If you’re on the hunt for the best hotels in Reykjavik like we were earlier this year then let me give you this one simple piece of invaluable advice: comfort is key. Lovely laid-back Reykjavik is no party capital – you aren’t in Berlin now – so allow some extra wiggle room in your budget for a little bit of luxury. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of bars and even a few nightclubs around the city centre which will give your dancing feet a run for their money but think of Iceland as more wholesome than hedonistic.
You’re going to want somewhere clean ‘n’ cosy with bloody good shower pressure (or maybe even a bath tub) to retire to after climbing to the top of the Hallgrimskirkja Church, getting soaked through by the Gullfoss Waterfall mist or stinking of sulfur after a trip to the Blue Lagoon and the famous Strokkur Geysir. Trust me. Fosshotel Reykjavik ticked all of those boxes for us and proved to be the gift that just kept on giving from check in (2pm) to check out (12pm).
We hopped off our Keflavik airport transfer bus already in love with the rustic landscape of Iceland and it’s beautiful scattering of technicolor turf houses, right outside the hotel at bus stop number 12. This would later be the exact spot where our pre-booked Grey Line coach would pick us up the next morning for our Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle tour so there goes our first two massive ticks – location and convenience. The contemporary, 4-star hotel proved to be no more than a 25 minute walk from the centre of Reykjavik and towering 16 floors high over the city skyline, never left us feeling too far from home.
The next bout of zealous box ticking came when we opened our 7th floor door to be greeted with a big bouncy double bed, an electric recycling bin (really nice touch), an impressive view of the Harpa Concert Hall and a selection of locally-sourced Anyah Eco Spa Treatment toiletries which so perfectly coordinated with my outfit. Our room was spotless, spacious enough for two and immaculately decorated. The only niggle we did have was that the (empty) mini fridge made a loud whirring noise that became quite annoying so we resorted to unplugging it just while we slept and if my alleged snoring is anything to go by, it did the trick.
Aside from two of the best night’s sleeps I’ve ever had in my notoriously sleepless life, the Fosshotel Reykjavik also plays host to some of the finest food and drink in the city. It’s at this very hotel that you can tuck yourself into a table at the acclaimed Haust restaurant which, translated into English, means ‘Autumn’. As the name suggests, the menu is as rustic-chic as its surroundings and offers seasonal dishes and ingredients around the theme of autumn year-round.
With so many eateries already stuffed into our itinerary (with El Santo, Tapas Barrin, Egill Jacobsen and Emilie and the Cool Kids being up there with the best) we didn’t get chance to eat here but it is definitely somewhere I’ll be keen to check out next time. We did however manage to sneak in a tipple at both the upper-deck hotel bar and the stunning Beer Garden (Bjor Gardurinn) downstairs during our stay. The Beer Garden is a must if you’re into your craft ales and IPA and even offers a list of beer-inspired ‘Hops-tails‘.
I, on the other hand, was far more smitten with the bespoke Amaretto Sour that the bar staff were more than willing to shake up for me in the hotel bar despite my being awkward and picking something not strictly on the menu. This charming hospitality is synonymous with Reykjavik and it’s people we soon came to realise and was reflected in all of the little finishing touches that make this hotel such a fabulous choice. From the complimentary mini macarons available at reception every day to the beaming smiles we were served each morning in the lobby, these guys know how to give you the warm and fuzzies that’s for sure.
When you’ve been up since 5.30am, spent more than 6 hours on a coach and walked tens of thousands of steps around several wonders of the world in hella windy conditions, the warm and fuzzies are most definitely welcome. So windy, in fact, that hotel windows in Reykjavik are only able to open a certain amount or else the elements will shatter them in one clean sweep! Thankfully temperatures never peaked above about 10 degrees during our stay so this didn’t bother us much.
Some other awesome things to note about the Fosshotel Reykjavik:
- Free WiFi (and pretty speedy too)
- Breakfast served from 6am (great for those early morning tours)
- Free 24 hour gym (which I didn’t attend, funnily enough)
- Happy hour in the Beer Garden (3pm-7pm)
- Free safe in the room (for guarding snacks of course)
We arranged our stay here through Booking.com and it came to somewhere around the £350 mark for two nights – not cheap but more than reasonable with all things considered. I can’t imagine our eyes will be straying anywhere else upon our return to Iceland that’s for sure.