ION City Hotel
What We Love
- The natural light that floods the rooms (especially during summer's 22-hour days)
- The hallway walls, which are lined with cool motion-controlled lighting that appears in angled lines
- Complimentary minibars stocked with beer and wine
What To Know
- Junior suites have balconies with private saunas
- The hotel fronts a busy street, so request a room at the back
- Free WiFi
- There's a very small workout room in the basement
- Free WiFi
It’s all about the details at ION City Hotel, the sister hotel of ION Adventure Hotel—both designed by California-based firm Minarc. Take the façade, patterned in textured aluminum panels modeled after a traditional Icelandic wool sweater. You can buy those sweaters, woven by the owner’s mother, in the hotel, a pleasing bit of symmetry. Showcasing Iceland’s makers is part of the hotel’s mission, and the Scandi-hip rooms (some on the small side) even have bathrooms with local sand and moss in the walls. Oversized windows invite city and mountain views in, while the suites with saunas are the most coveted. Splurge on the premium Panorama suite and you’ll also get a chef on call for when you want to entertain. The hotel has a sweet location in the trendiest neighborhood in town, so it’s not likely you’ll be spending too much time inside, but the Sumac restaurant’s North African cuisine is a must-try. Service throughout is impeccable.
In the Area
Laugavegur is one of the hippest streets in the city, so you’ll be well-positioned to indulge in the first-class restaurants, bars, and shops nearby. It’s a five-minute stroll to Dill, the first Michelin-starred restaurant in the country (book waaaaaay in advance), where you’ll find deceptively simple dishes like Arctic char and fennel that make a disproportionately big splash. A couple of blocks away is the very hip Kaffibarinn, which has tip-top beer and late-night DJs. Hallgrímskirkja, an imposing Lutheran church that’s a city landmark, is just a six-minute walk from the hotel. If you want to go puffin spotting or whale watching, head to the harbor, which is extraordinarily picturesque with its fishing boats floating in front of snow-capped mountains. This area is getting better known for its restaurants and nightlife, too. Hotel staff are universally warm and friendly and have good, insider-y tips for where to go; run your evening plans by them before heading out to get the seal of approval.
How to Get There
We got a small taste of the noise issue during our Thursday night stay as the bar music was until 1am not the posted 11pm on the website. I was so tired from touring it didn’t really bother me. The other nights (Sunday - Tuesday) were terrific. The hotel is a small boutique hotel with large rooms and bathroom ( great shower). We loved the location- easy walking distance to all the sights and great restaurants in Reykjavik ( loved Solon, The Old Iceland, Rok and Mat Bar - great foodie restaurants)! The staff with the exception of one person were amazing - so friendly and helpful. They allowed us to keep our bags overnight when we stayed at the Buubble hotel one night. The hotel is about 45 minutes from the airport- private car about $130 US. Hint: credit cards are taken everywhere in Iceland (most take AMEX) - even at the famous hot dog stand in Reykjavik so leave cash at home!
I wish I'd known that this hotel was so noisy on a friday/saturday night as I wouldn't have booked a very expensive junior suite for my husbands birthday!
The room was wonderful with a private sauna on the terrace + the most comfortable huge bed. Had a great night out then went to bed at 11.30pm. Was woken by the bass noise from the club virtually next door vibrating through the room even with the triple glazed windows shut. Even my husband couldn't sleep! The staff were indifferent to my call asking when the music would stop- 3am apparently but there were ear plugs in the room. Such a shame.
Location: This hotel is centrally located in Reykjavik, about a 5 minute walk from Hallgrimskirkja and 10 minutes from the harbor. It's on top of the hill so if you got some business down in the harbor, there's going to be a lot of hill walking. There's a Bonus grocery store close by as well as a bunch of coffee shops that open early around. The entrance is hidden in an alley way so it's really easy to miss. It's right across the street from Brynja (the hardware store).
Rooms: A little on the tight side, we had the room with the outdoor sauna which was amazing after a long day. It had views overlooking the harbor but there is construction going on right now, so really it's a view of a big crane.
The king sized bed was comfy and the sheets were clean.
What I didn't like was that the bathroom shower was right against the bed so if someone was sleeping, it might disturb them. The shower and the toilet are seperate and also on opposite sides so there's not really any privacy for changing.
The bathroom had Soley Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash. The towels were also smaller than what I was used to be but I think it's an America/Europe thing.
The room also had loose leaf tea, a nespresso machine, and a hot water maker.
Parking at the church is free! Street parking is free after 6 until 9 am. There is also a paid parking structure close by. Plenty of restaurants nearby as well.
For us, the hotel was really quiet. I liked that there wasn't that many rooms on each floor.
Nice, small hotel in the heart of Reykjavik. With very smooth processes.
However, rooms are really small for a high price. Even worse, the hotel is located right next to a club. Until 2:30 the noise what at a level similar to the dancefloor.
We chose this because it’s affiliated with Marriott, and it turned out to be amazing. Staff was terrific, extremely responsive to requests and so friendly. Area was perfect for getting around, near bus stop 7 which was our go to for tours. The hotel is extremely quiet as well.