You’ll find some of the world’s coolest hotels in Iceland, thanks to the country’s cozy geothermal pools, incomparable natural landscapes, and impressive Nordic architecture. And that’s just scratching the surface!
If you’re looking for unique hotels in Iceland, both in the city and remote locations, and you want to see the spectacular Northern Lights, read along.
We’re sharing the best boutique hotels in Iceland from luxury spa hotels to traditional Icelandic houses that are sure to amplify your trip.
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Planning your trip to Iceland last minute? Here are the tours and hotels we recommend. For tips planning your trip check out our 7 Day Iceland Ring Road Itinerary and 15 Must See Iceland Waterfalls (+ Map).
- TOP EXPERIENCES & TOURS IN ICELAND
- BEST HOTELS IN ICELAND
- PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR ICELAND
Where to Stay in Iceland
There are so many great places to stay in Iceland, especially if you are traveling along the famous Iceland Ring Road, also known as Route 1 and the main motorway in Iceland.
During the summer, an Iceland Ring Road Itinerary is a best way to see the country. You need 7-14 days to see most of the sights.
Typically a trip around the Ring Road happens in summer and the extra long days make it easier to see more in a day than you typically would.
We often found ourselves out until 11pm. You lose track of time when it’s light so late. And even though the sun would set around midnight, it never got dark.
Start with a hotel in Reykjavik, then you will need to plan for hotels all the way around the Ring Road. Book as far in advance as possible to get the best places. I speak from personal experience when I say that they sell out.
Best Places to Stay to See the Northern Lights
On the opposite end of the spectrum, to witness the Northern Lights’ mesmerizing display of dancing lights in the sky, timing, and location are crucial.
The best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland is from September to April when the nights are longer and darker.
The months of October to March are particularly the best due to the increased darkness and higher chances of clear skies.
Keep in mind the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and are dependent on various factors such as solar activity and weather conditions, so it’s never guaranteed that you’ll see them (even if you book a tour).
The best areas for viewing the Northern Lights in Iceland are regions with minimal light pollution and clear skies.
Popular spots include rural areas away from city lights, such as the South Coast, Westfjords, and Lake Myvatn in the north.
These locations offer darker skies and picturesque landscapes, enhancing the magical experience of witnessing the lights.
Below you will find the most unique and coolest hotels in Iceland whether you are traveling during white nights or Northern Lights.
12 Most Unique & Coolest Hotels in Iceland
The Reykjavik EDITION (Best Ocean View Luxury Hotel – Reykjavik)
The Reykjavik EDITION (9.1) is a sleek and stylish luxury hotel in Iceland boasting 5 star amenities.
One of the most interesting aspects of this hotel are the incredible views of the North Atlantic Coast from inside the hotel as well as large decks where you can take in the capital city of Iceland.
The rooms of this modern hotel are chic with wall art and also retail a cozy feel with faux fur rugs. Whether it’s summer or winter, the floor-to-ceiling windows with courtyard or harbor views.
The high floor rooms also have private terraces with spectacular views of the cityscape.
Other feautres of the sumptuous accomodations include contemporary furniture, bluetooth speakers, minibars, walk-in rainfall showers, and designer toiletries.
The hotel also offers a fitness center and a spa, as well as a signature restaurant, bakery, and two bars (including a rooftop bar and terrace) serving craft cocktails.
If you’re looking for the coolest 5 star hotels in Reykjavik, we highly recommend this one. With its modern design and luxurious amenities, guests can enjoy a truly indulgent stay.
What guests like most: exceptional staff, great location, quality • Consideration: some facilities are seasonal
Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel (Best Reykjavík Hotel for an Eco Stay – Reykjavik)
One of the most unique hotels in Reykjavik is located around the corner from the city’s main shopping street Laugavegur,
Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel (9) offers an amazing eco hotel in Reykjavik’s city centre with exceptional Scandinavian design.
Rooms are decorated in soothing tones with natural materials and boast comfortable beds, flatscreen TVs, writing desks, and private bathrooms with organic toiletries.
The individual duvets, a hallmark of Scandinavian bedding, allow each person’s temperature to be perfectly regulated throughout the night ensuring an ideal night of sleep.
During your stay, enjoy a Nordic-inspired breakfast buffet, workout at the green gym, and unwind with a drink at the hotel’s bar or in the warmly-lit dining hall. There are also city bikes for hire.
