Where we slept. Iceland edition.

Our epic trip to Iceland ended a few weeks ago and we are already planning a trip back. While we were able to explore so much of the island, there’s still more to be discovered. Plus, we missed the puffins (they are just arriving now) and barely got to see the Northern Lights. Looks like we’ll have to make a few trips back and we’re not even mad about it.

Below is a list of where we laid our heads while we traveled through Iceland. They range from boutique hotels to welcoming farm stays. Scroll through to see which type of accommodation would be best for your future trips to Iceland.

Where to stay in IcelandReykjavik Marina Icelandair Hotel

Like I mentioned in our post about things to know before traveling to Iceland, one of our best decisions was to head straight to the Blue Lagoon from the airport. This detour allowed us to fight off jet lag with a warm soak in the lagoon. It wasn’t until we checked into our Icelandair hotel in Reykjavik that I started feeling the effects of our red-eye flight. While I tried my best to stay awake as long as possible in order to put myself on a decent schedule, the beds at the Reykjavik Marina Icelandair hotel were so welcoming (and comfortable).

The staff at the hotel weren’t only friendly, they were hilarious. Whether they were checking us in, helping with directions, or serving up our morning cup of coffee, they were doing it with a smile and with a joke. We felt like we were hanging out and conversing with friends. Some hotels lack personality but this was not one of them.

Faves:

The decor. When we first walked in I immediately looked at Chris and began pointing to all of the furniture that I wanted for our apartment. I don’t think there was anything about the decor that I didn’t like. Our room featured intricate knots and bright colors that were inspired by Iceland’s nautical traditions. Our room basked in a ton of natural light (which is always a plus for us) and there were adorable facts about Iceland and the hotel that were strewn around the room.

where to stay in reykjavik iceland

Breakfast at the hotel was the stuff that dreams are made of. The spread was massive with platters of cheese, meats, fruit, and a plethora of other drool-inducing treats. We don’t know what it is about bread in Iceland but it’s just more delicious. For a person that tries not to overindulge in carbs, I had at least one piece with breakfast every single day. My guilt was surpassed by the sheer joy of my taste buds. We should also mention that the hotel’s Slippbarinn bar has incredible decor and a delicious happy hour. 2-for-1 drinks for the win!

Icelandic Farm Holidays

While we could have spent our entire trip warm and cozy at our Icelandair hotel in Reykjavik, the rest of the island called. Our Iceland road trip around the southern and eastern parts of the island had us staying in various accommodations by Icelandic Farm Holidays.

Iceland accommodations

Hotel Katla

Our first stop on our Icelandic road trip was at hotel Katla. Located just outside the coastal town of Vik, the hotel was a comfortable respite from the insane blizzard we found ourselves in. The hotel has a restaurant on site as well as a sauna and two outdoor hot tubs.

Faves:

By far, the favorite part of our stay at Hotel Katla was the outdoor hot tub and sauna. Lola, Chris, and I spent over three hours soaking ourselves in the hot tub while interspersing dares of snow angels and freezing somersaults (Reyka vodka was indeed present). On a clear winter night the hot tub would also serve as an incredible spot to view the Northern Lights.

Farm stay in Hoffell

This farm stay was one of the coziest we encountered. Making it to the farm just before another big storm hit, we were greeted by a friendly dog who practically herded us to our rooms. This was the only stay where we didn’t have en suite bathrooms, but what it lacked in toilets it made up for in character. Frida, our host, made sure that we were comfortable and even left us a hand written note and freshly baked bread in the morning. A visit to the nearby geothermal hot springs was included in our stay but we sadly never experienced them as we had to hit the road early the next morning. We have it on the to-do list for next time.

Where to stay in Iceland

Faves:

We have high praise for the freshly baked bread that was served at our Hoffell farm stay. Throw some of the homemade jam on top and you’ve got yourself one delicious breakfast. There’s not a restaurant on site but we asked Frida for dining recommendations and found ourselves gorging on freshly caught lobster for dinner. The nearby town of Höfn is known for its lobster and they serve it up on pizzas, in salads, and straight up.

Guesthouse Egilsstaðir

Ah, the Egilsstaðir guesthouse was probably one of my favorite stays on our trip. With all the charm of an old farm house and the modern amenities of home, this stay perfectly melded character with convenience. Our room was spacious with a huge bathroom and lots of natural light. The windows looked out to beautiful Lake Lagarfljót where the famed Lagarfljótsormur (sea serpent) is said to live. While we didn’t spot the sneaky Lagarfljótsormur, we did hear rumors of elves that once resided in town- although our friend at the front desk looked at us as if we were insane. If you’re looking for tamer creatures, there’s a cow barn located on the property.

