Reykjavik, Iceland’s chic little capital and one of Europe’s coolest cities, is also home to some of the region’s savviest boutique hotels.
Ion City Hotel
You may already know about Ion’s sister property, the striking award-winning Ion Adventure Hotel, which captures the majesty of Iceland’s interior. Now, the homegrown brand has opened in the capital. With just 18 rooms, Ion City Hotel boasts a distinctive down-to-earth vibe, thanks to organic interiors, clean lines, locally-produced art, and grey-white walls contrasted by honey-hued timber floors.
Designed by Minarc, an Icelandic architectural duo who also worked on the sister property, the hotel showcases national themes and design, right down to the real birch tree behind the reception desk and a custom-designed “bird’s nest” light hanging from the ceiling. Combining the best of Icelandic hospitality with farm-fresh cuisine and a bar that’s as popular with the locals as it is visitors, the Design Hotels member’s 18 guest rooms all feature timber floors, luxurious linens and Bluetooth speakers, although we have a soft spot for the 30sqm Junior Suite, with its spacious balcony and private sauna.
Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre
Located on Hverfisgata Street, a thriving area in the heart of the Icelandic capital, Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre has been designed as a natural extension of the vibrant neighbourhood, with local design influences and natural materials used throughout the hotel’s architecture and interiors. Steeped in the local culture, guests can taste Iceland’s famous Omnom chocolate onsite, enjoy water naturally filtered by Icelandic lava, and immerse themselves in local literature when relaxing in the hotel’s poets’ corner. There’s even an LP library with records that can be played on the hotel’s ten record turntables.
With just 112 rooms, the hotel boasts an intimate, chic ambiance that extends to the Geiri Smart restaurant, where lead chef enthusiast Jóhannes Steinn Jóhannesson and sous chef enthusiast Bjarni Siguroli Jakobsson innovate on local dishes.
One of the city’s coolest enclaves, the 38-room 101 Hotel is housed in a former 1930s office building that was once the headquarters of the Icelandic Social Democratic Party. The Icelandic Opera House and Reykjavik Art Museum are steps away. Under the creative guidance of owner and designer Ingibjörg S. Pálmadóttir, the Design Hotels member has become a casual-chic lightning rod for the city.
With its modern lines, local artwork, and palette of black, grey and white, the hotel is unapologetically modern but without being pretentious. Guest rooms in heated oak and white linen are spacious and user friendly – we especially like the Double Deluxe Rooms with their standalone bathtubs. Downstairs, the Nordic cool continues in the bar, which is dressed in Chinese lacquer and timber, the look punctuated with pieces by Eero Saarinen and Philippe Starck; and in the restaurant, which is saturated in natural light thanks to overhead windows.
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