She romantic aura of the ‘land of fire and ice’ lies not only within its nature but also in the warm embrace of its design-savvy, cosy interiors, which contrast with the rawness of the surrounding landscapes.
Boutique-style hotels offer intimacy and style, while larger hotels have an indulgent aura. With its tiny downtown area, which can be walked in less than a day, and yet a surprisingly diverse array of first-class museums featuring medieval sagas and thrilling Viking history, edgy art galleries and particularly peppy music and nightlife scenes, you can see why Reykjavik is a popular destination for couples. Here’s our pick of the most romantic hotels in Reykjavik, including the best for cosy fires, Art Deco ambiance and historic architecture.
Reykjavik Marina Residence
8 Telegraph expert ratingSituated on Reykjavik’s charming harbourfront, these seven plush suites jav hd lie inside two restored, historic, timber houses. Although this is apartment-style accommodation, there are private hosts available throughout the day, plus a daily happy hour in the lounge area, where guests can cosy up with free soft and alcoholic drinks. Guests can choose to have their breakfast at the cosy, grandma-style kitchen area at the Residence, or next door in Slippbarinn, which also serves lunches and dinner, wine and cocktails, and has a varied programme of readings, concerts and other events.Read expert reviewFrom£840per night
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9 Telegraph expert ratingThe hotel is set on one of the most scenic and pleasantly landscaped squares in the city centre. Originally built for famous Icelandic strong-man and adventurer Jóhannes Jósefsson, Hotel Borg first opened its doors in 1930. Despite several refurbishments during its long lifetime, it has managed to maintain its original Art Deco ambiance. All 99 rooms are decked out in a flurry of classy, custom-made furnishings, spanning armoires and parquet flooring carved from high-grade wood, leather armchairs and Hastens beds, and stylish Bang & Olufsen televisions.
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8 Telegraph expert ratingThe hotel’s striking five-floor historic shell was built in 1917 and housed the city’s main pharmacy (Reykjavíkurapotek) from 1930 to 1999. The refurbished interior features original (and protected) Art Nouveau characteristics (curved walls, marble stairs) matched to an elegantly modern designer aesthetic. Rooms are comfortable with contemporary touches like veneered parquet flooring and chic white bathrooms with rain showers. Historical photos of the building line the walls. The restaurant’s smart-casual interior features welcome touches such as restored wooden wall panels and original marble décor.
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9 Telegraph expert ratingOne of Reykjavik’s first-ever boutique hotels is still one of its best. Don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior: every inch of the hotel’s interior aims to impress. Designed by owner and professional designer Ingibjörg S. Pálmadóttir, it’s a riot of contemporary style that incorporates a cool palette of blacks, whites and slate-greys, antique and idiosyncratic furnishings, and a collection of artworks by local artists. With only 38 rooms (including six suites), the hotel has an intimate aura that helps counterbalance its design-savvy aesthetic.
8 Telegraph expert ratingThe interior of the hotel is as designer as they come; low-lit and stylish with a slick and sultry black-and-volcanic-grey aesthetic running through the lobby, into the restaurant and into the rooms, all punctuated with mellow splashes of white and cream, and photographs of Icelandic nature by local snapper Ragnar Axelsson (whose book is also featured in all rooms). Though there is no restaurant on site there’s a bar serving decent wines and spirits as well as coffee and snacks, and the hotel breakfast is a fairly generous spread of freshly made breads, pastries and Icelandic produce.
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8 Telegraph expert ratingThis hotel on hip Laugavegur street mirrors the low-key discreet Islandic character perfectly. The entrance is a barely marked doorway that leads into a courtyard where the lobby – that looks like an Icelandic living room, albeit one that belongs to design-loving couple (which indeed the owners of this hotel are) – is found. Bound books by Halldor Laxness and photographs and paintings by contemporary Icelandic artists decorate the rooms. Warm staff and thoughtful touches including chic, comfortable rooms with locally sourced organic toiletries, make it a great place to stay for a romantic getaway.
Reykjavik Residence Hotel
9 Telegraph expert ratingSet inside fully renovated historic houses, this alluring aparthotel is pitched as a home away from home. The interiors are modern and luxurious with tasteful wooden parquet floors, artful photos on the wall and trendy but comfortable furnishings. Round-the-clock reception staff who will happily take care of things like arranging personal drivers add to the feeling that you can hole up and hide away during your stay – and if you feel like venturing out, guests get a complimentary breakfast in the swanky Port9 restaurant, which also serves seasonally minded appetisers and an impressive array of beers and wines in the evening.