What guests like most: exceptional staff, great location, quality • Consideration: some facilities are seasonal
The Greenhouse Hotel (One of the Coolest Hotels in South Iceland – Hveragerdi)
Nestled near the geothermal springs of Hveragerdi, The Greenhouse Hotel (8.7) is one of the coolest hotels in Iceland with a rooftop terrace for spotting the seasonal Northern Lights.
The hotel is earthy, laidback, and hip and boasts sustainable materials, street food, a bar, local shops, and accommodation all under one roof.
The rooms are cozy and comfortable, featuring modern amenities and a rustic design. They all come with sleek marble and tile bathrooms with walk-in showers
During your stay, enjoy its numerous amenities plus the surrounding hiking trails leading to natural hot tubs and fantastic views over Iceland’s scenery.
What guests like most: beautiful design, location, restaurants • Consideration: not a lot of typical hotel amenities
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon (Best of Unique Hotels in Iceland near Glaciers – Hnappavellir)
Immerse yourself in the mountains near the iconic Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and Skaftafell National Park, Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon (8.8) provides a one-of-a-kind experience in a wood-clad building. This is one of the most awesome places to stay in Iceland!
The 125 rooms are simply designed and have marble bathrooms with walk-in showers. Some have ocean views with a bay window, and family rooms sleep up to 4.
During your stay, enjoy nearby glacier activities, attempt to witness the magical Northern Lights, and savor Icelandic cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant.
There’s also a gym and a spa (with sauna and hot tubs) for a full vacation experience.
What guests like most: very comfortable, breakfast, spa area • Consideration: no coffee machine in rooms
Umi Hotel (Unique Place to Stay in Iceland Near Skógafoss – Skogar)
Umi Hotel (9) is a charming boutique hotel in Iceland located in the picturesque village of Skogar, facing the Atlantic Ocean.
Only a short drive away, it’s a fantastic base for visiting the Skógafoss and driving the famous Ring Road.
But what makes this a unique hotel in Iceland is that it’s nestled perfectly in one of the country’s most beautiful mountain ranges!
There are 28 nicely designed rooms, incorporating earthy details and comfort. You’ll find both double and twin rooms, and all offer either mountain or ocean views.
Enjoy your natural surroundings and visit Iceland’s most famous waterfall. There’s also a cozy bar with a fireplace and picturesque views for a cozy stay.
What guests like most: great views, delicious food, near Black Beach • Consideration: no sauna or onsite spa
Ion Adventure Hotel (Coolest Hotel in Iceland with a Heated Outdoor Pool – Nesjavellir)
Perched by glaciers, the Ion Adventure Hotel (7.9) is a haven for nature lovers and thrill-seekers in Nesjavellir. It’s one of our favorite cool hotels in Iceland thanks to its heated pool offering a chance to soak under the Northern Lights.
Boasting unique large windows with landscape or geothermal plant views, all rooms come with modern amenities, ultra-comfortable bedding, and walk-in showers. Suites add extra space, a separate living area, plus robes and slippers.
Take part in so many activities from hiking and horseback riding, relaxing in natural hot springs, and enjoying local cuisine at the hotel’s bar/restaurant (with panoramic views).
Of course, you’ll have to visit the heated outdoor pool, sauna, and spa for the ultimate experience. Plus, only 45 minutes away, it’s one of the best boutique hotels near Reykjavik!
What guests like most: very clean, spa facilities, scenic • Consideration: restaurant is pricey
Torfhús Retreat (Best of Unique Accommodation in Iceland – Selfoss)
Stay in a traditional Icelandic turf house, at Torfhús Retreat (9.5), where culture meets rustic luxury in Selfoss.
The beautiful wood-lined Torfhús offer sweeping views over volcanic plains all the way to snow-capped mountains and the Langjökull glacier beyond.
All rooms come with cozy interiors with wooden furnishings. Regular rooms come with private entrances and bathrooms while the luxury rooms add cabin-style kitchenettes.
But the best part is they all come with your own outdoor basalt stone pool bath, perfect for a daytime or nighttime soak with a chance of watching the Northern Lights above.
Other amenities include an onsite restaurant, breakfast, guided horseback rides, stargazing, and opportunities to explore nearby landscapes and the Golden Circle.
What guests like most: beautiful property, excursions, hot pools • Consideration: book the luxury room for more space
Landhotel (One of the Best Hotels in Iceland with Spa – Hella)
For sweeping views of the highlands, lowlands, and midlands in South Iceland, book a stay near Hella and Laugaland at Landhotel (8.8). It’s one of the most awesome places to stay in Iceland, for a sauna and jacuzzi experience.
