Iceland’s Finest: A list of the Best hotels in Iceland and Things to Do

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A Nordic nation, Iceland is known for its dramatic landscapes that feature volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, and lava fields. Among this primal beauty stand some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. These establishments go beyond providing accommodation to offer experiences as unforgettable as their surroundings.

In Icelandic luxury accommodations, tourists can have comfort and excitement in one place. From rooms with unobstructed views of the Aurora Borealis and night sky to spas dug into volcanic earth, these facilities have redefined what luxury means in the land of fire and ice.

Below is the list of the best hotels in Iceland and adventurous things to do on your Iceland trip.

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Image Source: Unsplash

1. Best Reykjavik Hotels in Iceland

1.1. Hotel Borg

This historic gem, founded in 1930, is an Art Deco masterpiece blended with modern conveniences. It is located at Reykjavík city center, providing easy access to cultural landmarks and lively city life. Besides being an urban retreat hotel, it has a calm atmosphere.

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Screenshot from the Official Website: Hotel Borg

1.2. Reykjavik Marina Residence

Positioned by the old harbor, Reykjavik Marina Residence provides its specially designed rooms with a maritime flair. From their windows, guests can watch boats passing by before strolling along the marina to dine at local seafood restaurants.

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Screenshot from the Official website: Reykjavik Marina

1.3. Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre

The Canopy by Hilton in downtown Reykjavik merges Icelandic culture with slick design. Each room features works by local artists and offers access to vibrant streets filled with live music, fashion history, etc.

1.4. The Reykjavik EDITION

With its contemporary design, elegant rooms, and flawless service standards, The Reykjavik EDITION has set new heights of luxury in Reykjavik. Located next door to Harpa Concert Hall & Conference Centre and boasting stunning views over Mount Esja, this hotel is remarkable.

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Screenshot from the official Website: Reykjavik EDITION

2. Best South Iceland Hotels

2.1. Hotel Grímsborgir

Hotel Grímsborgir is a property situated in Selfoss, which is in South Iceland; it is considered one of the high-end luxury hotels. It also includes large suites or cottages with private hot tubs providing panoramic views of surrounding mountains and glaciers. At the same time, you can also enjoy a gourmet restaurant or play golf nearby.

Hotel Grimsborgir Iceland - A Lovely Place to Stay

2.2. Hotel Anna

Hotel Anna is a boutique hotel in Hvolsvollur village in South Iceland. It offers personalized service and a cozy atmosphere so that visitors to the area would feel at home away from their homes. The hotel features a restaurant that specializes in local flavors and ingredients.

2.3. Ion Adventure Hotel

The Ion Adventure Hotel is an escape into the surreal landscapes of South Iceland. Built on stilts amidst lava fields, this eco-friendly hotel provides an unmatched setting for viewing the Northern Lights.

After exploring during the day, guests can relax by soaking in the geothermal hot tubs provided by the hotel, as well as enjoying therapeutic warmth and minerals against a backdrop of stunning scenery.

2.4. The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland

Set amidst the breathtaking landscape of the Blue Lagoon, The Retreat at Blue Lagoon provides unparalleled luxury and relaxation. Guests have private access to the lagoon, rejuvenating spa treatments, and fine dining options.

The building of this luxury hotel here is incredible, with its contemporary Scandinavian design integrating with the volcanic landscape. All suites provide privacy, solitude, and floor-to-ceiling windows framing ethereal blue waters.

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Screenshot from the Official Website: The Retreat at Blue Lagoon

3. Best Hotels Along Golden Circle

3.1. Icelandair Hotel Fludir

It is in the charming town of Fludir, where Icelandair Hotel Fludir offers a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. A geothermal hot tub is one of the facilities this hotel offers that provides an excellent reprieve after exploring Golden Circle attractions such as Geysir and Gullfoss.

3.2. Frost and Fire Hotel

This Frost and Fire Hotel is located beside Varma River’s coastline with its very own natural hot springs for a different experience. While dipping in warm water, guests can watch beautiful lava fields and mountains around them.

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Screenshot from the Official website: Frost and Fire Hotel

3.3. Hotel Geysir

As the name suggests, Hotel Geysir is found near the Geysir geothermal area it represents. The lovely hotel has comfortable rooms and makes an ideal starting point for visiting some of the Golden Circle’s wonders, like the Strokkur geyser, which erupts.

3.4. Hotel Ranga

The exceptional services in the Hotel Ranga are known across Ranga River banks. Guests can unwind in the outdoor pool and hot tubs, go salmon fishing, or take private helicopter tours. This log cabin-styled hotel on the river bank provides an awesome haven.

The restaurant at the hotel is famous for gourmet meals using locally sourced ingredients that perfectly represent Icelandic culinary style.

In addition, these hotels offer guided sea kayaking excursions through Iceland’s stunning rivers and lakes, giving travelers a unique viewpoint into Iceland’s diverse ecosystem.

These hotels offer various options for visitors who want to enjoy the rich landscapes and attractions along the Golden Circle Route in Iceland, ranging from luxury getaways to small country retreat accommodations. Depending on someone’s choice, they always have something to pick from there.

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Screenshot from the Official website: Hotel Ranga

4. Central Highlands Lodging

While it may not be directly situated along the Golden Circle route, you will also find many places to stay in the Central Highlands of Iceland. They offer a chance to enjoy the untamed beauty of this region.

