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
There's a very small workout room in the basement
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Small, central boutique highlighting Icelandic traditions—all in superb style
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.