Iceland has tons of accommodation options from sweet suites in the city to guest houses with either private or shared accommodations to even Icelandic farm stays! Accommodation options outside of the Reykjavik area are more limited in winter since not many tourists visit and family run establishments tend to close up for the season. We’ve tried out a multitude of different accommodation types on our multiple trips and have compiled this guide of where to stay in Iceland:
Túngata 32, Reykjavik
Reykjavik is a top spot to ring in the New Year and hotels tend to be expensive. We’ve stayed twice now in a lovely apartment, Túngata 32. The apartment is in a great location just a few minutes walk to the harbor and city center and has free parking available on the street. You can save money by using the fully equipped kitchen to make breakfast before heading out day (it’s especially important to have a good breakfast in winter!) or even a few lunches or dinners. It also has speedy and free wifi. With prices around $100 per night (there is a two night minimum), Túngata 32 is an affordable accommodation option in Iceland’s capital.
Hilton Reykjavik Nordica, Reykjavik
For travelers who like the hotel experience or if Túngata 32 is booked, Hilton Reykjavik Nordica is a good option. The hotel isn’t located right downtown, but it does offer bicycle rental and there is a bus stop directly in front of the hotel. Bed and breakfast rates are available and wifi and parking are always complimentary. Hilton also offers services such as babysitting for families that want to do activities like glacier trekking that aren’t kid friendly. Rates from $160 per night.
Hotel Ranga, Hella
Hotel Ranga is the only 4-star hotel outside of Reykjavik and an excellent base for exploring all the treasures of Iceland’s South Coast. The log-built hotel feels more like you’re staying in a friend’s amazing home than in a hotel. Set just off of Route 1 not far from the famous Seljalandsfoss waterfall, the hotel is away from any light pollution and has a Northern Lights watch nightly. Simply let the front desk know if you’d like a call – they’ll even track you down in the restaurant or outdoor hot tubs to make sure you experience the Aurora Borealis. Rates from $250 per night.
Volcano Hotel, Vik
We didn’t actually stay at the Volcano Hotel, but it comes highly recommended. It’s a modern bed and breakfast with just 7 rooms located between Mýrdalsjökull glacier and the black sand beaches of Vik. We spotted the Volcano Hotel and noted that it would have been a great option for us to spend the night after glacier hiking on Sólheimajökull. In winter a private double room with bathroom and breakfast is around $130 per night.
Hali Country Hotel, Hornafjörður
We picked the Hali Country Hotel because of its location just 12 kilometers from Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. We were hoping for a clear night and to see the Northern Lights dance over the icebergs dotting the lagoon. While a winter storm came in just after our arrival, we had a lovely stay on the family run farm. Þorbjörg and Fjölnir, the proprietors of the hotel, were fantastic hosts kindly showing us around the lovely on-site museum and regularly checking road conditions for our drive up north.
Hali Country Hotel offers a variety of room types from private rooms with bathrooms, to private rooms with shared bathrooms, and dorm-style sleeping bag accommodations. The building also has a lovely common room with a fully equipped kitchen for the option of making meals in. In winter, a double room with private bathroom and breakfast is around $135 per night.
We enjoyed dinner at the restaurant, which serves arctic char (a cold-water fish) freshly caught from the farm’s pond and lamb also from their farm. We tried the smoked arctic char as an appetizer, Tim had lamb, and I had a combo that included steamed arctic char, Icelandic lobster tails (also fished from the farm), and salted cod. Everything was delicious!
Silfurberg is a luxury farm stay in the East Fjords. The lovely Guðrún and Jón purchased the farm in 2003 and completely remodeled the barn into a luxurious hotel. There’s even an incredible outdoor hot tub where you can look at the stars. The town of Breiddalur isn’t far from the farm, but you can also book a delicious home cooked dinner that Guðrún and Jón will prepare. In September, you can also take part in their annual sheep round up. Breakfast is included. Rates from $290 per night.
Vogafjós Guesthouse, Mývatn
I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it is said that there is a 50% better chance to see the Northern Lights in the north of Iceland. The weather is more stable than in the south and it’s just a little bit closer to the middle of the Aurora belt. So we chose to spend 3 nights at Vogafjós Guesthouse, in the small Mývatn community of just 400 people. And what a fantastic choice it was!
Vogafjós Guesthouse is another family owned and run farm and we loved the simple, yet comfy and cozy log cabin that was our home for 3 nights. Who wouldn’t enjoy heated floors in Iceland in winter? And that we could literally look for Northern Lights by opening up our front door made our regular lookouts a bit easier. Our hourly alarms paid off on our second night with a spectacular, albeit short, show. In winter, a double room with private bathroom and breakfast is around $120 per night.
Vogafjós also has a restaurant called the Vogafjós Cowshed Cafe. The lovely log cabin style restaurant has glass windows that look into the cowshed where the farm’s cows reside in winter. It became our twice-daily ritual to greet the cows before breakfast and dinner and we’ve been commenting that we miss the cows ever since!
Dinner was a delicious affair each day and we nearly tried everything on the menu over our three days at Vogafjós! Homemade geyser bread, which is baked in a communal “stove” in the ground, accompanied every meal. And oh, is it delicious! The best is geyser bread slathered with a butter and topped with smoked arctic char, which we had for breakfast and dinner daily. If you’re lucky, you might also get to try the moss bread which is made from moss gathered around the farm. We also thoroughly enjoyed the goulash soup, steamed arctic char, and meatballs with homemade rhubarb jam. Try the trio of homemade ice creams for dessert!
Hotel Berg, Keflavik
We actually stayed at Hotel Berg, which is conveniently located just 10 minutes from the airport, just after it first opened in 2011. The modern rooms are comfortable and I love the huge window that looks out over a lovely harbor in the breakfast room. We were pleased to find on our return that Hotel Berg had expanded and had a whole new reception and larger breakfast area. And its’ proprietors couldn’t be more kind!
Hotel Berg is a fantastic base for exploring the lighthouses, black sand beaches, and steaming fumaroles of the Reykjanes Peninsula and is just a 20 minute dry to one of Iceland’s biggest attractions, the Blue Lagoon. And they send you out for the day with an ample breakfast including batter for homemade do-it-yourself waffles and all the toppings! Breakfast even starts at 4am for those of us unlucky to have a very early flight out.
If staying at Hotel Berg from September to March, request a Northern Lights wake-up call at reception. They have a friend that is an Aurora hunter around the Reykjanes Peninsula and will call the hotel when he spots them. A double room with private bathroom and breakfast is around $110 per night.
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