Best hotels in Iceland

Faves:

Aside from the decor (think Old World charm), the three of us really enjoyed the fully loaded bar (surprise surprise) and the onsite restaurant. The dinner menu boasted local beef, lamb, arctic char, and perfectly smoked salmon. Breakfast was served buffet style with an assortment of cheese, breads, skyr yogurt, and meat and like all foods in Iceland, it was delicious.

Hotel Geirland

Icelandic Farm Holidays

Our last stay with Icelandic Farm Holidays was at the lovely Hotel Geirland. Located in a basket of basalt and often cloaked in the Northern Lights, this hotel was the perfect way to end our road trip. The property was quiet while we were there but it appeared to have plenty of rooms-and even private cabins-to accompany an assortment of guests.

Iceland accommodations

Faves:

The adorable Icelandic horses that frolicked outside the hotel were a real selling point for us. These beautiful hooved creatures rocking Bieber-esc manes were so friendly and all too willing to eat smuggled sugar cubes from our open palms. Horses aside, the property’s restaurant featured a skyr cake that was a slice of pure sin and the gentleman at the front desk was very friendly and helped us decipher for aurora forecast for that night.

Flipkey Vacation Rentals

We were fortunate enough to team up with our buddies at Flipkey Vacation Rentals while in Iceland. As you might recall, last June we stayed at an enormous Flipkey townhouse rental in Toronto for TBEX 2013. This time we found ourselves in a modern penthouse loft in the heart of Reykjavik’s shopping district. What we love most about apartment rentals is that we always feel closer to a destination when we are living like the locals. We only stayed in this apartment for two nights but could have easily settled for more. There were even talks of all three of us (and Inga of Tiny Iceland) buying the apartment. That’s how much we loved it.

Flipkey apartment rentals in IcelandFaves:

Our Flipkey rental couldn’t have been in a better location. Just outside our door was Laugavegur street, dotted with all of its eye-and wallet-catching stores. The Big Lebowski bar could be seen from our balcony and the ginormous windows made for ideal late night people watching. A grocery store was a two minute walk away and the all-important liquor store was also nearby. If you’re coming to Iceland but won’t have access to a car, this apartment is for you.

Have you been to Iceland? Which accommodation option would be your choice? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

 

Our accommodations in Iceland were sponsored in part by the generous companies listed above. As always, all opinions are our own. That being said, we would highly recommend any of the hotels and farm stays above to our friends and family that are visiting Iceland.

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23 Comments

  1. Jeff
    April 21, 2014 at 2:59 am - Reply

    I’ve never been in Iceland and i believe all hotels there are cozy as those you’ve reviewed. Thanks for sharing this post.
    Jeff recently posted…10 Tips to Save Money While TravelingMy Profile

  2. Keryn from Walking On Travels
    April 21, 2014 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Ha! Your flipkey rental was just down the street from the hotel we stayed at (one of the Center Hotels that litter the city). You just can’t go wrong when staying on the main drag, although it can get noisy on weekend nights if your bedroom is faces the street 🙂
    Keryn from Walking On Travels recently posted…Friday Postcards: Royal Maestranza de Caballeria de RondaMy Profile

  3. lola
    April 21, 2014 at 9:33 am - Reply

    waaaahhhh i wanna go back right now with you two and snatch up our Viking sister, Inga! this was such an amazing trip and each place stayed really helped to make it so memorable. what i lucky gal i am to have experienced it all with you!
    lola recently posted…Lessons Learned at Boston Dive BarsMy Profile

  4. Jen Seligmann
    April 22, 2014 at 2:28 am - Reply

    I will definitely making a note of some of these for when I eventually get my butt over there, hopefully next year.
    Jen Seligmann recently posted…Destination of the Week – MelbourneMy Profile

  5. Louisa @ A Small Scrawl
    April 22, 2014 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    We missed the puffins too, but we were in Scotland! I don’t know what it is about those little birds, but they are such a must-see (for me anyway). Hope to get to Iceland, so interesting.
    Louisa @ A Small Scrawl recently posted…The Ultimate DisappointmentMy Profile

  6. Savi of Bruised Passports
    April 22, 2014 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Yay – I really enjoyed reading your reviews. We’ll be staying at a few Iceland Farm Holidays’ properties too, so this got me super excited 🙂
    Savi of Bruised Passports recently posted…Melaka – The perfect day trip from Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaMy Profile

  7. Mary
    April 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Every photo of Iceland makes me long for it! I’ve stayed at the Northern Lights Inn (near the BL) and the Centerhotel Thingholt (downtown Reykjavik) which were both tip top, but next time I want to see more of the island. Katla & farm stay in Hoffel both sound incredible, mainly because : hot tubs and hot springs and furry dogs!
    Mary recently posted…The Reluctant Segway TourMy Profile

  8. @mrsoaroundworld
    April 23, 2014 at 5:03 am - Reply

    A great selection of options – and I simply adore that note. And the freshly baked bread!!!

