Seeing Iceland’s dramatic waterfalls, craggy sea cliffs, geothermal valleys, and other natural marvels by day might have some travelers longing for a bit of pampering by night. Here are the upscale escapes that Oyster’s experts rated as the top luxury hotels in Iceland.
Situated about 75 minutes south of Reykjavik, the Hotel Ranga is a 51-room luxury property that's in proximity to some of Iceland’s most spectacular natural and remote wonders. It’s best known for its exceptional views of the northern lights, and even has its own observatory with high-end telescopes for serious stargazers. Frequented by celebrities and honeymooners, the hotel features cozy cabin decor, an exceptional restaurant with a free breakfast, and outdoor geo-thermal hot tubs. Guest rooms range from continental-themed suites to Standard and Deluxe Rooms with simple decor; most have hot tubs and outdoor terraces.
ION Luxury Adventure Hotel's concrete and glass facade rises from the Icelandic landscape like a set piece in a science fiction fantasy. Geothermal power and sustainable building materials are as pretty as they are practical at this four-pearl property, where 45 rooms are chic and include organic amenities, modern technology, and frequently gorgeous views. The restaurant serves New Nordic cuisine and the lovely bar offers seasonal glimpses of the Northern Lights -- there's also a spa with a gorgeous outdoor hot tub. The location might not suit all, but design nerds, romantic couples, and thrill seekers looking for excursions can fulfill a dream or two.
The four-pearl Silica Hotel is the lodging for the famous Blue Lagoon, surrounded by a dramatic landscape that's rich in geothermal mineral water. The hotel has its own smaller private lagoon, so that guests need not compete with the public for space in the touristy medicinal waters. The serene atmosphere makes the Silica popular with couples, as well as with those seeking treatments for a variety of skin conditions. Limited access to the public lagoon is included, but it's a walk to all the main facilities from the hotel.
The Hotel Borg is an upscale Reykjavik property built in 1930, and it's since been restored to its original splendor with elegant Art Deco details. The 99 rooms are understated with a muted color palette and Art Deco accents; they include bathrooms with heated marble floors and a range of amenities including a minibar and free Wi-Fi. There's a glamorous bar and restaurant that serves seasonal dishes, as well as a spa and small fitness center. Breakfast and parking cost extra, but the location across the street from Austurvöllur square makes walking and dining convenient.
Hotel Grimsborgir is an upscale, 64-room hotel in a secluded location that’s great for viewing the Northern Lights. The location means there is little to do around the hotel, beyond taking personal day trips by car or with the hotel’s sightseeing tour bus (for a fee). Rooms are sophisticated, with flat-screen TVs and minibars, while apartments have two to four bedrooms, lounge areas, and full kitchen -- some also have private hot tubs. Features include an expensive restaurant and bar, communal hot tubs, massages upon request, and free breakfast -- but no full spa.
The Apotek Hotel is an upscale, historic boutique property in the center of Reykjavik. Its 45 elegant, understated rooms have high ceilings, sitting areas, parquet floors, and city views that overlook Austurvollur Square, but they lack storage space. White-tile bathrooms are large, and some include wet room-style showers. The design-centric restaurant bar on the ground floor showcases a backlit wall of pharmacy shelves, hinting at the building's past as an apothecary in 1917. The Apotek has neither a gym nor spa, but guests who book online can use the fitness center and spa at the club next door.
The Radisson Blu Saga Hotel is a four-pearl property with an upscale air about a 15-minute walk from the city center. Its 209 contemporary but dated rooms have views that include mountains, glaciers, and the sea. All-day dining is not a problem since the hotel has three restaurants including one with panoramic views. Its Egyptian-themed spa has a seawater whirlpool under a skylight, and there's also a hair salon with barber shop services. Popular with business travelers, the hotel has eight meeting rooms that together can house 970 people. In summertime, guests can rent bicycles (there's also an indoor fitness center).