Hotels, there are dramatic views through floor-to-ceiling windows in the Junior Thermal Suites, and rooms come stocked with fair trade organic linens and hypoallergenic beds. Natural decor and design elements are woven throughout all 45-rooms, and this eco-friendly property has been designed to maximize the area’s natural surroundings.
Ideal for adventure seekers and intrepid travelers in particular., the staff also helps organize tours from horseback riding and snorkeling to snowmobiling and cave luging.
Ion is also home to an award-winning Northern Lights bar, Silfra Restaurant, that serves new Nordic cuisine. An all-natural Lava Spa and yoga classes rounds out an an adventure you won’t want to miss.
Haukadalur Valley and geyser are a permanent fixture along Iceland’s iconic Golden Circle route, and if you’re looking for something within close proximity, Hotel Geysir is a great choice.
The hotel offers a mix of 77 modern rooms and suites, some of which come with floor-to-ceiling windows and many offer views over the valley and geyser below.
Also on property, Geysir Restaurant offers a feast of Icelandic and international dishes, as well as a newly opened restaurant that caters to vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free diners.
Within walking distance is the excellent geothermal Geysir Store, which is chock full of souvenirs, crafts, and those famous (and itchy) Icelandic wool sweaters. The hotel’s garden and rooftop terrace offer incredible views and private dining experiences, which can be booked through the hotel.
An excellent launch pad for exploring the beauty that abounds in Southern Iceland, Umi Hotel is an elegant 28 room, family-owned boutique that is truly out of this world.
Set along a river in the countryside near the base of Eyjafjallajökull volcano, just a couple miles off the Ring Road, this gorgeous abode offers some of the most spectacular scenery and stays you’re likely to come across.
The hotel takes advantage of its incredible oceanfront setting and room types include either a double or twin with mountain or ocean views, along with tons of natural light as well as a walk-in shower or tub. Superior Rooms come with a Nespresso Machine, Marshall Speaker, and slippers, too.
The Restaurant affords incredible views over the Westman Islands and breathtaking southern coastline along with locally inspired dishes.
Don’t miss a chance to take a drive 30 minutes south where you’ll find yourself in the quaint seaside village of Vik. A popular filming location for “Game of Thrones,” spend some time exploring the volcanic black sand beach before tucking in for lunch in a local cafe.
When you get back to home base, Breki, Umi’s adorable resident dog will be waiting to greet you.
Set 60 miles south of Reykjavik along Iceland’s south coast, Hotel Ranga‘s romantic countryside location is is well-placed to explore the country’s myriad of natural wonders. This cabin-in-the-woods-themed lodge is close to gushing waterfalls, highlands, volcanoes, and hot springs.
Take a tour over the astonishing technicolor mountains of Landmannalaugar, cruise along beautiful black sand beaches, or explore a nearby ice cave, all of which can be arranged through the hotel.
After a day of activities, there’s no place better to relax than in one of the hotel’s 52 rooms and suites. The log cabin style decor will make you feel at home and for something truly special, consider booking one of the master suites, each of which are themed after one of the seven continents from Africa to Antarctica. Whatever you do, don’t miss a chance to soak in one of the hotel’s geothermal heated outdoor hot tubs.
At night, nosh on gourmet Icelandic delicacies at Restaurant Ranga, which is considered one of the best spots for high-end Nordic fare in all of Iceland.
Situated under South Iceland’s clear dark skies, the hotel is a great place for a shot at seeing the Northern Lights. There is even a resident astronomer and observatory with telescopes to enhance your stargazing experience. For the total package, check out the “When in Iceland” deal, which includes a stay in the Icelandic Suite along with other local goodies, including your own woolen sweater to take home.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
There’s a reason why the Blue Lagoon is perpetually ranked as one of Iceland’s most popular locales, and if you’re looking to max out on your geothermal spa time, Silica Hotel is a great option.
A 10-minute walk away to the Blue Lagoon, Silica offers a mix of 25 spacious rooms and suites are tucked along Iceland’s iconic moon-like landscape and have been tastefully designed with Nordic minimalism in mind that reflects the natural beauty of surrounding lava fields.
But perhaps the most standout feature of this hotel, and the main reason for booking, is the use of a private geothermal lagoon that is only available to guests of the hotel. Also, there is an added bonus that staying here grants you free and premium entry to the Blue Lagoon, which is a major value, and convenience.
