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Most of Iceland’s hotels can be found in Reykjavík, where the options vary from basic hostels and slightly trendier ‘poshtels’ to luxurious four and five-star properties. Reykjavík is charmingly compact, so while accommodation can be found all over the city, you won’t have much difficulty getting around.
If you like your hotels with a side serving of culture, head to four-star Hotel Holt, where the walls are adorned in art. It’s often the venue for exhibitions and events, while the wood-panelled rooms and surfeit of leather chairs give it the air of a private members’ club. There’s nothing ‘hip’ about the place, but it’s all the cooler for it.
Those on a budget will find most of the hostels and low-cost properties downtown, near Laugavegur, the main shopping strip. Staying fairly central means it’s an easy wander down into the town to visit museums, shops, bars and cafes, whereas staying on the east side of the town will put you a little further away from the action.
Venture beyond the confines of Reykjavík and you’ll find an assortment of quirky Iceland hotels. These are the sorts of places where you can get a great view of the stars, and if you’re lucky, the Northern Lights.
For the chance of a truly spectacular aurora-watching experience, the futuristic ION Luxury Adventure Hotel near Thingvellir National Park is a top choice.
If you’re heading west to the Snæfellsnes peninsula, check in to Hotel Búðir. Its quirky décor (check out the lounge room’s beautiful telescope) is at odds with its rustic exterior, but a few days here will soothe your mind. The excellent restaurant also provides plenty of fuel for the rejuvenating walks you’ll want to take in this peaceful spot.
If you’re looking for accommodation on the cheap, Iceland offers up a number of options. In Reykjavík, there are several registered campsites that usually open from June until mid-September, and are good for those on a budget.
Outside Reykjavík, the numerous guesthouses and B&Bs are the best bet for travellers trying to keep costs down. These can range from modern developments to more modest family-run affairs. Hostels are also available across the country, although these may vary in standard.