4.1. Hrauneyjar Highland Center

This modern and comfortable hotel in the Central Highlands is Hrauneyjar Highland Center, a convenient base for exploring the wilderness. People can hike, go on 4×4 off-road rides, or snowmobile during winter.

4.2. Hveravellir Nature Reserve

Another choice is to have a basic stay at Hveravellir Nature Reserve, a hideout where geothermal waters surround guests. The visitors may enjoy hot springs, walk across lava fields, or see this unspoiled wilderness’s unique geothermal activity.

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Screenshot from the Official website: Hveravellir Nature Reserve

4.3. Hótel Hérað

Hótel Hérað has warm interiors and inviting common areas, giving it a cozy atmosphere in the middle of Iceland’s Central Highlands. It’s the perfect place for anyone looking for peace and quiet.

Nearby the beach, black volcanic sands meet with raging Atlantic waves in a strong contrast between beauty and tragedy indicative of Iceland’s overall character.

4.4. Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

It overlooks Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon with floating icebergs and clear blue water that reflects everything around it, making it look so beautiful. The Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon itself has taken inspiration from Nordic designs depicting Iceland’s pureness and simplicity.

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

4.5. Eleven Deplar Farm

Eleven Deplar Farm is a converted sheep farm in the backwoods of the Fljot Valley. It offers a unique and exclusive experience with heli-skiing, horseback riding, and even whale watching while enjoying this luxurious retreat’s comfort and elegance.

5. Top Things to Do in Iceland

Apart from staying at the top-notch hotels, there are a number of activities one can do in Iceland. Warm up in geothermal hot tubs or take on the challenge of sea kayaking near giant icebergs. The famous Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle route are the tip of the iceberg here. Visitors can also visit downtown Reykjavik’s cultural sites, explore black sand beaches, and dine under the stars.

5.1. Aurora Borealis

The country offers a variety of activities that encompass all kinds of interests by capitalizing on its unique natural environment and cultural heritage.

To start with, exploring natural wonders is a common activity that people enjoy while visiting Iceland, where they expect to see things such as the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), which you can witness between late August and early April, given weather conditions permit it. Specialized tours are organized for optimal viewpoint locations.

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Image Source: Unsplash

5.2. Glacier Hiking

Glacier hiking and ice climbing are popular sports among adventure seekers who converge on Iceland’s many glaciers; Vatnajökull is one of them, which is not only the largest but also the most visited by hikers. During winter, visitors flock to glaciers’ ice caves, where they can observe magnificent blue ice formations inside glaciers. When snow melts from these glaciers during summer, it is often possible to go snowmobiling or on ATV trips.

5.3. Whale Watching Excursion

Whale-watching tours highlight Iceland’s maritime attractions, especially at Husavik, the capital. Another preferred option is sea kayaking, which allows visitors to explore extraordinary coastlines involving sailing among icebergs in Jökulsárlón lagoon, a glacial lagoon.

Whale Watching in Skjálfandi Bay, Húsavík, Iceland (2017)

5.4. Geothermal Spas

Geothermal spas are one of the mainstays of Icelandic leisure and relaxation, with the Blue Lagoon being the most famous, providing warm water containing minerals for healing.

There are a number of geothermal pools and hot springs across Iceland, such as Secret Lagoon or Mývatn nature baths, where tourists can get a calming soak amidst lovely natural scenes.

5.5. A Geological Marvel

Landlubbers can also pursue hikes through Þingvellir National Park (a geological marvel formed by the meeting point between North American and Eurasian tectonic plates), which is significant because it was once home to Iceland’s first parliament.

Alternatively, people can choose an amazing hike near Landmannalaugar, known for its multi-colored rhyolite mountains and lava fields.

5.6. The Golden Circle

The classic Golden Circle route includes three iconic sites: Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. It is easy to go out there within a day to capture a variety of natural phenomena on this island.

Culturally, tourists may take guided tours around Reykjavik to learn about Icelandic history and modern life. The gastronomic scene here is vibrant; thus, one should not miss out on local seafood and lamb sourced sustainably. Traditional Icelandic food tasting at several joints and enjoying Reykjavik’s nightlife is usually recommended for urban activities.

GULLFOSS ("GOLDEN FALLS") WATERFALL, ICELAND (4K)

5.7. Remote Regions

Iceland’s more remote regions, such as the West’s rugged fjords and the East’s out-of-reach villages, offer opportunities for those wanting to experience a quieter side of Iceland. Here, bird watching, especially for puffins in The Westman Islands, and learning about local customs and storytelling make travel richer.

These activities only scratch the surface of what Iceland offers, but they are a good starting point for understanding the diverse experiences in this unique country.

8. In Conclusion

Besides providing luxury accommodations, Iceland’s best luxury hotels open doors for people to enjoy its natural beauty and make their stay adventurous. Some include relaxing in a geothermal hot tub under the northern lights, sea kayaking through glacial waters, or even enjoying Reykjavik’s cosmopolitan luxuries.

Every single one of these amazing hotels presents an exclusive part of Iceland’s rich tapestry of experiences. When planning your trip to this land of extremes, you should consider these amazing stays that will add value to your journey.

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