For a more indulgent experience, The Retreat at The Blue Lagoon is also here, with 62 suites and exclusive access to the Blue Lagoon. Starting rates are a bit prohibitive at $1,366 so if you’re looking for something a little more cost-effective, Silica Hotel a reasonable option and offers the best of both worlds.
Located along northern Iceland’s Troll Peninsula, Deplar Farm is a splurge but combines world-class food, lodging, and five-star all-inclusive service along with guided outdoor activities for guests of all ages.
A former sheep farm that was transformed in 2016 as one of the most (if not the most) exclusive hotel stays in Iceland, Deplar, is a 28,000-square foot lodge that offers 13 Scandinavian style suites.
There is an indoor-outdoor geothermal pool (and pool bar,) sauna and steam room, indoor-outdoor hot tubs, media room, spa facility with two flotation tanks and three treatment rooms, two heli-pads, bar and lounge, gym and yoga room and outdoor deck.
Equal parts luxury and adventure, off property there’s no shortage of amazing things to do. From Heli-skiing and salmon fishing, your personal concierge is always on-hand to ensure your needs are met.
This five-star lodge is also available for private buyouts of up to 16 guests.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
FAQ: Iceland hotels
When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?
December through March is considered the best time to see the Northern lights.
Where should I stay to see the northern lights?
To see the Northern Lights, be sure to stay far away from cities or towns or anywhere where there will be light pollution and more cloud coverage, as these can obscure the view. There are plenty of tour companies and hotels that offer Northern Light’s tours, just make sure to inquire and book in advance. Most of them will also offer a second chance to see them if they don’t make an appearance during your initial tour.
How do I find Iceland hotels with hot springs?
Geothermal hot springs are ubiquitous across all of Iceland. The most popular hot springs are, of course, found at the Blue Lagoon. But if you’re looking for a hotel with hot springs, you’ll notice we included two on this list that offers hot springs as an amenity.
Additionally, TripAdvisor lists some of the top-rated properties that have their own hot springs.
How expensive are hotels in Iceland?
Like most things in Iceland, hotels in Iceland can be very expensive. According to an article in Iceland Magazine, hotels, food, and alcohol tend to run around 66% higher than the European average. This is due largely to import costs, but it’s important to know so you can budget and plan accordingly.
Additionally, the tourist influx has brought with it an overhaul of new hotels in recent years, and while it’s important to note that traveling to Iceland can be expensive, there’s a wide array of hotels at every price point that has helped level the playing field for today’s traveler.
For hotels, we’ve included typical starting and peak prices. If you plan to visit in summer, when the weather is milder and the roads are safest, you will see higher prices. Shoulder seasons like spring and fall will be cheaper and still have mostly accessible weather to travel the island.
When should I go to Iceland?
There’s never a bad time to go to Iceland depending on what you want to see and experience.
However, if you’re keen on seeing the Northern Lights, your best bet is booking a trip between mid to late October through early March. Just note, it’s never a guarantee that you will see them and weather conditions change on a dime in Iceland. Winter also sees harsher weather, and if might be more difficult to drive around the island if that’s something you want to do.
June and July are considered the best time to visit weather-wise, especially if you plan to drive the entire island. Summer is also the best time for whale watching, hiking, biking, and camping.
What is the best area to stay in Iceland?
For first-timers visiting Iceland, a stop at the Blue Lagoon followed by a day or two in Reykjavik is a great place to start.
Southern Iceland and the popular Route 1, or Ring Road, is also considered a relative rite of passage that’s a great way to visit some of the county’s most beautiful natural wonders and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
What is the best area to stay in Reykjavik?
Reykjavik is not only Iceland’s capital, but it also boasts an eclectic music and nightlife scene. That said, the town itself is very walkable and any of the hotels listed within this article are highly recommended, depending on your budget.
What are current Iceland travel restrictions?
Iceland travel restrictions are subject to change on June 15, but at present, passengers traveling to Iceland need to pre-register via Iceland’s official government website. Vaccinated travelers and anyone previously infected with COVID-19 must show proof of their vaccine certificate and do not need to take a COVID test prior to traveling.
Vaccinated travelers are still required to take a test upon arrival (free of charge). Unvaccinated passengers from low risk countries (including the US) are permitted to travel as long as they adhere to testing and quarantine regulations. You can find more information about current rules and travel restrictions here.
While border requirements are subject to change by June 15, it’s expected that if anything, restrictions will only be loosened. It’s also important to follow government guidelines, which you can find here, as well as driving conditions around the island which you can find here.
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