Rooms are elegantly designed, featuring minimalist decor and comfortable amenities that create a bit of a retro-contemporary vibe.
There’s a sleek bar/restaurant and a spa with massages, a sauna, and a dome jacuzzi.
You can explore the nearby waterfalls and lava fields, book helicopter tours and other exciting excursions during your stay.
What guests like most: breakfast, great value, location • Consideration: spa is small
Hótel Húsafell (One of the Nicest Hotels in Iceland – Húsafell)
Set on an old farm, Hótel Húsafell (8.6) is an eco-friendly, unique hotel in Iceland that uses energy produced on-site from the lava, glaciers, and hot springs.
Rooms and suites are decorated with a minimal Scandinavian aesthetic, featuring fantastic views of the surrounding landscapes. Upgraded rooms come with terraces and soaking tubs.
However, you’ll also find two and three-bedroom vacation homes with cedar wood designs, common in Iceland, with private hot tubs and full kitchens,
During your visit, unwind in the geothermal swimming pool, enjoy daily breakfast, and indulge in upscale dining at the on-site restaurant and bar. There’s also a waterslide and a golf course.
What guests like most: stylish, excellent restaurant, great for exploring • Consideration: food menu can be limited
Hotel Geysir (Best Iceland Luxury Hotel – Geysir)
Rooms are comfortable and stylish, offering modern amenities and picturesque views. Some have soaking tubs and/or balconies and suites add stylish living rooms with Scandinavian decor.
One of the coolest things about this hotel is that it is right across from Strokkur Geysir. After all the tour busses depart for the day, you’ll be able to spend as much time as you want watching water shoot into the air, virtually by yourself.
You’ll definitely want to explore the nearby geothermal sites, visit the stunning Gullfoss waterfall, and enjoy traditional Icelandic cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant.
What guests like most: bar with happy hour, breakfast, location • Consideration: dinner menu is pricey
Magma Hotel (Best Hotel in Iceland’s Town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur)
Immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of Iceland’s volcanic landscapes at Magma Hotel (9.4).
Located in Kirkjubæjarklaustur by the lake, this unique hotel offers a contemporary design inspired by the surrounding volcanic formations.
Rooms are sleek and stylish, featuring Nordic decor and large windows that showcase the dramatic views. All have private entrances, and a quadruple room sleeps up to 5.
Amenities include a bistro serving locally sourced cuisine, a cozy lounge area, and easy access to nearby hiking trails and natural wonders. There’s also a free breakfast buffet.
What guests like most: restaurant, cottage rooms, views • Consideration: no spa
Hotel Rangá (Gorgeous Iceland Luxury Hotel – Hella)
Soak up the rich Icelandic countryside at Hotel Rangá (8.9) in Hella. Nestled along the banks of the Rangá River, this luxury hotel in Iceland offers a serene and secluded retreat.
Rooms and suites are rusticly decorated with old-world flair, featuring cozy furnishings, private decks, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Some have a spa bath.
There’s an amazing observatory with telescopes for stargazing, a geothermal hot tub, a gourmet restaurant specializing in Nordic cuisine, and access to various outdoor activities such as horseback riding and fishing.
They even offer wake-up calls for when the Northern Lights appear.
What guests like most: unique experience, hot tubs, breakfast • Consideration: no sauna
Booking a Northern Lights Tour
When it comes to experiencing the Northern Lights, you have two main options: taking a guided Northern Lights Tour or embarking on your own adventure.
Joining a guided Northern Lights tour can provide expert knowledge and increase your chances of seeing the lights.
Experienced guides have up-to-date information on weather conditions, solar activity, and the best locations for viewing. Plus, they’ll do the driving.
They can also offer photography tips and assistance. However, there is still no guarantee and you’ll have to pay for the tour either way.
Alternatively, you can venture out on your own to chase the Northern Lights. This option allows for more flexibility and freedom to explore at your own pace.
However, it does require careful planning, knowledge of weather conditions, and finding dark and secluded locations away from light pollution.
And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to view them from one of the best hotels in Iceland for Northern Lights that we’ve listed here. Imagine soaking in the hot springs as the Aurora dances above you – unforgettable!
Final Thoughts on the Most Unique Hotels in Iceland
If you are planning a trip around the Iceland Ring Road or to see the Northern Lights, chances are that you will be booking nights in at least a few different hotels.
We put together the coolest hotels in Iceland so you know exactly where to stay along the way.
It’s hard not to fall in love with this Nordic gem, but these boutique hotels in Iceland certainly help make your bucket list adventure come true! Happy travels!