  9. Mary Anne
    April 23, 2014 at 9:22 am - Reply

    What a great adventure you had! I loved following it on social media and have really enjoyed your video clip and stories thus far!

  10. Becky Padmore
    April 23, 2014 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Loved the Icelandair Hotel, a very cool place! Your Iceland posts are really making me want to go back! 🙂
    Becky Padmore recently posted…Unspoilt places to visit in Northern Cyprus for travel snobsMy Profile

  11. Chinmoy Lad
    April 25, 2014 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Nice to see some alternative accomodation in a unique place. They all look unique in their own way.

  12. the lazy travelers
    April 25, 2014 at 9:13 am - Reply

    ohhh the farm stays sound magical, and I WANT THAT HORSE. glad to see flipkey on here also– one of our favs! xo
    the lazy travelers recently posted…for the decidedly un-lazy traveler: night kayaking in st. thomasMy Profile

  13. Frank
    April 25, 2014 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Nice that you got to stay in a farm house in rural Iceland … the hot tub must have been heaven while the Northern Lights stretched out across the pitch black sky 🙂

  14. Suki F
    April 28, 2014 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    No, sadly I have never been there. But I want to really bad. These hotels all look amazing.

  15. Best holiday destinations
    April 30, 2014 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    Nice pics!!!!!!!!!!! looking a delicious food and fantastic market. Thanks for posting nice views….
    Best holiday destinations recently posted…Romania – A Place With Unspoiled Hidden Treasures And Scenic BeautyMy Profile

  16. Ryan
    May 1, 2014 at 3:47 am - Reply

    This is pretty rad. Cannot wait to get to Iceland, its like a fantasy land and all of these places are so very unique. Thanks for sharing, I’ll hopefully head there next year!
    Ryan recently posted…The day I thought I’d be robbed in Thailand.My Profile

  17. Helen G. Dickerson
    May 2, 2014 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Visiting Iceland is my dream and it will come true this coming fall. I’m actually thinking what the hotels look like. Thanks for sharing and I will surely use this for my trip.

  18. Julie Kinnear
    May 3, 2014 at 2:13 am - Reply

    A friend of mine just visited this wonderland and took thousands of amazing photos, and now I see these reports… It seems that it’s really high time to make my dream come true! I’m looking for cheaper flight tickets for this summer… I was thinking about staying in a classical hotel and combine it with Couchsurfing but as you wrote about the farm houses, these are definitely closer to my nature-lover heart. By the way, I thought that Icelanders are rather reserved, but this post shows that they are also very friendly and open. What was your main impression?

  19. Greg
    May 8, 2014 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Never been to Iceland before… looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Katy
    May 31, 2014 at 1:01 am - Reply

    Yeaaah… Thingholt that were each tip high, however next time i need to check a lot of of the island. we’ll undoubtedly creating a note of a number of these for once I eventually get my butt over there, hopefully next year.

  21. Rob
    October 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Never heard of Flipkey before, but I’m planning on Couchsurfing when I head to Iceland “hopefully” next year. Thanks for sharing!
    Rob recently posted…Comment on Things I will and will not miss about China by Rob SpangenbergMy Profile

  22. JK Baseer
    November 8, 2014 at 10:05 am - Reply

    “Breakfast was served buffet style with an assortment of cheese, breads, skyr yogurt, and meat and like all foods in Iceland, it was delicious.”

    On-site Restaurant Breakfast are always my favorite 🙂 So choosing a hotel with good Onsite restaurant makes our whole day feel special and energetic 🙂

    Good article 🙂
    JK Baseer recently posted…The Hidden Beauty of Togean IslandMy Profile

  23. Elle Salazar
    June 16, 2015 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Hello Captain and Clark! Great article you have here. It seems like I now realize that I knew nothing about Iceland. I was very amazed with the photos and videos you posted that I suddenly had the urge of wanting to be there. I will definitely read more about this place. Hoping to get more updates of your adventures Cheers!

    -Elle

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